In The News (Sports and Violence)

Public Violence

If Ron Artest thought he had a problem when he needed days off to rest because of a hectic rap album release schedule, he doesn’t have to worry about that anymore. Now he has the whole season off.

I feel no sympathy for any of these millionaires who think it is OK to hit people.

Of course some of the fans are at fault for enticing the players. But unfortunately that is part of the game. It always has been and always will be. Part of your million dollar salary is to stay in control or at least in enough control to stay out of the stands. Even worse, not sure who did what; the players attacked some of the wrong people. There is no excuse for such behavior. Stupid fans that get drunk and act out deserve and should be punished. But the penalty cannot be players acting as police, judge and jury.

Even though
Indiana won the game Detroit comes out on top. Ben Wallace is suspended for 6 games and three other Detroit players for 1 game. For Indiana? Well Artest is out for the rest of the year with O’Neal out for 25, Stephen Jackson 30 and other players out for 1 to 6 games. The Indiana players have hurt themselves and the team. Can they recover and make it to the playoffs? Who knows and too bad whatever happens.  I just hope the players and fans have or will learn a lesson.

Then Saturday we have a game between the SC Gamecocks and the Clemson Tigers breakout into a fight. Interestingly as I look around the web to find more info on the disruption and the only place I can locate an account of the melee is on foxsports.com. All the descriptions of the game I have found so far make no mention of the 10 plus minute delay as “security, state troopers and other law enforcement officers could break things up.” I am not saying there are not reports out there, but I can’t find them and I am not going to spend anymore time looking. But why leave it out of any report?

Anyway, we obviously have a problem right now that must be addressed. Our nation is at war killing innocent, not so innocent and guilty but not proven guilty, people in Iraq. War is the ultimate most costly and immoral form of violence. Perhaps our international action is affecting our behavior here at home. I don’t know, but I do know we have a problem.

Also as a Black male I find it sad that so many Black males have been acting out in public. There are enough manufactured images created by Hollywood and the music industry depicting people who look like me as violent out of control animals. Here we have several real life instances that help confirm the stereotype. Not to mention irresponsible comments by players trying to downplay their behavior. This does not help parents trying to teach their kids responsibility. The players may not want to be role models, but they are no matter how they feel about it.

Perhaps this publicity will help Artest album sales. I believe the release date is tomorrow, November 23. One thing is for sure, it will not help him get a ring. The question is do you want to be a champion or a Gangsta Rap Star?

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About Michael T. McPhearson

Currently Michael is executive director of Veterans For Peace and co-chair of the Don't Shoot Coalition, A Saint Louis based coalition that formed in the aftermath of Michael Brown's police killing death in Ferguson, MO. From August 2010 to September 2013, Michael worked as the National Coordinator with United For Peace and Justice. He is a former board member of Veterans For Peace and as well as Executive Director from 2005 to 2010. He works closely with the Newark based People’s Organization for Progress and the Saint Louis centered Organization for Black Struggle. Michel also publishes the Mcphearsonreport.org expressing his views on war and peace, politics, human rights, race and other things. Michael also launched Reclaimthedream.org website as an effort to change the discourse and ignite a new conversation about Dr. Martin Luther King’s message and what it means to live in just and peaceful communities.