Friday, January 15, 2010

“Coming up next … Helping Your Teammates” - #264 – January 18, 2010

After Further Review … “I want to apologize to the National Basketball Association if I ticked anybody off by us having fun,” Gilbert Arenas, star player of the Washington Wizards, is reported to have said following his actions in front of the crowd prior a game in Philadelphia. Arenas purportedly held both hands in the shape of guns with his thumbs locked, and then faked shooting at his teammates. This incident followed the report that he had brought a firearm into the Wizards locker room and brandished the weapon towards a teammate in a “playful way.” Arenas compounded this by posting it on his Twitter account.

Not only is Arenas’ action detestable in this day and age of barbarous gun use, but please note that the Washington Wizards recently changed its name from the Washington Bullets because of the violent connotation in today’s world. Arenas brought a real weapon into a professional sports locker room? As a joke? Where did Arenas leave his common sense, his understanding of the law, let alone his disregard of NBA rules? Not only has Commissioner David Stern suspended Arenas, but the NBA has launched an investigation, along with the Office of the United States Attorney in the District of Columbia, and the Metropolitan Police Department. Arenas has been charged with a felony.

Ironic; since this is the day of celebration for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., a chief spokesman for non-violence. In addition to apologizing to the NBA, Arenas needs to make amends to Dr. King’s memory as well as Arenas’ family and fans.

Do today’s pro athletes carry guns? Who? How many? Why? Well, as one person close to pro athletes said, “If the brothers know you’re packing, they’ll leave you alone.” Why do high-profile athletes associate with, hang around, and/or visit places where bad influences gather? Did we not learn anything from Michael Vick? Or Plaxico Burress? Or Jayson Williams?

“It’s sad,” said one of Arenas’ Wizards teammates, “We’re a family and it hurts.” Sir, if you’re a family, step up and help a teammate, when his common sense falters. Where was Arenas’ agent with advice/concern for avoiding these situations? How about Arenas’ family; did they not see this coming? And what does Arenas’ “star status” say to young fans that admire his skills? While fans often want to emulate what their “heroes” do, they need to observe their behavior off the court as well!

Will you be watchful of your family and teammates who may lose their way?

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