Friday, January 20, 2006

Pacifist vs. Protectionist

I consider myself a pacifist in the dictionary sense. I will not use violence as a way to solve my problems, nor do I believe that violence should be the first and only way to solve conflict. I strongly believe violence should be the absolute last means when all nonviolent attempts have failed. However, I am a protectionist (that's my own word). I will protect myself and my loved ones if necessary, but violence is the last method I will use.

Having made pacifist versus protectionst clear, I, like many, believe the five game suspension handed down by the NBA to the Knicks' Antonio Davis is a bit harsh. The story: Davis looked up to the stands where his wife and kids were sitting, and saw a fan grab her arm. He leapt up into the stands, but never hit anybody. He did get in the guy's face. The fan, Michael Axelrod, claims Kendra Davis got in his face, and there is possibly video out of Chicago to prove that. Additionally, there are blogs that list some of her antics while her husband played for Toronto, including a shouting match with former Knick Latrell Sprewell (but didn't that also happen with Spike Lee or some other fan, and don't hothead players and hothead fans exchange words in a hothead game?), and comments from her that Davis would seek a trade if things didn't improve (similar to comments from Mets' Kris Benson's wife made last year).

I believe Davis should be suspended, but I don't think five games was necessary. One or two game suspension, maybe, but not five, especially when he didn't touch the fan in question. I also don't think that Axelrod has a million-dollar case on his hands, and if it does get to court, chances are some kind of settlement will be on the table. I find it interesting that the parties in the increasing fan-player encounters in pro sports, or at least the high-profile ones, are White fans and Black athletes. And yeah, there are those that say Black people are too sensitive about race, and everything isn't about race. Okay, so riddle me this. Have we heard about Vlade Divac's wife or him having beer or debris thrown at him during a game? What about John Stockton? Brett Favre? Why was the mother of Washington Redskins' Clinton Portis attacked during the Eagles game? Incidentally, mama clocked the attacker, and rightfully so.

Again, I am a protectionist. I'm perfectly willing to take whatever punishment is due if I put my hands on someone, but I will only touch someone if I'm attacked or if my loved ones are. In a society that is hell-bent on proving its might versus doing what's right, the pacifists need to arm up some. The meek will inherit the earth, but will be a bit bloodied in the process.

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