Friday Question of the Day – What Should Happen to Gilbert Arenas?

You are welcome your gun is not

As most have surely heard by now Washington WIzard’s star Gilbert Arenas has been suspended indefinitely by the NBA. ESPN reports:

“Arenas is under investigation by federal and local authorities after admittedly bringing guns into the Wizards’ locker room. The Wizards’ troubles may not end there. The Washington Post reported Wednesday that according to firsthand accounts, teammate Javaris Crittenton, whose disagreement with Arenas reportedly fueled the incident, loaded and cocked his own gun in response to Arenas. In text messages, Crittenton called that account “false,” according to the report.”

I was a party where guy says, I can’t even bring a candy bar into the Verizon Center, how the hell did he get a gun in? Obviously he was kidding but this really seems to be beyond defense. What do you think the punishment should be if he just brought the gun to the locker room but didn’t brandish it? What should the punishment be if he did brandish it? Do you think he will prosecuted and face jail time? Are you bothered by how Arenas seems to be making light of the situation?

34 Comment

  • Gilbert should have taken some advice from the kids in this city and he’d be off scot free.

    No really, seriously, this kind of lame behavior deserves harsh response. What a horrible example to set. And such a real reflection of the ingrained culture of guns and violence that persists in certain corridors of our community. Act tough and show your strength by displaying or using firearms. Even teens doing it (at least last year). What a waste. What the NBA did was a good first start.

  • Am I the only person here who just can’t get worked up about an over-privileged baller bringing unloaded guns into a private locker room?

    He broke the law and should be prosecuted if the US attorney thinks its appropriate, but it’s not like he’s this guy:

  • I am sorry I don’t know the details as to whether the gun was properly licensed, but if there’s any question then I think the gun should be seized and he should be arrested for threatening with a lethal weapon.

    What fools pay for tickets to support a $111 million moron like Arenas? Doesn’t this behavior make you want to turn off your TV sports?

  • idiotic all around. why was arenas suspended if the other guy had the gun?

  • If any of us brought a gun (and he has admitted to bringing 4) to our place of work and laid them out on our desks as a “joke”, the police would have been called and we would have also been immediately fired.

    What is even worse in his case is he has been in trouble before with the law for gun possession. His lack of concern was clear by his Twitter updates and miming shooting his team mates during a huddle at his last game.

    Throw the book at him and make him an example! The Wizards should also negate his contract due to criminal conduct.

  • It’s shocking that somebody whose livelihood depends on being athletic and powerful decides that he should use a gun. He seems like the prime example of somebody who could solve their quarrel with a good old fashioned fist fight.

    Whatever happened to those days? Be a man and fight like a man!

    It’s like seeing Mike Tyson pull out a revolver.

  • Arenas used poor judgement for sure by “teasing” he would use his gun on another millionaire over a gambling debt. But a guy who has signed a contract for $100M loses his ghetto cred so leave that stupid life behind once and for all and get a lawyer or something! That poor judgement will cost the millionaire deeply, but should not cost him his job or jail time.

    Owning guns is a weapons race supported irresponsibly by the NRA. Gun manufacturers could care less that the guns they can not sell mysteriously end up on the black market here in this country and other “undeveloped” countries such as ours. But again, a man making $100M should know the difference between a manufactured weapons race and reality.

  • “If any of us brought a gun (and he has admitted to bringing 4) to our place of work and laid them out on our desks as a “joke”, the police would have been called and we would have also been immediately fired.”

    totally agree. he should be fired – and go to jail if he broke DC’s gun laws (which, knowing how strict they are, I can’t imagine he didn’t).

    period. end of discussion. I so sick of celebrities – and pro athletes in particular – getting special treatment. Vick should stil in jail too.

  • i’ll miss gil. he’s overpaid and washed up but still a joy. also a moron who deserves to be fired. now crittendon i would not miss. at all. and i am absolutely stymied why nothing seems to be happening to him. if a couple of eyewitnesses saw him pull a gun, and he has hidden it from the police, the NBA and the police should be coming down on him like a ton of bricks. gunplay = not funny, y’all

  • Trade him!

