The Atlanta Falcons removed veteran linebacker Barkevious Mingo from its lineup over the weekend after he was arrested in a Dallas, Texas, suburb.
Mingo was charged with indecency with a child - sexual contact and turned himself into the Arlington police on Thursday, July 8. The incident allegedly happened in 2019 but it didn't come to the attention of authorities until January 2021.
According to a search warrant obtained by Sports Illustrated, Mingo invited a teen relative and another teen boy to spend the day with him in Arlington over the 2019 July 4th weekend. He took the teens to local amusement parks, on a shopping spree, and to a local steakhouse. He then took them to the hotel he was staying at, where he inappropriately touched one of the teens.
The Falcons quickly responded to the accusations when they were made public over the weekend.
"After being made aware today of allegations involving Barkevious Mingo and gathering information on the matter, the Atlanta Falcons have terminated his contract," according to a team statement released on Saturday night.
The player's lawyer maintains that Mingo is innocent.
"We are extremely disappointed in the Atlanta Falcons' rush to judgment in terminating Barkevious Mingo's contract before gathering all of the relevant facts and prior to my client having his day in court. The accusation against Mr. Mingo is a lie. Barkevious knows it -- so does his accuser," his lawyer told ESPN.
Mingo has played with seven teams since he was drafted in 2013 by the Cleveland Browns. He played for the New England Patriots when they won Super Bowl LI in 2017. He spent his 2020 season with the Chicago Bears before signing a one-year contract with the Falcons.