PDA

View Full Version : Comparisons - What Makes This Incident Different?



BillS
10-09-2006, 12:59 PM
At risk of starting Yet Another Thread About It All, I want to take some time to look at professional athlete behavior in Indy and why this is perceived as different.

First, let's be clear about something. The Pacers as an ABA franchise were one of the hardest partying teams in the league. Anyone familiar with that team knows that they hung out at Neto's until all hours and drank like dessicated sponges. The road to team unity was paved with bourbon bottles and washed with beer. A few physical incidents were also involved at various times. Many of the players had gun permits and affected a wild-west attitude when flashing them around. Considering the times, you have got to believe that more than a few pass-around parties occurred.

Move forward forty years and everything changes. Would there be as much of an uproar if an incident had not occurred and it was simply reported that Jax, Daniels, Tinsley, and Hunter were spotted at the strip club at 3 am? Yes, some would be wondering if this was an appropriate venue for role models (insert classic Charles Barkley quote here), but many would talk about this as proof the team was coming together at a certain level.

So, why is this incident seen differently? Why has it engendered so much anger and frustration?

I think the answer lies in 3 things - its occurrence as part of a sequence of events, the actual firing of a gun as part of the incident, and the marijuana possession.

Taking them in reverse order:

<b>Marijuana Possession</b>: OK, we all used to joke about Dale and the occasional blunt, but flagrant possession doesn't sit well with any conservative fan base. Certainly the amount discovered would never have shown up if the car hadn't been searched, but the judgement in carrying it around at all seems suspect to many - especially given the risk of being pulled over by a bored cop late at night for speeding, running an otherwise unoccupied red light, or just weaving a little while horsing around on the way home. On the other hand, since there is no way of knowing whose it was, there is also no way of pinning this on a particular player.

<b>Gunfire</b>: Here's a tough one. My honest opinion is that the reaction to the gunfire is as much a reaction to the stereotypical street hip-hop disrespect prevention reaction as anything else. I think many people fear that rap's culture of shootings and violence is spreading to the sport along with the music itself, and an incident like this seems to lock it into their minds. So far the police reports seem to indicate they feel Jax made a legal response, but the question in many minds is whether or not it was an appropriate one. In an isolated instance, the question might not even be asked, but both this and the previous component are heavily affected by the last one ...

<b>Sequence of Events</b>: Take away the brawl, the jawing at refs, the need for cleaning up the Pacers' image, and this would be seen as an unfortunate but not franchise-shattering incident. Put them back and this is perceived as yet another violently immature incident in a series of said incidents. While many would say that there is some lack of fairness in lumping these things together, it is an absolute fact that the perception of the franchise is built on cumulative activities - why should any player or group of players get a free pass? Is it fair? Well, who said life is fair - we're all judged by our history as well as our current actions, and some feel that not enough time has passed for Jax to earn back a "get out of stupid free card".


I don't know what action management can take to correct this. It may be that a trade of Jackson is required purely for political reasons, and it should be considered by his supporters that sometimes these things have to be done no matter the skill or upside of the player involved.

No matter which side of the question we fall on, we have to bear in mind some hard truths - that Indiana is <i>not</i> New York City, that "hip-hop culture" (whatever you might think that is code for) is <i>not</i> a comfortable place for many of the people who want to be fans of their local team, and that some balance must be found - a balance that is difficult in the best of times and is certainly not helped by incidents like this.

Personally, I'm torn. I never have bought into the whole "gotta stand up gotta be respected gotta be a man gotta fight to be connected" thing, but that's as much a feature of my upbringing and surroundings as anything else. I <i>understand</i> why Jax and many coming from his background feel they have to respond in such a way.

On the other hand, I also understand that Jax left the establishment rather than escalating the fight inside, which shows a great amount of restraint considering the temptation to be a "man" and finsih things. It is possible (and only those there can be absolutely certain) that the warning shots really did play a part in keeping this from being a more critical incident - how would we all feel if Jax had acted passively and ended up seriously injured or worse from being run over? Or, suppose the other party had decided to shoot back, not into the air but at Jax and bystanders?

