Stephen A. Smith, who is known for his opinion and little rants, did a piece recently on this Gilbert Arenas foolishness and the Black community. Flip the script to check it out…
But the mess that Arenas has created is not going away. Nor are the questions destined to follow about professional athletes, specifically those from the African-American Community — and how the criminal element has virtually hijacked the culture of Black America.As much as I’ve tried to disagree with my friend and noted contemporary, Jason Whitlock, who’s repeatedly and vociferously lamented the state of affairs within the Black Community — specifically as it pertains to the negative parts of Hip Hop and its influence on Black culture — it simply cannot be denied any longer.
Genocide is taking place in the Black Community, and this is a form of it.
For every foolish act like Plaxico Burress, Ron Artest or Arenas, there’s a Grant Hill, Shane Battier or LeBron James — guys who will be employing Black athletes one day, either in an executive or ownership capacity. But their behavior is not what is influencing Black America’s youth, specifically its cultural ambience. It’s the culture of tattoos (jailhouse or otherwise) enjoying increased prevalence and notoriety. This hyper-masculinity syndrome. This alpha-male environment that stimulates the worst in an educated individual like Crittenton (Georgia Tech), preventing a sensible young man raised by both of his parents from walking away from a crazy incident that could cost him millions in potential earnings. Even worse, it’s jeopardized the career of Arenas and his six-year, $111 million contract, plus an additional $50 million deal with Adidas allegedly over a gambling debt that amounted to less than $500.
“It’s truly sickening,” one African-American front-office official told me Sunday afternoon. “There’s just no excuse for this. This is a $4 billion industry guys are trying to turn into a $2 billion industry. There’s just a flagrant lack of appreciation for the position they’re in … mainly because of someone wanting to look more like a man, not be punked, acting literally like prisoners locked in a prison yard with one another. It’s utterly ridiculous.
“I don’t know how anyone would feel about this, because some folks truly believe we won’t have these problems if the league reduced the maximum years of guaranteed deals down to just three years. I’ll go a step further …
“Lock the damn players out. Shut the league down for a year and see what happens when these guys are not cutting these checks. I bet you the few who don’t act right will straighten up then.”
Sadly, we can only suspect there’s truth to that argument. The argument that can no longer be made, however, is that actions like the one Arenas committed are just that of the few. Not because it’s untrue, but because few people care. Mainstream media didn’t spend the weekend bantering about Arenas. They used Arenas to bloviate about “why do these athletes carry guns?”
He goes in even more about David Sterns, NBA Commissioner and the Black Community:
This is a battle the league has fought for years. One that Commissioner David Stern has fought so brilliantly for nearly 27 years that he should be an icon in the Black Community. Except Stern won’t be, of course, because of the punishment he’ll predictably bring down upon Arenas once the Wizards’ troubled star receives due process — though it’s appropriate for Stern to step in. Stern will be the villain, then. Not Arenas. Definitely not in the eyes of Black America. The thing is, the time has come for the Black Community to join Stern in his fight against such utter nonsense.
Arenas is a nice man. He’s not a bad guy. We should pray for him and wish him well. But that’s after he is suspended for a year without pay and the legal system gets through dealing with him. Unless, of course, we want Rush Limbaugh’s comments about the NFL resembling “The Bloods and the Crips … without any weapons” to allude to another league dominated by young Black men!