This evening, the News Hour is reviewing the Artest-Jackson-Wallace fracas in Detroit last Friday night. Jack McCallum (SI), Greg Anthony (ESPN), and Ray (NHr) are going over the causes and effects of the fight which broke out at the Pacers-Pistons basketball game.
Greg Anthony, former (NY) Knick presciently observed that if you were at work and someone threw racial epithets and beer at you, they would likely be subject to civil, if not criminal action. He certainly was not defending Ron Artest and his teammate Jackson, who both went into the stands to take on fans, but, is pointing out the justice needs to be handed out across the out-of-bounds line. It's quite interesting; "Ed" and "Mrs Ed" were out buying sneakers of a confidential size on Saturday A.M. at the local "ya gotta go ta ...'s" store. There, as she tried on her third pair was a previoiusly taped story from two of the local AM sports-talk racket in a slick journal touting the local snearker company's ware. They were on to the violence on the sports scene, of which the latest episode will take on pre-eminent postion. The debate, pro-or-con, was cages for fans. I'm on the con side of this one. Though, in terms of where the blame lies, I'm on the "pro-fan" side. Though before you think I'd cave for the money, it seems inconceivable someone who's making 10,000 times my imaginary limit would have any need to cross the out-of-bounds line to take on someone who's biggest decision in life is betweeen Bud and Miller lite. (We assume he's already duped into the Bush choice). So, my only conclusion is that money can't buy your restraint, given sufficient provocation. Which further underscores the depth of the pent up hatred over, say racial issues. No amount of dinero could, I guess, keep me from flattening the nose of a racist pig who threw the N-word and the remains of a pint in my face.
This is not about justification; it's about responsibilty. Every time a person hurls a racial epithet over the railing, I'm hurt. (I say this as one who did at the '64 MO-MN football game when an MN halfback fumbled a kickoff on our 5 yard line).
This is not a message of hope. Some recent reading of Spong tells me to be patient. Or more likely, allow for a worsening of the human condition as respect for God evaporates in the face of evidence a good deal of our former faith was misplaced. Searching for it in the storm will be challenging.