NBA, NFL Go Anti-Gun

NBA, NFL Go Anti-Gun

This is a discussion on NBA, NFL Go Anti-Gun within the The Second Amendment & Gun Legislation Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; Before you give that $140 to the NFL or NBA by buying players memorabilia , mementos, souvenirs. You should know Reason Magazine - NBA, NFL ...

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  1. #1
    Ex Member Array ibez's Avatar
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    Thumbs down NBA, NFL Go Anti-Gun

    Before you give that $140 to the NFL or NBA by buying players memorabilia , mementos, souvenirs.
    You should know

    Reason Magazine - NBA, NFL Go Anti-Gun

    NBA, NFL Go Anti-Gun

    But are they protecting their athletes, or protecting an image?

    Chris Sprow | January 8, 2008

    Last year, Washington Redskins safety Sean Taylor got out of bed upon hearing intruders entering his home. The house was situated in a wealthy, gated community on the outskirts of Miami. It was the middle of the night. To protect himself, his girlfriend, and their young child, Taylor grabbed a machete he kept nearby and crept to his bedroom door.

    So Taylor, in fear, and concerned for the safety of his family, armed himself with a large knife used to hack away at jungle foliage. The intruder shot and killed him.

    Many have asked why Taylor felt it necessary to have a machete nearby, but it's probably worth asking (as his friends and peers in professional sports certainly are), "What if it had been a gun?" Certainly, the outcome may have been different.

    Unfortunately, officials in the NFL and the NBA increasingly take a paternalistic attitude toward their athletes. For years , the NFL and the NBA have attempted to distance players from firearms. Some would argue these policies are aimed at a culture that celebrates the criminal use of violent weapons, but the effect is pretty clear: The leagues would rather their players put themselves at risk than protect themselves with guns.

    The NFL asks not just that players avoid guns in general, but that they avoid having them even at home. Paul Tagliabue instituted an official league gun policy back in 1994 that discouraged even legally obtained weapons. "Any weapon, particularly a firearm, is dangerous," the policy states, "especially so when it is in a vehicle or within reach of children and others not properly trained in its use."

    Roger Goodell, who replaced Tagliabue in the NFL commissioner's office just last year, has already dished out gun-related penalties.When former Chicago Bears tackle Tank Johnson was cited for illegal firearm possession at his suburban Chicago home last year, Goodell didn't wait for the criminal justice system to determine Johnson's guilt. Goodell opted to ban Johnson from the league for half a season. The punishment was in line with an updated league conduct policy that states, "It is not enough to simply avoid being found guilty of a crime. Instead, as an employee of the NFL or a member club, you are held to a high standard and expected to conduct yourself in a way that is responsible, (and) promotes the values upon which the league is based…."

    Johnson, by the standards of the law of the state of Illinois, served only 30 days in jail. This for his third gun-related offense. By NFL standards, he served the equivalent of a half a year.

    The NBA takes a similarly hard line. Commissioner David Stern, the short, white, New York native who joined the league's legal department in the 70’s and has been commissioner since 1984, told media in a pre-season conference call, "It's a pretty, I think, widely accepted statistic that if you carry a gun, your chances of being shot by one increase dramatically. We think this is an alarming subject. Although you'll read players saying how they feel safer with guns, in fact those guns actually make them less safe. . . ."

    Stern is wrong, though well-versed in anti-gun rhetoric. Washington, D.C., home to Sean Taylor's Redskins, for example, is currently facing a legal challenge to its virtual ban on handguns. For decades the city has had one of the toughest gun-control policies in the country. It has also consistently had one of the highest murder rates.

    Pro athletes are targets. They are young, wealthy, famous, and many opt not to abandon the communities where they grew up. They face a different threat and a different reality than halls traversed by the likes of Stern and Goodell. Last summer in Chicago, two high-profile NBA players were robbed at gunpoint in their own homes. Antoine Walker was confronted in his garage, bound with duct tape, and robbed of thousands of dollars in cash and jewelry, as well as his Mercedes. This was in his multi-million dollar Gold Coast home, located in a wealthy, downtown Chicago neighborhood. Weeks later, Eddy Curry was robbed in similar manner at his palatial estate in Burr Ridge, a suburb outside the city.