  • He was Huggy Lowdown’s Bamma of the Week Week Week. Not for just being stupid, but also because his name is GILBERT.

  • He has to go to jail. I’m so sick of people debating gun regulations in DC when, in fact, the punishments for violating the so-called strictest gun law in the nation are laughable. If this were NYC, Arenas would be looking at something in the order of three years, and the best deal on the table would include 364 days behind bars. If this city’s laws are going to be anything other than a sad, bad joke, he has to serve some time.

  • I don’t get worked up when professional athletes do bad things because the world needs bad examples. In fact, bad examples are as if not more useful than good examples. In this case Arenas provided an example of 3 things a person with a $111 million NBA contract should not do:
    1) bring guns into a jurisdiction in which you have no legal right to possess them;
    2) bring said guns into the locker room of your NBA team; and
    3) when transgressions 1) and 2) are discovered, make like neither you nor the NBA think it’s that big of a deal.
    If you read the statement that NBA Commissioner Stern issued when he announced Arenas’ indefinite suspension, it’s clear that Stern was willing to let the criminal justice process play out for awhile before taking any action. But then Arenas goes to Philadelphia and mugs it up before the game, getting filmed and photographed pointing fake finger pistols (think Tina Fey as Sarah Palin) at his teammates while grinning ear to ear. That was the last straw for Stern.
    I suspect that Arenas is done for this season, and certainly done for the Wizards (who can put the remaining $80 million of his contract to much better use – lucky break for them). I bet that he’ll get better treatment from the criminal justice system – misdemeanor possession charge, community service, fine, etc.

  • For some reason I can’t treat Arenas as a civilian. I don’t know why. It would be like someone saying that Axl Rose brought a gun backstage. for some reason I can’t get worked up over this but I don’t know why.

  • @ Marcus:
    “the world needs bad examples”
    unfortunately, kids growing up in gun/crime infested neighborhoods (and increasing, even in ‘good’ neighborhoods) don’t look at guys like Arenas as a “bad” example to be learned from. They look at him as a role model. And when he gets off with an easily affordable (for him) fine and a few weeks off, they look at him and say, “I wanna be a big man just like Gil with a glock and $111M in my pocket!”

    Idiocracy, people!

    • @TaylorStreetMan:
      I think that the negative effects of bad behavior by these so-called “role models” is greatly overstated. Kids growing up in impoverished neighborhoods know that these multi-millionaire rappers and athletes have virtually no connection to them and the lives they are living on a daily basis. A number of these rich fools engage in all kinds of dumb behavior in a futile effort to “keep it real.” But the people struggling in poor communities know that it’s a bunch of nonsense posing.
      Arenas is a great example. A real gangster is not going to pull out an unloaded gun and stick it on someone’s chair with a post it note. If he tried that nonsense on the streets, he’d be dead.
      You think some rapper or baller who goes to jail is going to get street cred? Not when he’s doing his time in isolation, to prevent him from being roughed up by any other inmates, and when he gets out of jail will still have more money (or the means to make more money) in one year than the average person will make in a lifetime.
      If you go into poor minority communities and talk to the people about how they view this kind of behavior, you’ll find that most people (young and old) think that these guys are idiots for wasting the incredible opportunities they have been given.

    • The real world effect of the bad acts these “role models” commit is greatly overstated. The kids who live in gun/crime infested communities know that these multi-millionaire rappers and athletes, despite all of their claims to be “keeping it real”, have little if no connection to their neighborhoods and the lives they live every day. Arenas is a great example. A real gangster does not put a post-it note on an unloaded gun to send someone a message. If Arenas tried that nonsense on the street, he would be dead.
      If you actually talk to the people who live in these communities, you’d find that most (young and old) think that the athletes and entertainers who do these stupid things are idiots for throwing away the great opportunities they have been given. They are keeping it real alright – real stupid.

