Falcons defensive lineman Ra’shede Hageman was a surprise inactive on Sunday. His scratch was attributed to the team’s plan to play a lot of nickel defense against Tampa, and they felt Courtney Upshaw was a better fit for the game plan. However, there may be another reason why.
Hageman was charged in a domestic violence case in March, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Here’s what you need to know about the case:
1. He Was Charged With 3 Misdemeanors
As The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported on Monday, Hageman was involved in a domestic violence case in March and charged with three misdemeanors in DeKalb County.
Hageman was charged with interference with a call for emergency help, battery family violence and cruelty to children in the third degree.
2. Details About the Incident Are Scarce
Details about what happened aren’t available, but according to the report, the incident involved the mother of his child. They have one son together named Zion, who was born in 2011.
Hageman had an arraignment on June 7, and the case remains open.
3. The Falcons Know About the Charges
The NFL Has Been in contact with the Falcons over the matter, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
The Falcons reportedly knew about the charges for months.
4. Hageman Had a Difficult Early Childhood
Hageman was born August 8, 1990 in Lansing, Michigan.
When Hageman was just a toddler, his father died, and his mother spiraled into addiction. She spent time in and out of prison dealing with drug and alcohol abuse. Hageman and his brother, Xaviar, were found at the age of four and three, respectively, in the closet of a crack house. They spent the following three years bouncing between a dozen foster homes in the Minneapolis–Saint Paul area. He and his brother were adopted by lawyers Eric Hageman and Jill Coyle in 1998. Hageman was seven years old.
“When I’m on the football field, I always have that anger I had as a child,” he told SB Nation. “I don’t want to talk to nobody. I’m ready to go all the way.”
5. He Has Said He Developed an Alter Ego For Football
Hageman was considered one of the top defensive tackle prospects for the 2014 NFL Draft. He was drafted by the Atlanta Falcons in the second round, 37th overall in the 2014 NFL Draft.
“The alter ego that I’m starting to develop is that black thug that society doesn’t like, you know what I’m saying?” Hageman told USA Today Sports in advance of the 2014 NFL Draft.
“To be nasty or ruthless, having that anger and having that swag that yeah, I can do whatever I want — that’s the alter ego, because when you’re on the field, that’s what it takes to beat double teams. You don’t give a (bleep). You’re crazy and you don’t care.”
Hageman told USA Today Sports that sports became a way to channel the anger, and frustration he felt from his past.
“I used sports, especially football, just to run full speed at somebody and really try to hurt them,” Hageman said. “When you have built-up anger, frustration in your past, there’s so many ways to use that. Luckily, I found a way to use that that was positive.”