Bottom line for me is that I think we hold public figures to a higher standard because we really want them to represent the best in us, not the worst. With each action their status changes - I suspect there are many who see Jax's reaction as entirely appropriate and deserving of respect. I may not agree with them, and therefore my view of his status will move in the opposite direction.

It isn't as cut-and-dried as I think we all wish it could be, and at a certain level I think it speaks to deeper things in our society than just the actions of one man.

grace
10-09-2006, 01:12 PM
I'd tell you my opinion, but I've already decided I'm not talking about this any more.

ABADays
10-09-2006, 01:27 PM
Where in the hell did you come up with this information? I've never heard any of that my entire life.

BillS
10-09-2006, 01:36 PM
I assume you are asking about the ABA info.

My references have already been moved to our new house so I can't give you chapter and verse, but most of it comes from team member interviews published in "Loose Balls" by Terry Pluto. In particular, the bit about the big Cowboy fad and the fact it involved actual guns is there, as well as the discussions about team cameraderie and the late nights at Neto's club.

ABADays
10-09-2006, 01:48 PM
Good Lord. I must REALLY be getting old. I even read the book and don't remember that at all. Uh - what are we talking about again?

DisplacedKnick
10-09-2006, 02:18 PM
My opinion still comes back to poor judgement.

Carrying a gun, going to a strip club, even the possession of a minimal amount of pot doesn't bother me.

In fact it doesn't really bother me about Jax since he's not on my team but it's just poor judgment.

Pacers players have always partied hard - and why shouldn't they? They're young millionaires who like to play.

Used to be it wasn't hard to see them out and about at night in the city. Up to 5-6 years ago my usual Friday night hangout was Champs. It was very normal to see several Pacers players there. DD was a regular, Heywood, Mark Jackson, Perkins - Reggie was even there a couple of times.

Guess what - they have valet parking at Champs (which I only used if I wanted to impress someone). And if someone approached the Pacers table(s) a big SOB stepped in front of you and gave you a redirection (unless you were cute and stacked - neither of which fit me).

There are places Celebs can go and be pretty much hassle-free. There are even strip clubs that cater to them. Rio isn't one of those places.

Just poor judgment - and in Jax's case, the continuation of a pattern.

Unclebuck
10-09-2006, 02:54 PM
I think there is a sense among casual sports fans in this city that the current Pacers are a bunch of gang-banging, gangster, drug dealers who if it weren't for basketball would be and should be either in jail or dead. And I don't mean that playing basketball as they grew up enabled the players to escape the streets, I mean right now if any of the players stopped playing they would turn into gang-banging drugs dealers would be be in jail or dead very soon.

That might seem harsh but that is what a lot of people think, oh sure they won't use those terms, but I know that is what they think and then when an incident like Friday morning occurs, they go ballistic, it proves their theories.

Trust me, when I say this, this is what a fair percentage of casual sports fans in this city believe.

OTD
10-09-2006, 02:59 PM
The things you listed about the ABA Pacers is right. But If I or you was caught in Indy with any amount of maijuana was found, that I would have been let go sure right to the City lock up. I was always told that the owner of the car was reponsible for every thing in the car. But I am old and guess was raised in another generation. Of which I am thankful

ABADays
10-09-2006, 03:01 PM
I think there is a sense among casual sports fans in this city that the current Pacers are a bunch of gang-banging, gangster, drug dealers who if it weren't for basketball would be and should be either in jail or dead. And I don't mean that playing basketball as they grew up enabled the players to escape the streets, I mean right now if any of the players stopped playing they would turn into gang-banging drugs dealers would be be in jail or dead very soon.

That might seem harsh but that is what a lot of people think, oh sure they won't use those terms, but I know that is what they think and then when an incident like Friday morning occurs, they go ballistic, it proves their theories.

