The day that Mike Shanahan was introduced as the Washington Redskins new head coach, declaring that we will be a strongly “disciplined team”, a gray cloud descended over the happy DMV area. Gilbert Arenas, the area’s most popular athlete, was suspended. When accountability and respectability appear to be on the horizon for one of our area’s most beloved franchises the other one takes ten steps back.
David Stern has suspended Gilbert Arenas indefinitely and released the following statement (Thanks to the Wizards Insider):
“The possession of firearms by an NBA player in an NBA arena is a matter of the utmost concern to us. I initially thought it prudent to refrain from taking immediate action because of the pendency of a criminal investigation involving the office of the United States Attorney for the District of Columbia and the Metropolitan Police Department, and the consideration of this matter by a grand jury sitting in the District of Columbia.
For the same reason, I directed the Wizards to refrain from taking any action. Wizards personnel continue to be interviewed by law enforcement authorities, some are scheduled for appearance before the grand jury and the investigation is proceeding with the intensity that one would expect for such a serious incident.
“Although it is clear that the actions of Mr. Arenas will ultimately result in a substantial suspension, and perhaps worse, his ongoing conduct has led me to conclude that he is not currently fit to take the court in an NBA game. Accordingly, I am suspending Mr. Arenas indefinitely, without pay, effective immediately pending the completion of the investigation by the NBA.” (emphasis added)
The Wizards responded to the decision by Stern swiftly (again thanks to Wizards Insider):
“We fully endorse the decision of the NBA to indefinitely suspend Gilbert Arenas. Strictly legal issues aside, Gilbert’s recent behavior and statements, including his actions and statements last night in Philadelphia, are unacceptable. Some of our other players appeared to find Gilbert’s behavior in Philadelphia amusing. This is also unacceptable. Under Abe Pollin’s leadership, our organization never tolerated such behavior, and we have no intention of ever doing so.”
The suspension is undoubtedly not just because of the investigation but also for Gilbert’s actions and his poor behavior after the incident. Last night against the 76ers Gilbert Arenas stood in the middle of the huddle and “jokingly” aimed his fingers as guns and shot at his teammates. They all yukked it up, and Arenas continued to tweet (also jokingly) as well. That’s why Stern had to make a move. But I have a major problem with the language from the NBA office.
“[N]ot fit” to be on an NBA court? As far as any one knows right now, Arenas had unloaded guns in a locker room. That’s it. He should have been more serious about the situation he was in, but unfit? That makes him a mental evaluation away from being able to step back onto the court. More to come on this issue and the effect it’s going to have on the Wizards this year.
Personally, I’m pissed because I’m going to the game in Cleveland tonight. What are your thoughts on the Arenas suspension?
Did he have it coming to him?
Is this suspension merited considering the offense has been met with less anger than the reaction to the investigation?
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