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Fallout From The Artest Riot

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I think Fallujah is safer than Detroit Michigan these days.

The fallout from the fight during the Pistons’ and Pacers’ game on Friday night is just beginning to occur, and at this point the biggest loser is Ron Artest, followed closely by teammates Stephen Jackson and Jermaine O’Neal. Artest has a ton of time to work on his rap album now that he’s been suspended for the balance of the year, the longest suspension in NBA history. O’Neal and Jackson will be sitting 25-30 games for their transgressions. Frankly, I think all of these suspensions are excessive. Artest has been suspended multiple times by the NBA and the Pacers, and Stern admitted during the press conference that Artest’s previous history played a part in the length of the suspension. How does this compare to Vernon Maxwell’s 1995 suspension for 10 games for pummeling a fan? Is the fact that other fans didn’t jump in to pummel Maxwell, thus escalating the situation to a brawl, explain the 62 game difference in the suspensions?

David Stern’s news conference to announce all of the suspensions from the fight placed a great deal of the blame on Ron Artest and his cronies from Indiana who went into the stands after the cowardly, beer-throwing fans. I was also pleased to hear Stern take blame himself, especially concerning alcohol consumption during NBA games; a business the NBA owners make a tidy profit on.

The tape should also be closely scrutinized by Detroit’s finest, who should determine which fans kept the fight going, and who started it etc. These assholes should not be able to enjoy anonymity during this thing.

I haven’t heard much outrage from the easily offended indecency crusaders about the events from Friday night. I guess they are too busy with their writing campaign to ABC over the airing of Saving Private Ryan uncut on Veteran’s Day, and the naughty Monday Night Football promo. As far as I am concerned, I feel a lot more comfortable explaining to my son what went on between Nicolette Sheridan and T.O. than I would the melee at the Palace on Friday. You see, the promo dealt in innuendo and suggestions; Friday night was sucker-punches and haymakers–not to mention the most “indecent” thing I’ve seen on TV in some time.

And if I may rant a moment longer, if I hear one more self-righteous sports reporter or commentator posture about how “you can’t cross the line into the stands” and “the players make a lot of money to show restraint” and “I wouldn’t have done that if I was still playing” and “we have to be bigger than the fans”, I’ll cut my own ears off. Are they reading from a list of 10 possible responses to the incident? Is anyone going to call out Detroit’s abysmal security, or Ben Wallace for starting the whole thing, or the thuggish Detroit fans for deciding they were more than “spectators”?

The BM Rant

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About Matt Freelove

  • Kind of funny because I think the suspensions are a bit excessive too. BUT, I think Artest deserves every bit that he gets. I thought the rest of the players were screwed in this deal.

    Artest needs to be punished excessively, but I though Jermaine O’Neal and Stephen Jackson were punished too much as they were thrust into a situation by Artest. The fans on the court deserve every shot they take too. They had no business being there.

  • bhw

    Isnt’ Artest the guy who tried to get some time off because he had an album to promote or something? Any chance he got himself suspended on purpose? I didn’t see the melee, so I don’t konw….

  • Jimbo2K4

    I have no sympathy whatsoever for Artest or the rest of these NBA thugs and frankly I am tired of so-called sports fans who make excuses for them.

    Artest? Throw him out of the game. Permanently. Throw his ass in jail. Sue him for all you can get. He’s an idiot. He had no idea who he was even going after. My 72 year old father has season tickets in Detroit in a section within beer-throwing distance of where all this happened, and I hate to think of how he could have even survived such a mindless assault.

    O’Neal and Jackson – done for the season as far as I am concerned. I didn’t see anyone drag them into the stands. They made a stupid decision to back up an idiot, therefore they are maybe even bigger idiots.

    Are the fans blameless? No, but fans have ALWAYS been idiots, in all professional sports, and if these professional atheletes are such thin-skinned pussies that they can’t take the fans BS, then they should get out of professional sports.

    For a million plus a year, in a business where I get clobbered regularly by 7 foot tall beasts, I think I can put up with a splash of beer or a water bottle coming my way.

  • Pacers

    Wow…You have no idea what you are talking about do you, jimbo? Throw him in jail? The only person that should be thrown in jail is the idiot that threw the beer at him in the first place(and if my sources are correct, that same idiot has a criminal record for assault while under the influence). Get it straight Artest should be out of the year, that’s reasonable. However, O’neal did nothing but punch some idiot that decided to come onto the court and square up with Artest(God only knows why). As far as I’m concerned that fan deserved to get hit. Which leads into the fans. Every single one of them, including your 72 year-old father, deserves to get their season tickets revoked. Sorry…two idiots spoil the fun for everyone. Artest and many other pacers and detroit fans will get sued(obviously) There is no way one of these players is going to jail. NO WAY!

    Oh- and the Pacers will still make the playoffs…don’t forget..they are in the East.

