Tuesday, December 2, 2008
What's crackalackin peoples!?
Apparently I'm late with my blog today :-) But hey, better late than never right? I know Keefe will have something to say since he claims he can't begin working until I post my blog...so with that said...let me get to it!
Now...I'm running the risk of sounding like the Giants hater that you all THINK I am, but...your boy...Plaxico Burress. Da hell?
I'm sure you've all heard by now that Plaxico Burress accidentally shot himself in the leg while out at a night club. He turned himself in yesterday to faces charges of illegal gun possession. He could face a minimum, mandatory sentence of 3 years in jail. Here is what New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg had to say about the incident.
My question is - what was Plaxico thinking?
Actually, I have a few questions.
Why was he even allowed in the club with a gun? Why didn't the hospital report it? What role did Antonio Pierce play - did he really try to conceal the weapon? Why not just have bodyguards follow you everywhere instead of carrying a gun? If you insist on carrying a gun, why not register the gun?
Makes no sense.
I mean, I get that athletes are targets. I understand that if you make $35 million dollars a year, someone may try to rob you. I know that athletes can be victims too - they may be big in stature, but they're not supermen. And no matter how big you are, if someone has a gun, then your size doesn't matter. I do feel that they need to be able to protect themselves. Last night on the news, Tiki Barber said that he felt the need to have protection at all times, which is why he hired bodyguards to protect him when he went out. The NFL’s official advice: "In some circumstances, such as for sport or protection, you may legally possess a firearm or other weapon. However, we strongly recommend that you not do so." The league advocates passive behavior when confronted by a criminal. This is what Karl Malone has to say:
That night, Plaxico Burress not only could have really hurt himself, he could have hurt someone else. That's why I don't understand why they allowed him to pass through security with a loaded gun. Just as Jason Williams accidentally shot and killed his limo driver, so could Burress have accidentally killed someone. Why not leave it in the car and have bodyguards escort you in? Is that somehow less manly? Less macho? Is it a "man" thing?
An article I read said well over 50 percent of NFL players are estimated to own guns. The article described an incident where early in the morning on Jan. 21, Corey Fuller, the 5-foot, 10-inch, 210-pound defensive back for the Baltimore Ravens, was confronted by two armed robbers outside his Tallahassee house. One robber chased Fuller into his house where his wife and children were sleeping, but Fuller was able to grab a gun and fire at the attackers, who then ran away.
Greg Anthony, a 6-foot, 176-pound guard for 12 years in the NBA, carried a registered gun during part of his career. He said, "More and more people approach you, and you just never know what somebody is capable of doing...players see carrying as a deterrent."
Well-known coaches, such as Barry Switzer and Bobby Knight, have also carried guns.
Trust me, I do understand that high profile, wealthy athletes are sometimes victims of violent crimes - as was the case with Sean Taylor of the Redskins.
Houston Astros outfielder Luke Scott carries a Glock. His gun, however, is registered. Protect yourself - just be smart about it.
With high profile basketball players including Allen Iverson, Charles Barkley and Scottie Pippen having been arrested for illegal gun possession – as well as football players such as Alonzo Spellman and Damien Robinson – the issue of professional athletes and guns is often in the news, and the case with Plaxico Burress brings the topic back to the forefront.
The NFL has gone so far as to conduct annual seminars for their athletes on firearms, stressing the risks to children of guns and the risks of having a gun in a car. The teams have forbidden players from having guns with them at stadiums or while traveling on League-related business, but this leaves players who obey the rules as sitting ducks before or after games.
Indeed, the players who violate the rules are probably doing their teammates a favor because they at least create some uncertainty in criminals’ minds about whether a player can protect himself. Yet, the league’s sanctions make players reluctant to talk about defensive gun uses.
It'll be interesting to see how the Giants handle Plaxico Burress. He isn't due back in court until March to address the criminal charges, so maybe the league won't make any real decisions about him until then. I doubt he'll be playing any time soon.
(doubt that helps the Eagles any this weekend) :-)
It's a sad situation. I'm sure he meant no harm. But professional athletes have to be smarter than that. They can't simply break the law and think they'll get away with it. Just like they're not supermen against a criminal with a gun, they're also not supermen immune to the law. Just ask Michael Vick.