  • The leagues (and the record labels, and the studios) have an opportunity to effect social change, but they consistently decline to take advantage. They could demonstrate that even heroes’ lives are ruined by thug behavior.

    I can say whether or not the guy deserves jail time, not being a lawyer, but the NBA and the Wizards could certainly decline to ever employ the jackass again. And they should.

  • He’s simply a thug who plays basketball very well. Like the thugs who happen to rap or play football very well.
    Dime a dozen, sadly.

  • Which offense is worse — Arenas’ or Delonte West’s? West had loaded pistols and shotgun in a guitar case (a la El Mariachi) during a traffic stop in PG County for speeding on his ATV.

    FTR – West is a DC area native.

  • The NRA is behind Gilbert Arenas bringing guns into a locker room? Please.

    The problem is a prison culture creeping into the larger black community. It’s something that ought to finally be addressed honestly. These guns weren’t illegal. You think Arenas is buying guns on the so-called \black market\? Wow.

    Our inability to articulate that this problem is cultural out of a fear of being labelled racist has led to this belief that the problem is a political one. Everyone ought to wake up and force urban families to deal with it.

    We need a new MLK, not more politics and paperwork.

    • @Anon at 10:55 – You are missing the point. Black market guns (for which most of the DC thugs own) fuel the gun race that rich people like Arenas feel the need to buy guns legally for protection. And black market guns also fuel the gun race for DC thugs to feel the need that they too need an illegal gun. Gun manufactures give tons of money to the NRA and the NRA lobbys on their behalf to keep this current system in place as it is very profitable.

      I will not argue with your points about the failed sense of responsibility that is prevelant in urban culture. The way these kids are raised (or not raised), there is no way they should have access to guns as they are more likely to shoot each other than go off in the woods and shoot cans as I did when I was young with my friends. But it still does not excuse the NRA’s role in the mess we are in with guns on our streets, and letting them off the hook is as irresponsible as the political system that allows it in the name of CASH.

  • Does anyone actually think he’ll end up in the slammer? Not a chance. He’s a professional athlete.

  • 6 months – sentence (30 days actually in Jail), probation 3 years + biggest fine the law allows

    Negated contract 2 year NBA ban (this year and next). He can still earn a living playing overseas.

    Gilbert seems to be a ‘nice’ guy, but this is his second gun offense. Contrary to other posting I am not aware of thuggish behavior. You ask ‘why the guns?’ The public knows he makes a 100 million dollars – other NBA / NFL players have been the target of home invasions. Advice to Gilbert – just be quiet.

  • Gilbert shouldn’t be treated any different than every other gun thug in DC, i.e. he should get a slap on the wrist.

    Thanks to the likes of Phil Mendelsohn DC remains a dangerous city filled with gun criminals who laugh and joke about their crimes.

    Thanks Phil.

  • Charge him with every crime he committed and treat him as a normal person in the justice system (which likely means probation and community service without jail time.) The Wizards should void his contract, and the NBA should suspend him until his jail time (if any) and probation periods are complete or through this season, whichever is longer.

    Crittendon apparently took it to the next level by loading the chamber of his gun and pointing it at people. If this is true, then he should be permanently banned from the NBA. Lifetime ban. His behavior was inexcusable and dangerous to the public and other bystanders not involved in the locker room “joking.”

    Finally, every Wizard player who publicly states that Arenas “didn’t do anything bad”, as Deshawn Stevenson did in yesterday’s Post, should also be punished by the team or the NBA with a fine (which can go to help aid victims of gun violence) and mandatory counseling sessions where he can learn that breaking guns laws is bad.

  • both of these guys are guilty of extremely poor judgement – I mean its not as if anyone was throwing snowballs at their cars or anything

    maybe it’s time to rename the team back to the Bullets

  • Crittendon and Arenas should have an NBA-sanctioned duel to begin what they started and settle the disagreement. The loser dies, the winner goes to jail!

