How Common For Pro Athletes To Have Bodyguards? All The Time?

Read an article about LeBron James visiting a New York eatery with three bodyguards.

How many pro athletes regularly travel around with bodyguards? Just the true superstars? Do the ones who do use them only on certain occasions or pretty much most of the time? Do they have them stay around their house to protect them there too? I’ve seen I dunno a dozen or so pro athletes (that I recognized) out and about, never with bodyguards. Is this a new thing?

If you’ve ever seen the gaggle of paparazzi chasing someone like Britney Spears, (TMZ show loves to show the whole mess) it seems logical that any fairly prominent celebrity would want assistants to keep the press at bay and push away fans who get too physically persistent. I often think that the ones like Spears and Lohan deliberately allow the press mob to follow them.

Plus, I recall one of the big-name boxers saying in an interview years ago, that a lot of guys, especially in bars, would get drunk enough to think they could take on a boxing champion. Since there would be legal consequences and risks, it makes more sense to off-load the crowd control issues on lesser tough guys. Plus, drunks in bars don’t fight fair. (Recall the story that Houdini died because some guy wanted to test him with a stomach punch, and punched him before he was ready.)

I suspect a sports star with a “tough-guy” image would have the same problem - too many drunks who want to say “ahh, he’s a wimp - I decked him at the bar last week…”

I would guess that you really only see it with the biggest star athletes, and even then, I imagine it’d be primarily those who go to clubs frequently, etc.

So, it doesn’t surprise me that Lebron James has bodyguards. I’d be very surprised if, say, Brett Favre had them.

Yeah, I’ve seen Favre level guys unaccompanied. I’d assume a similar calculus applies to actors (other than the attention whores) – I’d imagine it’s only a low-double-digit number who need/use bodyguards other than for major functions.