Not long ago, in the wake of the Ray Rice domestic violence incident, the NFL ran a series of public service announcements entitled “No More.” In conjunction with the Joyful Heart Foundation, a slew of present and former NFL greats took to the camera to let fans know where they stood on domestic violence. The NFL ran these ads repeatedly with the hopes of reminding people that there is no place in the league, or in society, for such acts of cowardice.
Similarly, the NBA introduced a new campaign on Christmas Day in which NBA stars actively denounced gun violence. These PSAs did not stem from any incidents among league players but rather the disturbing increase in gun violence we Americans have been subjected to lately.
The ads came and went without much fanfare. After all, speaking out against gun violence is not all that controversial. Reducing gun violence is something most sensible Americans can agree upon. Gun control, however, is a far touchier subject.
Proponents of stricter gun control point to increasing gun violence and support harsher regulations of firearm possession. Opponents of gun control point to our Constitutional right to bear arms and decry any such regulation as an infringement of our rights. As of yet, little progress has been made in finding a middle ground. If anything, both sides have grown farther apart on the issue.
Enter the NBA, sort of. One can perhaps argue the poor timing of the PSAs, like Tim Tebow’s pro-life Super Bowl commercials, but at least the league took a stand. The ads were shrewdly worded not to tackle gun control but rather express its concern for increasing gun violence. After all, I’m sure a fair amount of the league’s players owns guns #gilbertarenas.
The league took a stand when it didn’t have to. And they couldn’t have done so without the full support of the Players Association. Lost in the solemn message of these ads is the irony that the NBA chose two athletes, Steph Curry and Carmelo Anthony, who like to shoot the ball the most and another, Joakim Noah, who by all accounts is a horrible shot.
We criticize athletes like Michael Jordan and Tiger Woods for not taking a stand on political issues while pointing to historical others like Muhammad Ali who was stripped of his title for standing up for a cause he believed in. In this day and age of political correctness, the NBA did what it thought was best.
Hey, at least it’s doing something. For that, I commend them.
A friend of mine just received an assault rifle for Christmas from his new girlfriend. I guess nothing says I love you over the holidays like a fully loaded machine gun.
We laughed about it nervously over a round of golf. His stance on guns is similar to mine. He’s not entirely opposed to them, respecting the principles upon which this nation was founded, however, he’s not sure when, why and where he’d ever have use for a semi-automatic.
Look, this is America and people are going to own guns. No one is telling us that we can’t own a gun. More power to the people who use them responsibly. Those Americans, however, that are anxiously waiting inside their homes for the zombie apocalypse, and trust me, they’re out there, well, I’m not too sure these people should have the same rights to bear arms as the rest of us.
I’m not here to preach but I would prefer that the powers that be, and if that means athletes too then so be it, get together to work things out in a constructive manner before any more needless acts of violence occur. Life is short enough as it is without someone sticking a gun in your face to shorten it. I don’t think that’s too much to ask of a civilized society.
However genuine, yet probably futile, the NBA’s efforts were to curb gun violence, at least the sport made a concerted effort to use its star power to make the world a safer place. And as ridiculously idealistic as that sounds, if the ads even stopped one senseless shooting, then they did their job.
I guess that’s a pretty fine way to start.
Knicks player got shot last night outside a strip club. Apparently not his fault – just random thugs doing their thing. Quite a coincidence, eh? Not condoning him being at a strip club at 3 am but does he deserve to get mugged for that? Sad state of affairs in a lot of places. Guess I’ll eventually have to move back to my rural home / hunting camp in Alabama & hole up to get away from the nutcases and criminals. SMH
Talking about gun violence as seen through a league where the majority of its players come from inner cities and who just happen to be African-American. Great , now all Adam Silver has to do, is to explain why he and David Stern saw fit to use the genre of gangsta rap to promote the NBA brand during the height of the genre , all this while young kids were being gunned down across the nation due to gang violence. The NBA remains a league full of so much hypocritical bull#hit .
My questions is, what does gun control mean? If you have ever seen a shrink are you on a list that doesn’t allow the purchase of gun? Particular medicine? Behavior trait? I, like everybody else has been hearing the talk for several years now, BUT NOBODY EVER GIVES ANY DETAILS. Just the generic “we need to curb gun violence” , ” We have to do something “.
So I ask, what exactly are the details to making this situation better? There are 300,000,000+ guns already in houses in the good old USA. This problem needed to be addressed about 200 years ago in my honest opinion. For the record I have a .22 Ruger rifle in my attic that has been up there for 30 years. I have not fired a gun in 25 years. I myself am not a fan of guns and have similar questions as you and your friend, Chris.
