Our readers were Outraged last December when we wrote about San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown’s defense of Latrell Sprewell.
You may recall that last December NBA star Sprewell attacked his coach – not once, but twice – and choked him until he was pulled off by other players. The second attack was clearly premeditated. Latrell also threatened to kill head coach P.J. Carlesimo.
And now, Sprewell is back!
The Golden State Warriors terminated Sprewell’s contract after the assault. But arbitrator John Feerick has ruled that just because a player physically assaults his coach, that’s no reason to fire him. Feerick has reinstated Sprewell as a member of San Francisco’s NBA franchise .
Who was this arbitrator? John Feerick is the dean of Fordham University Law School. We find it totally appropriate that Feerick would find in favor of Sprewell. After all, Feerick is one of the people responsible for training the current crop of lawyers and judges, for whom justice is a totally alien concept.
If Sprewell were an ordinary mortal, he would have been arrested for assault and battery. But, of course, he’s not – he’s a professional athlete. Thus he will be eligible to resume his career on July 1 of this year.
NBA Commissioner David Stern had this to say: “I think that the fundamental point, which is whether you can choke your boss and still hold your job, is one that the answer is now well-established. You cannot, unless you play in the NBA.”
Golden State Warriors team owner Christopher Cohan: “We were shocked by the decision.”
On the other hand, the players union was delighted that one of their members could commit assault and get away with it. NBA Players Association executive director Billy Hunter said “the decision is a victory for all NBA players as well as for Latrell Sprewell.” Great – so now all players have the right to try to kill their coaches.
Arbitrator Feerick has sent an important message to all those who look to sports stars as role models, especially children. Is your teacher getting on your nerves? Just punch him – you’ll get away with it. Tired of your parent’s discipline? Just smack your mother – that’s the way your heroes deal with frustration. Adults, are you tired of that nagging boss? Just choke her to death.
We also have to admit that we’re stunned by the hypocrisy of current employer / employee relationships. A male boss who makes the merest hint of an improper suggestion to a female employee invites a multi-million dollar sexual harassment law suit. Army officers who have consensual sexual relations with their subordinates go to jail. Corporations that fail to hire and promote enough blacks are slammed with huge discrimination suits and accusations of racism. Yet a multimillionaire athlete, who happens to be black, can attempt to kill his boss, who happens to be white, and get away with it.
But we’re really not surprised – after all, former football star O.J. Simpson knifed two innocent people to death, and he remains a free man. We now live in a society in which justice is a sick joke, and the ability to “go to the hoop” carries the fringe benefit of freedom to assault, rape, or kill with impunity.