ilbert Arenas, a star point guard with the NBA's Washington Wizards, is facing an uncertain future after bringing handguns to work at DC's Verizon Center. NBA Commissioner David Stern has suspended him indefinitely without pay, and some commentators expect the Wizards to void his $111 million contract. Arenas reportedly taunted teammate Javaris Crittenden over a gambling dispute by displaying four of his pistols in front Crittenden's locker. (Witnesses say Crittenden responded by pointing a loaded weapon at Arenas). Arenas has been notably uncontrite in the days since the charges came to light, even making shooting gestures when he took the court on the evening prior to his suspension. Does the embattled, but seemingly unrepentant, hoops star deserve a second chance in the NBA? (Watch an ABC report about Gilbert Arenas' suspension)
He created his own misfortune: "Perhaps I'll eventually feel some sympathy for Gilbert Arenas," says Kelly Dwyer in Yahoo! Sports. "But I don't now." Most people understand that bringing guns to the workplace is a "no-no of the highest order" — especially when you work at a sports arena, with "more than 20,000 people rushing through it on a game night." But apparently not Arenas. Is he being used to set an example? "No doubt." But if you want to be "treated fairly in the face of a transgression...don't smirk in the face of consequence."
"Maybe now Gilbert will understand"
Let's not start moralizing: "Sports are not about morality," says Bethlehem Shoals in Sporting News. Yes, Arenas was "careless about the law" and "showed poor taste" by using guns for "prop comedy." But we've known for years that Arenas is "alternately brilliant and maddening, as a player and teammate," so this recent display of "bad judgment" should come as no surprise. Remember, "we don't watch sports to gain moral instruction."
"Goodness, guns and Gilbert"
No special treatment — he should go to prison: "NBA Commissioner David Stern was right to suspend Arenas for his behavior," says Paul Helmke in the Huffington Post. "But much more needs to be done." If found guilty, Arenas should not just be suspended, but be required to serve "jail time." And "America's athletic community" needs to "use its clout and prestige" to fully address the country's "horrific gun violence problem" by pushing for more effective gun laws. "Perhaps as part of his restitution, Gilbert Arenas...could become part of that...process."
"Gilbert Arenas and gun responsibility"
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Why is American internet so slow?
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- Don't worry: World War III will almost certainly never happen
- What the collapse of the Ming Dynasty can tell us about American decline
- 4 life hacks from ancient philosophers that will make you happier
- The Daily Show explains Hamid Karzai's 'Afghan Hustle'
- 22 TV shows to watch in 2014
- Mitt Romney, 2016 frontrunner*
- Russia's Ukraine invasion is a moral crisis
- The end of academic freedom?
Subscribe to the Week