    Police later determined both players had been targetted because of their status as professional athletes. Locally, the Chicago Bulls were forced to issue a statement, warning their own players to take new measures to insure their own security.

    Why are they not already?

    "Professional athletes, most of us came from the streets," Ben Wallace recently told ESPN.com, responding to the Walker and Curry incidents and Taylor's murder. "We feel like we know the streets and can pretty much protect ourselves. But now we're in a position where we're being targeted, and the stakes are just too high."

    Two weeks ago Indiana point guard Jamal Tinsley had his car peppered with bullets at a local night club after a confrontation. Tinsley hasn’t been an Eagle Scout, and he should probably be more aware of the kind of element his celebrity attracts. But he should also be allowed to defend himself. Also late last year, Atlanta forward Shelden Williams was carjacked at gunpoint.

    Exacerbating the leagues' willingness to bite on gun control rhetoric is each league's desire to maintain an image. Those in control worry about the way those "streets" and the kill-or-be-killed gang culture can infect their players, some of whom are, literally, only a year or two removed from the streets. The leagues need to sell high-priced tickets to white America. But it's unwise to put the safety of several players at risk in order to protect the leagues' image from the misdeeds of a few. Some players now spend $100,000 a year or more on personal bodyguards, and still don't feel particularly safe.

    The leagues also might take note of the uncomfortable history of race and gun control. In a 2005 article for reason, David Kopel looked at some of the ugly realities involved in the roots of gun control in American culture.

    Since the aftermath of the Civil War, "gun control" has simply been a proxy argument for some as a method for keeping blacks unarmed. Arms roundups of freedmen were common in the South in the years following the liberation of slaves, and the result was more control for white landowners, and the lurking and pervasive Ku Klux Klan, who used their mobility to terrorize freed blacks. In many ways still today the gun is as much a measure of protection as it is a symbol of the ability to protect—to self govern, if need be.

    In Chicago, the racial aspects of gun control have come up before. In February 1994, a black Democrat State Senator from Chicago, Rickey Hendon, had his home robbed. One of the items taken was an unregistered handgun. The Senator refused to apologize. "I have a right to protect myself," he told the Sun-Times. Because of historical economic disparities between blacks and whites in all parts of the country, gun control disproportinately affects blacks, who tend to live in higher crime areas; lack the resources for private security, alarm systems, and other measures; and aren't particularly trusting of or willing to rely upon the police to protect them. Going back to Chicago, when the city instituted a freeze on handgun registrations in 1983, some of the loudest objections came from black politicians, who said the ban discriminated against black Chicagoans in rough neighborhoods who lacked the resources to protect themselves in other ways.

    Athletes are an especially ripe target—they travel with wealth, but many maintain ties to the old neighborhood. And while it's hard to call the myriad of recent robberies and hold-ups of prominent athletes a trend, the leagues should consider what they've created: a wealthy class of young stars, black and white, who are increasingly vulnerable.

    Taylor's death will undoubtedly have repercussions across professional sports. Athletes just saw one of their contemporaries gunned down—with a machete in his hand. Stern, Goodell, and other well-intentioned league bosses can pass tougher anti-gun policies, and continue to mete out punishment. Or they can reassess their opposition to gun ownership, and focus on teaching young players how to own, maintain, and use a gun responsibly.

    Chris Sprow is the editor-in-chief of Chicago Sports Weekly, and has contributed to a number of other publications, including the New York Times and ESPN the Magazine.


  2. #2
    Distinguished Member Array morintp's Avatar
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    I am a diehard Redskins fan. Sean Taylor was my favorite player on the team. His rookie jersey was the first jersey I ever bought, when I finally upgraded from t-shirts. Because I live outside DC and worked a lot, I never went to a game. I got DirectTV's Sunday Ticket just so I could watch Skins games every week. With my year long vacation, I went to my first Skins game this past season when they played the Cardinals. At the time, I didn't realize it would be one of Taylor's last games. His death hit me almost as hard as the death of a friend would have. I was surprised that I could be so upset for someone I had never met. I haven't played Madden since because I always play as Taylor on defense. I sure wish he had a gun to protect himself that night.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Array Musketeer's Avatar
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    Given the "character" of many NFL and NBA players I understand why the policies are in place (even though I disagree with them to a large degree). The bottom line is we have teams full of millionaire prima donas who for a large part come from the most law breaking and violent segments of our society. For every one of them that makes it to the big show another 100 are on the street in the same crime ridden neighborhoods the players came from and idolizing the gang leader who "made it" as their new role model on the path to financial success. The bottom line is low income urban youth DO NOT have a healthy grounding in firearms safety and it is that segment which has been catapulted to national fame and super stardom by their ability to run fast, jump high or catch a ball. Now they have more than enough funds to buy whatever "toy gun" they want. Their previous exposure to firearms has been primarily negative and their sense of personal responsibility is undeveloped since they have been treated as royalty since showing sports promise.

