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Luke Scott's Gilbert Arenas moment

Gilbert Arenas didn't become a pariah solely for bringing handguns into an NBA locker room. I get that. He violated D.C. gun laws, leading to severe legal problems. And he violated the NBA's collective bargaining agreement, which expressly forbids players from bringing guns onto NBA property.

He was going to have to pay for these violations, regardless of whether he had read up on the D.C. code. Still and all, I'd argue that he didn't become a national punching bag for flaunting D.C. gun laws, nor for disobeying David Stern's rules. The basic issue became a lot simpler than that: "Athlete Brings Gun Into Locker Room!" to put it succinctly.

So then comes the news, via the Baltimore Sun, that Orioles DH Luke Scott has brought guns into MLB clubhouses. Crazy, right?

"I've carried a gun for 10 years. I've carried them in the locker room, and nobody really knows about it. I know how to handle myself, and I stow it away where nobody really knows about it."

Now, did Scott use the weapons as part of a practical joke during an argument with a teammate? Was he part of a story so messy and entangled that someone wound up chucking a weapon across the room? Does he have a history of inappropriate jokes, including sneaker defecation? No, no and no. But he brought a weapon into that sacred and secure athletic safe haven we heard so much about throughout Gil's Gunz coverage, and so these are some folks I'd be curious to hear from in the coming days.

Jay Mariotti: "Anyone who feels sorry for Arenas should consider the potential horror of toting guns in a locker-room area where several men dress every day inside a downtown arena where 20,000 people -- including families with kids -- might watch the Wizards....Anyone else who brings firearms to work -- you, me, your neighbor -- is fired and marred for life. Arenas and Crittenton deserve the same treatment, especially when bringing guns to an NBA arena violates a clause in the standard player's contract via the collective bargaining agreement."

Phil Taylor: "Whatever the truth, it's hard to shake the image of the Wizards' locker room as a setting in some violent video game--handguns within reach, ammo at the ready, no one knowing who's armed and dangerous. The public can only wonder, Who are these guys? Is that what their world is really like? And if so, why would anyone spend a dime to watch their games or buy their jerseys?"

Steve Kelley: "I believe incidents like this are major reasons Seattle no longer has an NBA team....If players feel so unsafe they believe they need to own guns, then the league should reassess its security policy. Every player, even those who don't own guns, should be made to enroll in a gun safety class. And players should be made to disclose to the league every registered gun they own."

Mitch Lawrence: "Arenas has given Stern the kind of opening he needs to trash his current gun policy and make it a fireable offense if any player is caught with a weapon. No exceptions. If Stern were to implement 'the Arenas Rule' players might think twice about owning a gun....Even if Arenas never pulled a trigger here, as Stephen Jackson once did with the Pacers, this incident is the worst, by far. Because it happened in an NBA arena."

Michael K. Ozanian: "Many NBA players carry guns and the league is full of thugs. But most fans and sponsors don't care, and for those that do care the NBA has done a wonderful job keeping its dirty laundry out of the press."

Terence Moore: "Here's a scary thought: Maybe Arenas really doesn't get it. Maybe he doesn't realize the brutal message he is sending to the youth that he claims he cherishes so much. More specifically, maybe he joins a slew of other modern NBA players who don't understand that their constitutional right to become knuckleheads not only affects themselves and their teams, but the overall state of the league."

Al Sharpton: "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.' "

Peter Vecsey: "If for some indeterminate reason, Arenas doesn't wind up doing hard time for bringing three guns to the work place, thereby violating District of Columbia laws, the Collective Bargaining Agreement and common sense, this wangster still must be ejected from David Stern's game...permanently."

Wonder how long I'll have to wait. Probably should hear from them all pretty soon.

(MLB's weapons policy was developed in response to the Plaxico Burress case last summer, but only became a big topic when signs announcing the Weapon-Free Workplace Policy showed up this spring.)

By Dan Steinberg  |  February 28, 2010; 11:12 AM ET
Categories:  Orioles , Wizards  
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Comments

Way to call out the hypocrites Dan.

I'm just wondering about the double standard of when it's OK to pantomime. To quote Mariotti, it's not OK for Gilbert Arenas to "playfully point his index fingers at his laughing teammates as if he was brandishing guns." An incident that was not meant for the public to see but was unfortunately (for Gil) caught on camera. If there wasn't photographic evidence, he might not have been suspended when he was.

But NBC and the Olympic figure skating community have no problem with Kim Yu-na ending her short program with her fingers pointed at the crowd like she was brandishing a gun. A display that was part of her perfomance and rewarded with grades of artistic merit and ultimately a gold medal and a video clip on NBC promoting her action. Where's the (faux) outrage from all the columnists and talking heads about this? I guess they can't get worked up about the exact same display because Kim wasn't being investigated for gun possesion.

Thx,

Jay!

Posted by: jayrockers | February 28, 2010 1:36 PM | Report abuse

What exactly is Al Sharpton saying? He wants to defend black athletes but also say the media should have been harder on Gilbert? "There would have been much more of an uproar". He's joking right? This was a huge story for weeks. This guy should not have a platform to speak publicly.

Posted by: mja712 | February 28, 2010 1:49 PM | Report abuse

Great post. I'm not a big fan of guns, but the moral outrage directed towards Arenas has been way over the top.

