A member of one of the most iconic teams in American football history has been arrested on a murder charge.
A member of one of the most iconic teams in American football history has been arrested on a murder charge.

Football champ faces a murder charge

A former NFL star has been arrested in Phoenix on a murder charge, police sources said.

Michael Richardson, 59, who was an All-Pro cornerback and won a Super Bowl with the Chicago Bears in 1985, was arrested Thursday on a second-degree murder charge in connection with the Wednesday shooting death of 47-year-old Ronald Like, multiple police sources told the Central Phoenix News.

Like, who was discovered by police at an intersection, was rushed to hospital in a critical condition with a gunshot wound and later died. Phoenix cops investigated the shooting death as a homicide, the Arizona Republic reported.

Richardson, who lives in a gated community in East Mesa, also had a felony warrant out for his arrest, according to court documents.

Maricopa County jail records show Richardson was being held without bond on charges of murder, possession of a weapon by a prohibited person and possession of a dangerous drug for sale. He's due to appear in court on the warrant on January 6, records show.

Richardson, a native of Compton, California, was a starting cornerback for the Bears' vaunted defence in 1985 and was named a second-team All-Pro in 1986. He was also featured in the team's iconic "Super Bowl Shuffle" video.

"I'm L.A. Mike and I play it cool, they don't sneak by me because I'm no fool," Richardson rhymed on the song.

Prior to being drafted by the Bears in 1983, Richardson was a standout All-American at Arizona State University.

Wednesday's arrest is the latest in a string of legal troubles for Richardson. He had been previously busted twice this year by Phoenix cops for alleged drug possession and was arrested in Maricopa County in 2018 on charges of theft and possession of meth, crack cocaine and heroin, KNXV reported.

In 2010, ESPN reported that Richardson was released from custody and had a 13-year prison sentence cut by more than 10 years after a California appellate court determined he did not violate terms of his probation in a 2008 conviction for selling narcotics.


The incident led to Richardson's 21st conviction on drug-related charges at the time - and his fifth felony in 16 years, ESPN reported.

Legal trouble for Richardson began just three years after his final NFL season in San Francisco in 1989 when he was found guilty of two felony drug counts and received a four-year prison sentence, ESPN reported.

Richardson's public defender, according to court transcripts, said Richardson's "deep dependence on drugs" began when he was just 13 years old.

- New York Post

Originally published as Super Bowl champ on murder charge

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