First of the month rant — February: Arenas practicing spin control or gun control?

Posted: 02/02/2010 in basketball, first of the month rant
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

I accidentally came across a guest column that Gilbert Arenas wrote for the Tuesday edition of the Washington Post and I have mixed feelings over what I read.

Since Arenas expresses that he’s aware some people won’t forgive him for violating Washington D.C. gun laws, I’m sure the offensive minded Washington Wizards guard won’t take offense that I’m not immediately ready to accept that he’s sincere about his newly expressed stance against firearms.

That someone his age (he recently turned 28) would find it OK to bring guns into his workplace — especially over something silly as a card game dispute with teammate Javaris Crittenton — is scary. That he joked about it on his Twitter account and then made light of the situation by using his fingers to point as guns in pregame introductions at a time he knew NBA commissioner David Stern was considering discipline of him is reprehensible conduct. (Picture can be found here —

 The problem is that Arenas is a professional athlete so you have to dissect everything he writes in the opinion piece and remember that he just got suspended for the season by the NBA.

So spin control just may be what Arenas is after as opposed to gun control.

I’m sure Gilbert does feel bad about what happened. A lot of people make mistakes and often it’s not until after one faces the consequences that the whole situation smacks them in the face. When you are an All-Star basketball player in the midst of a six-year, $111 million contract, you feel you are above being brought down to earth by doing something as stupid as bringing guns into your workplace.

Throw in a March sentencing hearing and I think Arenas is now taking the matter seriously. That the Wizards might attempt to void his contract is clearly a concern to him.

You would have thought pro athletes would have gotten the message loudly and VERY LOUDLY after New York Giants receiver Plaxico Burress was thrown in jail for violating New York’s gun laws. Burress caught the winning touchdown pass in the Giants’ epic upset of the supposedly unbeatable New England Patriots in the Super Bowl just 24 months ago but I’m guessing he noticed the 2009 NFL season went on fine without him being in uniform.

Arenas was a terrific player for the Wizards from 2004-07 before suffering a major knee injury and seemed to have gotten the impression that he was above scrutiny. But Washington may decide it would be much better off to rid itself of a controversial figure who has now left a huge black mark on the franchise.

Remember, the late owner of the franchise, Abe Pollin, changed the name of the team from Bullets to Wizards for a very good reason. And now Arenas has made a mockery of that.

In his opinion piece, Arenas says letting down kids is his biggest regret of the whole situation.

“Professional athletes have a duty to act responsibly and to understand the influence we have on all those kids who look up to us,” Arenas writes. “I failed to live up to that responsibility when I broke the law and set such a bad example. Washington’s children, parents and fans all deserve better from me, especially after all the kindness they’ve shown me over the years.”

Let’s hope Arenas means what he writes and isn’t just practicing spin control. I personally have nothing against Gilbert Arenas (never met him) so I’m done pontificating about it.

Here’s a link to what Arenas wrote and you can be the judge on whether he’s sincere about gun control or if he’s more worried about spin control.


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