detroit riot revisited

Apparently Jermaine O'Neal, one of the Indiana Pacers involved in the big brawl last year on the court, is trying to clean up his image. He's in a magazine asking the question "what would you do" if you were in the situation he was. For those of you who don't know, O'Neal got involved in a big fight on the basketball court that involved him running up into the stands wailing on fans.

So he asks the question "what would you do" in that situation, seriously. Here are some of Jason Whitlock's comments, which you can read on espn.com:

"What Would You Do?" screamed the headline. And writer S.L. Price, with a great assist from O'Neal, went on to rationalize O'Neal's Detroit cowardice and paint the picture that just about every other red-blooded, 6-foot-10, 240-pound American man would've cold-cocked a dumpy fan in that situation.

The article was sickening and proves a couple of points:
1. NBA players are still in denial about the realities that brawl brought to light.
2. We in the media are intent on keeping the players in denial.

"What Would You Do?"

O'Neal thinks this is a legitimate question. From an impoverished background, devoid of a college education, O'Neal has no clue what a rational, mature, sophisticated, God-fearing person might do when Ron Artest sparks a near-riot.

Running for cover, trying to get teammates and coaches out of harm's way never crosses O'Neal's mind. Not even today. He can't fathom the atrocities that men and women of all races suffered so that he could earn millions of dollars playing a game. He was never in school long enough to truly comprehend what Jackie Robinson would do if Ron Artest or a drunken fan set off a riot.

He's pretty hard on O'Neal in the article...but I think there's truth to what he's saying.

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