Trust me, when I say this, this is what a fair percentage of casual sports fans in this city believe.

Well - they certainly dispelled that image!

SycamoreKen
10-09-2006, 03:12 PM
I think there is a sense among casual sports fans in this city that the current Pacers are a bunch of gang-banging, gangster, drug dealers who if it weren't for basketball would be and should be either in jail or dead. And I don't mean that playing basketball as they grew up enabled the players to escape the streets, I mean right now if any of the players stopped playing they would turn into gang-banging drugs dealers would be be in jail or dead very soon.

That might seem harsh but that is what a lot of people think, oh sure they won't use those terms, but I know that is what they think and then when an incident like Friday morning occurs, they go ballistic, it proves their theories.

Trust me, when I say this, this is what a fair percentage of casual sports fans in this city believe.

When you couple that with the fact that Indiana is a college/high school dominate state and that most of those fans consider the NBA to be a *******ization of the game, then situations like then can be taken as a negative.

Are those generalizations right or fair? No. But then life isn't right or fair, so one has to live with ones choices.

Oh yes, like Grace I'm now done with this topic.

heywoode
10-09-2006, 04:26 PM
That was a very thoughtful analysis, Bill, and I don't disagree with it.


I would like to state, however, that someone else in this thread is correct. The responsibility in the eyes of the law would reside with the owner of the vehicle in which the pot was found. Given that it was such a small amount, I assume the responding officers exercised personal judgment and decided it wasn't enough to mess with, given the cost of prosecuting such a small offense. I don't believe that small amount would garner a trip to jail, but rather a citation and a court date to pay a fine, especially for a first offense. As long as I would've gotten that same treatment, I'm fine with the officers' decision. Of course, beyond that, it doesn't matter to me that Tinsley wasn't CHARGED. Bottom line, someone in his party, and in his car, had possession of marijuana. You will never make me believe that Tinsley wasn't partaking. THAT is what I have a problem with. People can scream 'benefit of the doubt' and 'innocent until proven guilty' all they want, but that doesn't make much of a difference in my mind in this situation. I have enough 'worldly' experience in this area (after all, I went to college and partook myself on occasion) to know better.

Also, on the gun issue...I would LOVE for someone with experience on the laws for Indianapolis to tell me if I'm right or wrong. Having a permit to carry a gun IN NO WAY is a license to discharge said weapon at your discretion. In my city, discharging a firearm inside the city limits is a Class A Misdemeanor. Now, if someone broke into your home and you fired in defense of your life, I'm guessing that warrants a pass. If Indy has a similar statute, I can conceivably see where the officers concluded that Jackson fired in self-defense, and that was excusable. I don't necessarily take that stance, but I wasn't THERE. My feeling is that it is recklessly irresponsible to discharge a firearm into the air in such a densely populated area. I can guarantee you that if his random gunfire had injured me or anyone in my family, and I could prove it, Jackson would spend the rest of his life paying me. That is a problem for me. I don't think anyone aside from trained police officers should have the right to carry a concealed firearm. It isn't conducive to "law and order". I'm not of the opinion that the average person needs to be making a judgment call on whether it is okay to display, brandish, whatever you want to call it, a firearm. Certainly not DISCARGE IT indiscriminately to break up a fight. Do you think if the police had arrived while a physical altercation was taking place, THEY would've just pulled out their guns and started shooting into the air to break it up? No, neither do I.

The conglomeration of all the stuff about this incident that I find repugnant is what sickens me, and why I'm tired of Jackson. He can SAY that he spent the summer soul searching all he wants. At the end of the day, I still perceive him as not the kind of person I want to be associated with, even on the player/fan relationship level. Had he been at the FanJam and standing beside me, I wouldn't have talked to him or asked for his autograph.

Maybe it's just me.

Unclebuck
10-09-2006, 04:31 PM
I guess a 911 call is going to be released and WTHR channel 13 is going to llay it in their 5:00 new today. This might be interestinhg and could shed some light on the incident, because of the fact of the matter is we really don't know much that occurred here.