  • Apparently all this was so that he could continue to needle a guy who’s barely on the team, and who had already been strongly signalling that he’d been pushed too far. Arenas is no thug but this is not the leadership you want from your $110 million guy.

    The NBA is terrified of gun violence actually arriving inside its venues. Until last week I might have considered them a little silly. This was massive stupidity that could have led to real tragedy.

    If I was the Wizards I’d both off them off the team ASAP. If I was the NBA I would want both of them out of the league for a long time — Crittenton for life. Maybe Arenas too.

    But I wouldn’t send Gilbert to jail.

  • I agree with yatrakarna. Unfortunate as it is, because I think Arenas in reacting in large part to other stressors in his life, he needs to be reprimanded. I also think that in addition to the reprimand from the NBA, he should also have to do mandatory counseling and community service. I do not think that Arenas should go to jail.

    It’s quite easy to suggest throwing people into jail, but the reality is that jails are far too overcrowded – and overwhelmingly with men of color and men from low-income backgrounds. This is old ground – but it seems worth repeating here because of the seeming lack of appreciation, for the fact that 1 in 4 Black men regardless of economic status, is somehow involved in the justice system. That’s not just because of so-called \urban culture,\ that’s part of a system that punishes and incacerates people of color at a rate that studies have repeatedly shown, reflects bias.

    In this situation, Arenas is in the wrong, predatory justice practices aside. And undoubtedly, his cavalier attitude, not only raises eyebrows, but suggests that he truly doesn’t understand that he’s set a horrible model.

    That said, I’m a little disconcerted by the responses here. Responses like, this is what urban culture is, or black culture glorifies guns. I have to say, I find those comments (watzat: And such a real reflection of the ingrained culture of guns and violence that persists in certain corridors of our community.)problematic. And frankly, I think it’s vieled (thinly) racism and classism. As are the references to \thugs.\

    The word thug is so closely associated with urban black youth, that its hard to disentable it. And it is a derogatory word. When you call Arenas, who donated $100 to DC public schools for every point he earned, attended college, and is in fact a multi-millionaire (albeit with many many faults),a thug just like all the others, (TaylorStreetMan: He’s simply a thug who plays basketball very well. Like the thugs who happen to rap or play football very well.Dime a dozen, sadly.)
    it creates a situation in which, essentially thugs are being equated with blackness and black men (a broad generalization, I’d say).

    Whose a dime a dozen exactly, prominent Black men, playing the capitalist system, by selling surburban white America a fantasy of blackness? NBA owners who make millions off of Black men who play the sport and make it exciting and dangerous with their antics?

    Again, it doesn’t excuse Arenas’ behavior. Not at all. But I would love it if there could be thoughtful conversations, about an invididuals’ actions, without resorting to \the way these kids are raised,\or \forcing urban families to deal with it,\ or claiming that the fear of being called \racist\ keeps us from properly naming and finding solutions.

    Well, on that one, I’m in agreement. Racism, and pervasive racist and classist ideas, helped create the systems of poverty, disenfranchisement, and lack of access to education that leads to many of the \urban\ issues we witness.

    I don’t know what Arenas’ excuse was, but I’m not betting on “urban” or “black” culture. I would be interested in how hyper-masculinity and ideas of manhood, have influenced his behavior and the responses to it. Bottom line, he screwed up, and their are consequences, rightly so, for his actions.

    Let the denials ensue…

  • Let’s get Gilbert in jail and he will return to the WNBA as Gale. He is a very good runner, maybe he can play \Tight End\ when he returns from his stint in Jail. Or he can play on the center on the jail football team. Bend over Gale \hut\ \hut’ and touch down.

    • LOL prison rape.

      Because rape is funny. And it’s even funnier if it happens to people in our custody.

      God Bless America, but our prisons are something out of a third-world nightmare. And we’re OK with that. Because hey, it’s not like prisoners ever come back and live in our communities after their traumatic dehumanization at our hands.

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