“If it had been a white player pointing a gun at a black player, there would have been much more of an uproar. It’s almost as if people are saying, ‘Well, we don’t expect anything better from our black athletes.’”
– Rev Al. Sharpton
Al Sharpton said black leaders should send a loud and clear message to African-American athletes: Stop embarrassing us.
Referring to the Gilbert Arenas gun controversy, Sharpton pulled no punches about how the antics of Black professional athletes impact national image of African-Americans.
From the New York Daily News:
The civil rights activist urged NBA commissioner David Stern to come down hard on Arenas, who admitted to stockpiling unloaded weapons in his locker last month. Arenas said Monday that removing the weapons from his locker was a “misguided effort to play a joke on a teammate.” Sharpton, who spoke with Stern by phone Monday and hopes to meet with him later this week, was not in a laughing mood.
“The NBA needs to stand up and send a strong message by dealing with this situation,” Sharpton told the Daily News. He also chided black leadership groups for not speaking out about the “culture of violence being perpetuated in professional sports.” Sharpton cited former Giant Plaxico Burress as an example of professional athletes run amok.
Sharpton believes the reaction over reports that Arenas allegedly drew a gun on teammate Javaris Crittenton on Dec. 21 has been tempered because the players involved are black.
“If it had been a white player pointing a gun at a black player, there would have been much more of an uproar,” he said. “It’s almost as if people are saying, ‘Well, we don’t expect anything better from our black athletes.’”
Sharpton could be onto something. After all a blogger from Forbes.com thinks the NBA is full of thugs.
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