Bball
10-09-2006, 04:50 PM
Why was Tinsley's car searched in the first place? What did his car have to do with anything in all of this?

-Bball

ChicagoJ
10-09-2006, 04:55 PM
I guess a 911 call is going to be released and WTHR channel 13 is going to llay it in their 5:00 new today. This might be interestinhg and could shed some light on the incident, because of the fact of the matter is we really don't know much that occurred here.

What I'd really like to hear is the phone call among the four players where they decided where they were going and how late they apparently intended to stay out, and if they should bring along the marijuana (or - as a I tend to believe - the non-player with the marijuanna) that put all the players (Tinsley in particular) at risk.

Once that decision was made, the rest of the details are trivial.

Nobody faults these guys for defending themselves once trouble starts. Just for putting themselves in that situation in the first place.

vapacersfan
10-09-2006, 05:05 PM
I will add shooting a gun in the air was/is a very stupid decision.

I know a lot of people think this is harmless, but that is a myth. All bullets that go up must come down, and that can lead to very bad situations if it hits a innocent bystander

indygeezer
10-09-2006, 05:08 PM
Nit picking all the way right now.

I'm a licensed gun owner....I don't know if the law has changed or not but the handbook I was given years ago said it was illegal to carry a weapon into a place that sold alcoholic beverages. Now I've been gone for a few days so I don't know the full story, did Jax have the gun in the bar with him or did he run to his car and get it???? I'm asking seriously and respctfully.

I'm also of the opinion, like Heywood, that discharging a firearm indiscriminantly is reckless and endangers the general public, we all see the stories of the innocent kids killed in random shootings. The last I heard, the car was moving away from him (fleeing??) if so, why fire the gun? The attack was over.

Everyone knows my feelings about Jax, I was the first to call for his ouster, but this will not intensify my feelings in that regard....merely further confirm them.

In the end, I'm barely reading these post/threads for as far as I can tell they are merely the Artest arguements rehashed.

imawhat
10-09-2006, 05:08 PM
I will add shooting a gun in the air was/is a very stupid decision.

I know a lot of people think this is harmless, but that is a myth. All bullets that go up must come down, and that can lead to very bad situations if it hits a innocent bystander

Exactly. It's unlikely to happen, but not so unlikely that it becomes a good decision to fire a gun in a populated area.

Naptown_Seth
10-09-2006, 05:10 PM
I just don't get the outrage over pot given the history of Jabbar, Parrish and Walton, just as a jumping off point.


Another famous smoker was the famous scientist/astronomer Carl Sagan. So its not like Tinsley is in some awful company here. He wasn't having 2 ounces mailed to his house, it was a citation level amount, like half a joint or something.

Over at the Star I already went down this path, and while I am not a smoker, the fact is that alcohol is just as destructive, moreso in terms of actual tissue damage to multiple sub-systems of the body, and this is one reason why the move to legalize pot is gaining support.

I'd rather have Tinsley at a club a little high than a little drunk to be honest. One stat I found from the NIH institute on drug abuse is that of ER incidents, alcohol was roughly 4 times more likely to be involved than pot. I think the alcohol figure was around 40%.

These are the reasons I'm not all that much of a drinker either, though I've been known to tie one on from time to time.

I wonder if the cops searched every luxury box how much cocaine they might find, and if they followed every person coming out of a lux box or the BLR to their car how many DUI arrests they would make. I'm betting a fair share. Would the players then refuse to play before such "immoral" fans?

I'll say from anecdotel evidence that drug abuse (given that alcohol is an abused drug) is just as common in the stands, or moreso. Being a star isn't the only way out of drug charges...just ask the Irsays for starters. Money does a lot of talking too, as does knowing the judge or the prosecutor.

If Tinsley got a break on the pot possession it has to be the first young black man in the history of Indy to get such a break. This whole "if it were you or I" angle is a serious glass houses situation. There are lots of ways people catch a break with the law, breaks that not every citizen gets.


