Thursday, January 07, 2010

Gilbert Arenas

by Dick Mac

Every now and then an athlete surprises even a cynic like me.

Ron Artest, Roberto Alomar, Mark McGwire, Roger Clemens, to name a few, gave me pause to think. Here are men who have been given a silver platter from which they can enjoy the world. They make decisions rooted not in their experiences in the privileged class to which they now belong; but rooted in self-centeredness, fear, entitlement, or the such.

Now comes Gilbert Arenas, a man paid $111,000,000 to play basketball for six years - not quite twenty million a year. He had a conflict with a co-worker about a loan that one made to the other. Words were exchanged, and from what I understand they were not kind or reasonable words. The next day Arenas came to the job with four handguns, left them on a chair in his co-worker's area with a note that said: 'choose one' (or something to that effect).

Arenas insists this was all a misguided joke. He never intended to threaten his co-worker, it was just a prank.

I grew-up in the projects, and it was a pretty violent place, and there were guns. Later in life I had encounters with criminals, some of whom carried guns, some of whom did not. Everyone I met who was involved with guns took them pretty seriously. I have never known a person who brandishes his gun as a joke. If a person pulls a gun out in the middle of a discussion, it's not a good sign for the other party.

If there is a conflict, and the other party introduces guns, it is not a joke. Ever.

I have a job. There are rules in the workplace, and weapons are specifically prohibited:

Possession of dangerous weapons, such as firearms, explosives, and knives, is prohibited from Company premises unless they are possessed under the direction of a supervisor as part of an employee's work responsibility . . .

I am willing to bet that Gilbert Arenas' employer has a similar clause in their workplace rules.

This article includes people discussing this as a Constitutional rights issue: Gilbert Arenas, guns and the Supreme Court. Sorry guys: this is a workplace safety issue, not a Second Amendment issue. Anyone who looks to defend Arenas with the 'right of the people to keep and bear arms' argument needs to be exposed as a lunatic. This is neither a Constitutional nor civil rights issue, this is a criminal assault matter, and probably a violation of an employment agreement.

This article includes a photograph of Arenas and his teammates joking about the situation, and Arenas pointing his fingers like fake guns: N.B.A. Suspends Gilbert Arenas. This guy doesn't even take this seriously. He is, at best, a sociopath.

David Stern, the head clown who runs the NBA circus, suspended Arenas indefinitely after seeing this display.

NBA players are famous for disregarding their responsibility as role models. Perhaps it is time we heeded their request to not be held accountable as responsible adults. Perhaps it is time to cancel our season tickets, stop purchasing NBA merchandise, and turning off our televisions when the NBA is broadcast.

Ron Artest turned me off a few years ago; but, I think Gilbert Arenas has finally convinced me that there is no reason to pay any attention to this sport ever again.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Bravo ! We see eye-to-eye !