(FinalCall.com) – The standard set by President George Bush or British Prime Minister Tony Blair in the war in Iraq was recently seen in the world of sports, with players going after fans, players going after each other, and fans heckling players to the point of provocation. Regardless of whom it is–President Bush or NBA Indiana Pacer’s forward Ron Artest–preemptive strikes are irreversibly and incontrovertibly wrong.
A recent basketball game in Detroit turned into a riot after Mr. Artest decided it was wiser to go into the stands after a fan threw a cup at him, rather than the Piston’s Ben Wallace who had pushed him. Punches were thrown by players and fans with Pacers Jermaine O’Neal slugging a fan for apparently no reason at all.
When the dust settled, Mr. Artest was suspended for the rest of the season and the other players involved from both teams received lighter sentences, ranging from a one-game suspension for players who left the bench to a 30 game-suspension for Stephen Jackson for fighting in the stands, too. All involved represent a total loss $10 million in pay.
The tape of the “basket-brawl” game has been repeatedly played, with people talking far and wide about what to do with “Players Gone Wild.” But this is America–the country has gone wild. The citizenry is merely following its leaders. We live in a world of preemptive strikes. America runs into other countries killing and destroying property without invitation or provocation. America strikes at will, leaving a trail of death and destruction.
In this world, violence rules the day and it is increasingly infiltrating the world of sports. In the fourth quarter of the recent Clemson v. University of South Carolina football game, a fight broke out between opposing team members with other players running on to the field. It had to be contained by security and the police. During NFL pre-game warm-ups in Cleveland on November 14, Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Joey Porter and the Browns running back William Green had an altercation that escalated to blows. Both were put out of the game before a whistle was even blown.
Sport and play has evolved into an industry of mega-money and sheer madness. Sadly, it’s not just the players. Fans have taunted, thrown things and heckled players at increasing levels. At U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago last year, a drunken, shirtless father and son left the stands and went onto the baseball field to beat up the first base coach of the Kansas City Royals.
Aggressive fans and players are leading the ruin of sport and play. But they are only dancing to the tune played by the main aggressor–the President of the United States. Aggression is made fair-seeming, but it is wrong. We cannot condemn Mr. Artest’s aggression without also condemning Pres. Bush’s.
Mr. Artest’s aggression will cost him $5 million. He faces criminal charges and possibly civil suits. This one incident may have ruined his whole career in basketball.
Pres. Bush, on the other hand, was reelected. Countless numbers of Iraqis have died in numerous battles, more than 1,000 U.S. soldiers have died, the numbers of injured, maimed and crippled continue to rise, along with the mental problems soldiers are bringing home.
However, Pres. Bush and his cronies are not in danger of facing economic penalties for their aggression. Instead, they are poised to reap financial benefits well into the billions of dollars.
This is another example of the continuing inequity and aggression that is becoming all too common in America under George Bush. If you want to lead, Mr. President, lead by righteous principles of freedom, justice and equality.
America is watching and emulating.