That said, I really would like to know specifics of how people plan on fixing it rather than shouting from rooftops about a problem most can agree on. I mean this directed more at our politicians than you or anybody else. Next time Hillary yaps about gun control it would be nice (especially her own party) if somebody would actually ask for details instead of using it as a way to campaign. Tell her to put up or shut up. This argument has been going round and round for years and we are no closer to solving it. I seriously can’t ever remember hearing anything other than ” we need more background checks “. Again, I ask what does that mean? What are you specifically looking for in a background check? More importantly, what is going to prevent you from owning a gun? Nobody ever has those answers because that would require making tough decisions that may be unpopular to some people. Kudos to the NBA for putting out a PSA though. Better than nothing I guess.
Most gun owners abide by the rules of gun ownership, which includes purchasing rules.
Stricter gun laws aren’t going to prevent criminals from obtaining guns illegally, as we discovered recently in San Bernardino.
Seems to me that the NBA did this, in part, to improve its image, its brand. Like a Hollywood celebrity who holds a press conference to announce some act of charity or charitable contribution to counteract negative publicity they brought on themselves.
Which begs the question, does anyone ever do anything for purely altruistic reasons?
The league that gave us Gilbert Arenas and that Wizards (Bullets?) locker room scene…I just don’t know what purpose the ads ultimately serve other than to show us the NBA has awareness the entire US owns this problem. Goodness knows it’s not the only one. Maybe they’re trying to be proactive for the next gun incident involving a player. Getting out ahead of future headlines. Now…if they wanted to take a specific stance offering a solution now you’re in groundbreaking territory that would deserve great praise. Funny how one of our country’s most beloved Christmas movies is about a kid potentially shooting his eye out because he wants a BB gun for the Holiday.
Violence will exist in the world regardless. Punish harshly those who commit the crimes to deter future crimes whether it be with guns, knives, bats, fists or otherwise.
There are plenty of gun deterrent laws in place already and as pointed out already, 300+ million guns in the hands of citizens already. Most don’t abuse that right like thugs, criminals, mass shooters etc. We don’t punish the car for drunk drivers, we punish the driver. Seem pretty simple to me.
If it makes the NBA feel better that they “did something”, fine.
…But remember, that trigger didn’t pull itself.
Just make sure you have plenty of whiskey, water and canned corn in your bomb shelter for the apocalypse.
Doesn’t sound like it’s all that far away.
Although people shooting Knicks players is probably doing the NBA a favor.
I don’t recall that, Al.
You’ll have to refresh my memory.
I hereby nominate you as Hillary’s new Ambassador to Curbing Gun Violence.
I hear the party Bill throws for new hires is quite welcoming.
He encourages everybody to bring their peashooter.
Rest assured, Sportschump.net is here for purely altruistic reasons.
If I had to break down my hourly pay, well, let’s just say I wouldn’t be able to afford a nice, shiny new gun with what I’m getting reimbursed.
Which is probably a good thing.
Want to hear something funny… and perhaps Un-American?
I’ve never seen that movie.
I actually gave it a shot (no pun intended) this Christmas and was surprised to find out that was the core of the story. FYI, I couldn’t sit through the entire thing… although I did find Elf entertaining.
Not sure what the NBA had to gain by these PSAs. But again, if it was to reach out to its younger demographic, then I’m okay with the gesture.
You and D are 100% right though. There needs to be a little more definition in this plan. Just saying gun violence is bad isn’t going to solve the problem.
Remember back in the day when people brought in all their disco records into Kansas City Royals game and burned them?
Perhaps we can convince Los Angelans to turn in all their guns when they get an NFL team.
Oh, that’s right. Nobody will be at the stadium then either.
That line about LA and no one being at the stadium there to turn in the guns…classic.
I wonder if I can get an over/under on, once the new team moves to LA, how long it will stay there.
Chris, you know how stubborn this league is in admitting mistakes. I know they are going to prop up the new owner (or owners if two teams) as much as possible behind the scenes. Maybe they just want to have at least one team there as an excuse to finally move the NFL offices to Hollywood?
NFL offices to Hollywood, Burnsy?
Is that so they can cut off any more Concussion-like movies off at the pass?
What the hell is going on in that league?
Ah come on now Chumpy “what the hell is going on in that league?” the same thing that is going on in all leagues.. public smoke trails so that they can claim to be “doing something”.. Riiiiiiiiight… “something”.
So treat your bkitches like hoes and wonder about abuse crimes against women? Whaaat? Then treat your ‘baby momma’s like hoes’ and wonder why so few urban kids have fathers? Whaaat? Then repeat the line “pop a cap” and wonder why urban violence rises? Whaaat?
What could we do? Smack the bkitch around, leave her to raise the kids solo and if anyone mouths off you pop a cap in them. Solved.
At least the NBA can tell themselves they did good. Riiiiiiiiiight.
Shawn Kemp retired long ago.