  • I think the use of the word ‘beasts’ to describe predominantly African-American NBA players pretty much tells us what we need to know about Jimbo.

    Perhaps Matt would be kind enough to explain why the word ‘riot’ is in the headline. I rarely see it used unless the persons involved in an altercation are black. Apparently, white people don’t ‘riot.’ But, anytime more than two black people raise their voices publicly, a riot has occurred.

  • Jimbo2K4

    Mac Dude,

    First of all, “beasts” refers to out of control 7 foot 300 pound hardbodied athletes, be they black, white, red, pink, or otherwise, football, baseball, basketball, field hockey, whatever – so cut the racist implication crap. You don’t know a damn thing about me.

    And Mr. Pacers – Given a choice between some little bozo that throws a plastic beer cup (ouch – oooh that really huuuurrrt!), and a great big bozo that beats the crap out of some innocent person that happens to be in the vicinity of the little bozo, You’d send the little bozo to jail. And everyone else that was sitting in the stands minding their own business. Thank you for proving my point that fans have always been idiots.

  • Peter Duncan

    You can’t have players running into the stands and physically threatening fans. Doesn’t matter what game it is and it doesn’t matter what color of skin the player or the fans have. Just can happen!!!

    Latree Spreewell choked his coach during a game and was suspended for the rest of the season…71 games I think. David Stern, commissioner of the nba, felt what Artest did was worse…slugging a fan. Hence the season ending suspention.

    It doesn’t matter if beer was thrown in his face or not….nobody has the right to physically beat another up.

    Throw the unruly fan(s) out if you must. Or ban them from purchasing any more tix but it is definatly between security and the spectators and not the players.

  • Jeannbe1

    Touche’ Jimbo2K4! I couldnt have said it better if I tried!

  • Mac Diva–What would you call what happened on Friday night? Ron Artest did a little more than “raise his voice publicly”.

    There were plenty of whites, blacks, and hispanics involved in the RIOT that occurred on Friday night. If you notice, I mentioned nowhere in my comment about race. However, since all you do is see things in terms of race, I can see how you read into this as much as you did.

    In the future, since you are so easy to offend, can I use the word riot once I have confirmed that no black people were involved?

  • Pacers

    It’s not the fact that it is a plastic cup. It’s the fact that he THREW THE CUP at a PLAYER who was ON THE COURT staying OUT of a FIGHT. Artest had every right to beat the shit out of anyone in the vacinity. Let’s say that same idiot threw a glass bottle, it cuts Artest in the eye, then he goes blind. He then proceeds to kick the ass of anyone near where the cup came from. What then? Would you be here ranting about him being a fool? It’s obvious you aren’t supposed to enter the stands..Under this situation I give him every right to go into the stands. O’neal’s suspension will be appealed and lowered by at least 10 games. Commish had to make a decision about Artest, yes, he made the correct one. I’m here to protect Artest’s rights and prove you wrong about what you have said about Artest. So don’t give me this bullshit about the fans around the idiot..If I was Artest..I would have punched anyone near where that cup, full of ice and beer/liquid, was thrown from. He did everything right until he jumped into the stands..I still believe he had the right to do so. Doesn’t make it OK..However, he had the right.

  • Riot (Law): The tumultuous disturbance of the public peace by an unlawful assembly of three or more persons in the execution of some private object.

    I would call what occurred a melee. A riot implies a civil disturbance. The conflict was not between civilians and officials, such as police or the military.

    Furthermore, I did not say the players should not be disciplined. I did say the word ‘riot’ carries racial connotatins that should be avoided and I meant it.

  • boomcrashbaby

    A bunch of drunk men who pay to sit on their ass and don’t like the way somebody else plays a game is not a riot, it’s a temper tantrum.

  • It sure looked like a riot to me. Your definition lacks any racial reference at all, so it sounds like your issue not mine.

    Mac Diva–consider the 1999 WTO riots in Seattle. They were called “riots” by most news orgs, and the pictures show mostly whites from what I’ve seen of that. It has no racial connotations in my opinion, and is not offensive to suggest that Friday was a riot, regardless of whether it was players vs fans or civilians vs police.

  • Matt. it is not my definition. It is is legal meaning of the word ‘riot.’ The example you gave — a civil conflict involving violence and destruction of property — is definable as a riot.

    Yes, Steve (Boom), there is lot of immaturity involved in that kind of thing. It is the bar fight taken to maximum exposure. Hey, I just remembered, liberals should be in the midst of a third week of national rioting by now according to David Flanagan.

  • boomcrashbaby

    Hey, I just remembered, liberals should be in the midst of a third week of national rioting by now according to David Flanagan.

    Yes, Deroy Murdock just told us on the other thread that the conservative ideology is one of peace through brute strength. So it stands to reason that they would believe people try to solve things by force.