Posted by: delrayAlex | February 28, 2010 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Vecsey said wangster!!! Wanksta would have been better. But whatever

Posted by: makplan20002 | February 28, 2010 2:45 PM | Report abuse

jayrockers, are you serious? you do realize that the gilbert arenas "playfully pointing his index fingers at his laughing teammates as if he was brandishing guns incident" occurred in the middle of the wachovia center in front of 11,000 people, don't you? and you're absolutely right, the reason why there's no outrage over Kim Yu-na is because she's not being investigated for gun possession. myself and others would consider that to be common sense.

delrayalex, given the fact that arenas pled guilty to a felony, i'm not sure that the outrage directed towards him is over the top or based on morality.

Posted by: briffy | February 28, 2010 5:23 PM | Report abuse

Why hasn't anyone called Luke Scott a thug?

Posted by: mack1 | February 28, 2010 6:11 PM | Report abuse

I couldn't click the links since I'd hate to give many of those people hits. That's a nice list of several people I don't like.

Posted by: sitruc | February 28, 2010 7:38 PM | Report abuse

Hey, remember when Sid the Kid got the winning goal to win gold in the Olympics?
As Dan would say........yeah.

Posted by: popopo | February 28, 2010 8:16 PM | Report abuse

Who the hell is Luke Scott???

Posted by: boricuabopper | February 28, 2010 11:21 PM | Report abuse

My big question after reading:

How would the Gilbert Gunz case have been treated differently if he had a Luke-Scott like mullet?

Posted by: colerwilson | March 1, 2010 8:44 AM | Report abuse

There ain't no Olympic hockey tournament and there never was!

Also, there ain't no monorail here and there never was!

Posted by: EdTheRed | March 1, 2010 9:49 AM | Report abuse

Briffy --- Maybe try for some nuanced thinking before trying to call people out. I think the comment:

"delrayalex, given the fact that arenas pled guilty to a felony, i'm not sure that the outrage directed towards him is over the top or based on morality."

... is crazy and silly.

We aren't simple computers here, man. Just because the act is called a "felony" does not eliminate any room for opinion or discretion. Yes, it's a felony. And yes, people are also being INCREDIBLY over the top and moralistic simpletons about it. The fact that it's a "felony" means nothing. The fact that all of these folks are more worked up about three unloaded guns sitting on a bench next to a note than they do about Stephen Jackson shooting a gun in public or any number of atheletes being arrested for domestic violence is hypocritical and lame. Who cares that the DC government happens to call it a "felony"? MD and VA don't call it a "felony," so does that mean Gil would be a saint if he did the same acts in MD or VA? It's clearly moralistic, simplistic, antagonistic posturing, dude. Don't get so confused just because the word "felony" is involved.

There is something called nuance, dude. Check it out.


Posted by: Urnesto | March 1, 2010 1:10 PM | Report abuse

Urnesto,

If nuance was important here, we wouldn't be comparing Luke Scott to Gilbert Arenas at all.

The moralizing about Arenas is over the top but the two situations are worlds apart, beginning with the fact that Scott kept his weapon concealed and safely put away.

Posted by: dempseysarmy | March 1, 2010 1:47 PM | Report abuse

I'm an Orioles fan and a Wizards fan. So, I have empathy for Luke Scott and for Gilbert Arenas. I also understand that there is a difference between the NBA's collective bargaining agreement and MLB's bargaining agreement.

But for one professional athlete [Luke Scott]to say "I've carried a gun for 10 years. I've carried them in the locker room, and nobody really knows about it. I know how to handle myself, and I stow it away where nobody really knows about it." AND have nary an eyebrow raise.

Contrast that with another professional athlete [Gilbert Arenas] who openly displayed his unloaded guns, and recieved one of the harshest penalties ever handed down in the history of the NBA. Gilbert was, and should have been punished [more for his stupidity than for any actual physical crime]. At the very least, shouldn't Luke Scott receive some form of rebuke from the commissioner's office. The fact that 'nobody knew about his guns' shouldn't have any bearing on the situation. Doesn't the presence of his guns in the locker room also have the potential to cause harm to the locker room occupants?

Anybody else wonder why there's such a disparity?

Posted by: musicmanjr | March 1, 2010 3:47 PM | Report abuse

The two can not be compared...

Luke Scott- legally owns the gun, has a permit, kept it locked up and secured, has been trained to handle it, and uses it in a responsible manner.

Gilbert Arenas- used the gun in a playful manner, joking around with it, showing the world he had it, wasn't acting mature.

If you see two cars 'speeding' ..one going 5 mph over the speed limit, the other going 20 mph driving recklessly, who would call out more? BOTH are speeding...but I guarantee the crazy guy goin 20 above the limit will be called out

Case closed

Posted by: legion1 | March 2, 2010 9:41 AM | Report abuse

It doesn't matter how anyone attempts to spin this, the bottom line is this: a gun is a gun, regardless of who is holding it.

This reeks of race-influenced sympathy for Luke. It sounds like people are trying to spin it as, "he's a responsible gun owner." So what if he goes to the gun range? So what if it's in his name? So what if it's in a case? Is he in any danger of being robbed in the locker room? He needs a gun in the locker room about as much as Arenas does.

Personally, I'm more worried about the redneck Christian hillbilly from Longwood, FL with his loaded weapon than I am a shoe-crapper with no ammo anywhere.

There should be just as much "moral outrage" for Luke as their is for Gilbert. But there won't be. There will be a bunch of Luke Scott apologists. The question is why. Can't wait to hear the far-right militiamen and the NRA scream about it being apples & oranges when it's apples & apples in actuality.

Posted by: KellRawLive | March 2, 2010 2:17 PM | Report abuse

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