At the star I told one other anecdote involving my grandfather and Roger McCluskey. He was their driver one year and the Saturday night before the race they couldn't find him. So granddad goes out looking for him and ends up finding him tying one on pretty good with AJ Foyt in some bar around town, and of course hauls him outta there. Not sure what Foyt did.

So 1-2 AM half-lit the night before the 11 am 500 mile race. If Jack is not an angel for being out so late he sure as heck isn't the first local sports star to fail on that count. How long did it take for the Al Unser Jr stories to get out? How many local fans even heard about it or remember, and its only been a few years since the story broke.

ChicagoJ
10-09-2006, 05:16 PM
Exactly. It's unlikely to happen, but not so unlikely that it becomes a good decision to fire a gun in a populated area.

As I recall, we had a toddler in Chicago that was critically wounded by gunfire taking place outside their apartment earlier this summer.

It obviously doesn't happen very often, but it happens.

indygeezer
10-09-2006, 05:18 PM
I just don't get the outrage over pot given the history of Jabbar, Parrish and Walton, just as a jumping off point.


Another famous smoker was the famous scientist/astronomer Carl Sagan. So its not like Tinsley is in some awful company here. He wasn't having 2 ounces mailed to his house, it was a citation level amount, like half a joint or something.

Over at the Star I already went down this path, and while I am not a smoker, the fact is that alcohol is just as destructive, moreso in terms of actual tissue damage to multiple sub-systems of the body, and this is one reason why the move to legalize pot is gaining support.

I'd rather have Tinsley at a club a little high than a little drunk to be honest. One stat I found from the NIH institute on drug abuse is that of ER incidents, alcohol was roughly 4 times more likely to be involved than pot. I think the alcohol figure was around 40%.

These are the reasons I'm not all that much of a drinker either, though I've been known to tie one on from time to time.

I wonder if the cops searched every luxury box how much cocaine they might find, and if they followed every person coming out of a lux box or the BLR to their car how many DUI arrests they would make. I'm betting a fair share. Would the players then refuse to play before such "immoral" fans?

I'll say from anecdotel evidence that drug abuse (given that alcohol is an abused drug) is just as common in the stands, or moreso. Being a star isn't the only way out of drug charges...just ask the Irsay's for starters. Money does a lot of talking too, as does knowing the judge or the prosecutor.

If Tinsley got a break on the pot possession it has to be the first young black man in the history of Indy to get such a break. This whole "if it were you or I" angle is a serious glass houses situation. There are lots of ways people catch a break with the law, breaks that not every citizen gets.


At the star I told one other anecdote involving my grandfather and Roger McCluskey. He was their driver one year and the Saturday night before the race they couldn't find him. So granddad goes out looking for him and ends up finding him tying one on pretty good with AJ Foyt in some bar around town, and of course hauls him outta there. Not sure what Foyt did.

So 1-2 AM half-lit the night before the 11 am 500 mile race. If Jack is not an angel for being out so late he sure as heck isn't the first local sports star to fail on that count.

Nope, Tins ain't the first...I saw and heard myself a young man be told by a deputy that he had enough trouble and that he should go back in his home and hide the coffe can full of pot he had sitting on the couch. We had just extinguished the fire in the young man's house and he was gonna be out a whole heapa money for the damage so the deputy cut him some slack.

vapacersfan
10-09-2006, 05:28 PM
As I recall, we had a toddler in Chicago that was critically wounded by gunfire taking place outside their apartment earlier this summer.

It obviously doesn't happen very often, but it happens.

Every year around the Holidays we see a lot of that around DC, esp. around the 4th of July.

Its not common, but I would not say its uncommon

vapacersfan
10-09-2006, 05:29 PM
Nope, Tins ain't the first...I saw and heard myself a young man be told by a deputy that he had enough trouble and that he should go back in his home and hide the coffe can full of pot he had sitting on the couch. We had just extinguished the fire in the young man's house and he was gonna be out a whole heapa money for the damage so the deputy cut him some slack.