    That may not describe all players but it does a sizable share of them.

    Then we have their conduct in their new environment... Not including outside the stadium the occurrences where millionaires engage in fights are repeatedly written off as "competitive spirit" but then we think these hoodlums can just turn it off when they are away from the field. I fail to see why someone who can't control himself on a sports field should be trusted elsewhere.

    For that reason I have no problem with a ban on possession of a firearm by any player at an NFL/NBA event. The sports though must recognize the danger to their players from criminals and supply adequate trained security. Away from events the players should be free to participate in any activity that is legal and not damaging to the sport. Legally carrying and shooting firearms should NOT be listed as damaging.

  4. #4
    Ex Member Array Edward Nigma's Avatar
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    I can't stand football of any kind, and I don't watch the NBA either.

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    Distinguished Member Array bandit383's Avatar
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    I think the operative word is "discourage". I do not think the powers to be can ban someone from legally owning a firearm just as federal employees can not be banned from owning a firearm.

    Rick

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    Ex Member Array Ram Rod's Avatar
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    Before you give that $140 to the NFL or NBA by buying players memorabilia , mementos, souvenirs.
    You should know
    I've never supported the pros. They already make way too much money. Guess you could say I boycott them.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Array dunndw's Avatar
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    I wonder if most of the players in either game could pass a NICS check on their own
    "If I was an extremist, our founding fathers would all be extremists," he said. "Without them, we wouldn't have our independence. We'd be a disarmed British system of feudal subjectivity."

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    VIP Member Array BigEFan's Avatar
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    I'm glad I gave up stick and ball sports for NASCAR years and years ago. Doubt we will see this kind of stuff there.
    Lex et Libertas Semper Vigilo, Fortis, Paratus, et Fidelis!

    "Not only do the people who put their lives on the line to protect the rest of us deserve better, we all deserve better than to have our own security undermined by those who undermine law enforcement." -Thomas Sowell

  9. #9
    Member Array Wolf357's Avatar
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    I'm not a spectator sports fan, although I have occasionally enjoyed participating in team sports for fun. But professional sports turn me off because of all the bloated egos, and outrageous salaries.
    And Jesus said, "If you don't have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one." (Luke 22:36)

    I am a peaceful man. But I am not a pacifist.

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    Member Array Tye_Defender's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigEFan View Post
    I'm glad I gave up stick and ball sports for NASCAR years and years ago. Doubt we will see this kind of stuff there.
    Why is it that the sports with the most number of felony arrests (NFL, NBA) are the "respectable" sports, but the one with the most number of faithful, respectful, all-American kind of people is the one that everyone laughs at. When was the last time you heard of a NASCAR driver getting arrested for anything? They don't even get speeding tickets!

    If the NFL wanted to start to improve their image, in my mind, they would STOP their players from flashing gang signs at the camera! Better yet, how about not allowing current gang members to play. If you are still in a gang, you can't play. If you were in a gang but are now out of the gang, you get to go on TV and tell the world that you have quit that gang, then you can play.

    As for the players having guns, if they can pass the same background check I passed then sure. The league is not going to change their rules though because that would be politically incorrect. You can't discriminate against a guy just because he's a known scumbag with a current history of doing what guys like that do and still actively associates with other known scumbags that are currently doing what guys like that do!

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    VIP Member Array TN_Mike's Avatar
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    My wife and I only watch Professional Hockey and then only on the not for pay stations. We do not buy the special package on the cable or satellite to see all the games.

    As for football, I only enjoy college football because they seem to really enjoy playing the game and have not been ruined by the money aspect of the game at that level, at least in most cases.

