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Morons + Money = Jail Time

Posted by Bob Swerski on July 17, 2007

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Suspensions in a “Goodell” like way have been handed out to some off the trash of the NBA. Both Mark Jackson and Ron Artest have been given a 7-game suspension for off the court incidents involving a gun in the case Jackson and domestic violence in the case of Artest. This begs the question that why, when you mix players like Artest, Jackson, Pacman Jones, Tank Johnson, or practically anyone from the Bengals with large amounts of cash, you get people “making it rain” or holding a mock shootout of the OK Corral at a local strip club. The better question is, why do you only see things like these in the NFL and the NBA, but in a sport like baseball you have what seems to be far less off the court (field) altercations.

Part of the problem some might say is that race plays a part in the altercations, and this is true, but at the same time MLB is one of the most racially integrated leagues in professional sports. You simply don’t see the amount of people using their fame and money to commit crimes in baseball as you do in the other 2 big major league sports.

The reason I think this is the case is because unlike the NFL and NBA you are grown up from the small age to have role-models. Many kids who played Little League (myself included) had coaches and teammates that were related, or were close friends, with the same ideals which you had. The league was organized and players were held accountable for their actions. I remember a kid getting thrown out of Little League for a year for constantly getting into trouble with the police. This idea of responsibility is ingrained in the psyche of the young players.

The NFL and NBA aren’t able to reach kids at a young age as effectively as that of MLB. Pacman Jones, for instance, wasn’t going to abandon his “boys” from the hood, even though these individuals lead him to nothing but trouble. There is a simple thing in which the NFL and NBA can do to increase the quality of players in their leagues and that is to organize leagues in the inner-city and promote healthy lifestyles among the young people that enjoy playing their respective sports. Instead of sending their players to Africa to help starving people, which Artest is doing now and is a very good deed, send them to the inner-city of places like Chicago, New York, LA, etc. and start up a basketball league for kids to join where they can not only play the game of basketball in an organized environment, but they can learn life lessons, have leaders on and off the court, and learn to take responsibility for their actions. They can either keep watching fights break out in the stands with the crowd, gun battles at bars, drinking and driving at 3:00AM from the club, more jail time, prison sentences, and crime, or they can reach out to the communities which support basketball and football and help the people their mature into good individuals instead of criminals with millions of dollars.

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