I already made this post in another thread, I beleive it was in Ragnars thread

Most of us would be in jail if were in his situation, but whats done is done.

A good question that was asked by another member today is why they were searching his car in the first place.

DisplacedKnick
10-09-2006, 05:41 PM
I already made this post in another thread, I beleive it was in Ragnars thread

Most of us would be in jail if were in his situation, but whats done is done.

A good question that was asked by another member today is why they were searching his car in the first place.

I believe - and if Scott hasn't gotten sick of all this maybe he can chime in - that part of securing a scene includes accounting for all weapons. No way they allow someone at a crime scene to bring out his own weapon. I imagine after Tinsley told them he had a gun they went in after it, checked permits, etc. SOP.

Hicks
10-09-2006, 05:45 PM
What's different about this incident? It's a whole lot of nothing made up into something.

vapacersfan
10-09-2006, 05:46 PM
I believe - and if Scott hasn't gotten sick of all this maybe he can chime in - that part of securing a scene includes accounting for all weapons. No way they allow someone at a crime scene to bring out his own weapon. I imagine after Tinsley told them he had a gun they went in after it, checked permits, etc. SOP.

DUH!!!!

I forgot the part where Tinsley had a gun in his car.

I am not sure what the laws are, but that sounds correct.

AesopRockOn
10-09-2006, 05:50 PM
I just don't get the outrage over pot given the history of Jabbar, Parrish and Walton, just as a jumping off point.


Another famous smoker was the famous scientist/astronomer Carl Sagan. So its not like Tinsley is in some awful company here. He wasn't having 2 ounces mailed to his house, it was a citation level amount, like half a joint or something.

Over at the Star I already went down this path, and while I am not a smoker, the fact is that alcohol is just as destructive, moreso in terms of actual tissue damage to multiple sub-systems of the body, and this is one reason why the move to legalize pot is gaining support.

I'd rather have Tinsley at a club a little high than a little drunk to be honest. One stat I found from the NIH institute on drug abuse is that of ER incidents, alcohol was roughly 4 times more likely to be involved than pot. I think the alcohol figure was around 40%.

These are the reasons I'm not all that much of a drinker either, though I've been known to tie one on from time to time.

I wonder if the cops searched every luxury box how much cocaine they might find, and if they followed every person coming out of a lux box or the BLR to their car how many DUI arrests they would make. I'm betting a fair share. Would the players then refuse to play before such "immoral" fans?

I'll say from anecdotel evidence that drug abuse (given that alcohol is an abused drug) is just as common in the stands, or moreso. Being a star isn't the only way out of drug charges...just ask the Irsays for starters. Money does a lot of talking too, as does knowing the judge or the prosecutor.

If Tinsley got a break on the pot possession it has to be the first young black man in the history of Indy to get such a break. This whole "if it were you or I" angle is a serious glass houses situation. There are lots of ways people catch a break with the law, breaks that not every citizen gets.


At the star I told one other anecdote involving my grandfather and Roger McCluskey. He was their driver one year and the Saturday night before the race they couldn't find him. So granddad goes out looking for him and ends up finding him tying one on pretty good with AJ Foyt in some bar around town, and of course hauls him outta there. Not sure what Foyt did.

So 1-2 AM half-lit the night before the 11 am 500 mile race. If Jack is not an angel for being out so late he sure as heck isn't the first local sports star to fail on that count. How long did it take for the Al Unser Jr stories to get out? How many local fans even heard about it or remember, and its only been a few years since the story broke.

Bill "Big Red" Walton burns?:-o
good info though

BillS
10-09-2006, 05:51 PM
Bill "Big Red" Walton burns?:-o
good info though

Hey, you don't think he comes up with his witty repartee without some kind of chemical assistance, do you?

heywoode
10-09-2006, 06:35 PM
What's different about this incident? It's a whole lot of nothing made up into something.

I wish I could shine it on like that, but I just can't....