    I hate basketball with a passion. I detest basketball. I think basketball is one of the stupidest and most boring sports one can watch. One team gets the ball, travels down court and scores. The other team then gets the ball and travels down court and scores...copy and paste for the rest of the game. That's why basketball games routinely have scores in the 100's. I hate basketball with the white hot intensity of a thousand Suns.
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    Ex Member Array ibez's Avatar
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    Unhappy

    Quote Originally Posted by Tye_Defender View Post
    .. When was the last time you heard of a NASCAR driver getting arrested for anything? They don't even get speeding tickets!
    Angie: The Sports Authority: Nascar Driver arrested
    NASCAR Driver Arrested At Kings Island - Cincinnati breaking news, weather radar, traffic from 9News | Channel 9 WCPO.com
    NASCAR Driver Truex Charged With Disorderly Intoxication - News Story - WFTV Orlando
    NASCAR Driver Avoids Jail by Delivering Anti-Drug Message


    But back to the topic
    the topic was created because those agency ( NBA, NFL ) are talking about Firearm possession during the players personal-time/while not "working"

    I'm like Wolf357, stated above, Im no fan of any sports, as much as Boston Red Sox and The New England Patriots are making and breaking records, I wouldnt lose sleep to watch their games

    Quote Originally Posted by Tye_Defender View Post
    ....
    As for the players having guns, if they can pass the same background check I passed then sure. The league is not going to change their rules though because that would be politically incorrect. You can't discriminate against a guy just because he's a known scumbag with a current history of doing what guys like that do and still actively associates with other known scumbags that are currently doing what guys like that do!
    Im in agreement here, but seems some on the forum think otherwise
    I thought we were all here advocating PRO-Arms for law-abiding citizen, regardless of their occupation or the record of their co-worker ( player )


    .

  13. #13
    Distinguished Member Array morintp's Avatar
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    NFL Football is the only sport I watch. It's just too time consuming to follow every sport like some people do. For me, it's half a year of spending a few hours on Sunday and/or Monday watching football. I see most people here don't enjoy the NFL, but I do. I offer no apologies. I like it.

    Now I don't want to hijack the thread or start a flame war, but I have never understood why NASCAR is considered a sport. Every definition I can find for the word "sport" includes the word "physical" in the definition. Sitting on your butt for 6 hours in a car is not physically exerting. It's an entertaining event, but I fail to see how it's a sport.

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    Senior Member Array Saint77's Avatar
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    Im a big NFL fan, I make no bones about it. NBA, Golf, MLB, and most others bore me to tears, and I refuse to have anything to do with college sports. I also like the NHL. One of the things I like about the NHL, is that their players, generally speaking, are brought up right and keep their noses fairly clean. There are always exceptions of course. Ironic, as the sport is steeped in violence.

    Im not surprised at the NFL's attitude on guns, not at all. We are talking about a company that fines its players 5 to 10 grand for uniform infractions, such as untucked shirts, socks not pulled up, etc. They are incredibly strict with their "employees"

    I understand most POVs on this subject of players owning weapons, however, I think the NFL's interests are better served helping to eradicate the worser cultures that breed gun violence, rather then treat the symptoms. Simply telling a player not to have firearms, is like treating a brain tumor with aspirin.

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    Senior Member Array Saint77's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by morintp View Post
    Now I don't want to hijack the thread or start a flame war, but I have never understood why NASCAR is considered a sport. Every definition I can find for the word "sport" includes the word "physical" in the definition. Sitting on your butt for 6 hours in a car is not physically exerting. It's an entertaining event, but I fail to see how it's a sport.
    I am no big NASCAR fan, I love motorsports, just not NASCAR. But, I did want to address this.

    Actually, you should try it out, if you ever get the chance. NASCAR drivers in better shape then most baseball players, and do a lot of training to stay what way, easily as much as some of the more physically challenging sports. sitting in a car per sey, isn't hard, but sitting in a car for 6 hours in high temps at 180 to 200 MPH working a stiff clutch, brake and gas pedal all the time, plus steering can take a real toll.

    Also, most of these guys pull 2 and 3 races a weekend, back to back.

    As for it being a sport, thats debatable, I agree. I feel the same when people label Golf a sport. People play it professionally, sure. but that doesn't make it a sport. Its a recreational event, like bowling.

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