A Very American Coup By Michael – Louis Ingram, Editor-in-Chief...
It’s Time For Black Sports Writers To Send Jones Packing
If you are wondering what that sound is, it is the sound of me flushing Adam “Pacman” Jones down the proverbial sports toilet from my own perch and walking away from him and his mess. I’m through with him as a sports writer and more importantly, I’m walking away from him as a black sports writer and as a black man.
I’m through with him and his legal issues and it is time that the sports world just let this guy go on and get ready for whatever color of a jumpsuit he is going to wear in three months. It is time for black sports writers across this country to just say, “Enough is enough” and we wash our hands of Jones and others like him.
This guy is the worst representation for the Black community and instead of this community rising up and embarrassing the hell out of him, many are enabling him, making excuses for his actions and behaviors. Many have said that he needs to be around his friends but so many more are saying that he should have dumped every one of his friends and found him some true friends that truly want him to succeed.
Personally, I’ve said on too many airwaves that Pacman needs to dump those flipping losers and any family members that can’t see the bigger picture and that he also needs to possibly stay away from clubs in general. And while many of us have been trying to get this “player” to realize that he is about to screw up his dream, we were shot down, ridiculed and told that we don’t know what we are talking about.
Well, guess what folks? For all of you who thought Pacman was being racially profiled, picked on and harassed because he was a young black man with money, the rest of us are walking away from him and his friends/family who don’t understand just how embarrassing this is.
This is the very reason why black sports writers need to walk away from this story: Pacman Jones and others like him are an embarrassment to us. Is that being selfish? Damn right it is. Whether people like to admit this or not but a group is judged by the whole even though one of them may be the village idiot.
Pacman just isn’t the village idiot; he is the King of all Court Jesters that like to embarrass a group of individuals. He is the ultimate reason why many of us in the journalism world want to be the voices that shake things up at rookie symposiums or veteran media sessions because Jones is the poster child as to why many individuals think that Black athletes are nothing more than the 21st century version of Rochester from the Jack Benny show and that is simply not the case.
One of Jones’ teammates, David Thornton, said it best in a USA Today article. “The light has been turned on. A lot of things he did in darkness are being revealed.”
Thornton has never been more correct than now. Pacman thought he could hide his wrongdoings from his employer and that is simply not the case anymore. From Jeff Fisher to Bud Adams, the Tennessee Titans have “officially” closed the door on Jones as a player on their roster and well they should. This is reality and Pacman and his supporters need to realize that nobody has time to play with him or hold his hand every time he does something stupid.
Everyone that Pacman needed to surround himself with are walking away from him and you know what’s next? His so-called friends will be doing the same in a few months. When the money runs out, they’ll latch on to someone else. Jones will be sucked dry and nobody, and that includes his family members, will be man or woman enough to say, “Adam we’re sorry for not protecting you more and making you own up to your faults.”
But in the meantime it is definitely time for a smaller segment to start forgetting that he even exists. The numerous black sports writers need find someone else and help the rest of the media world do the same. Today, from this point on, Pacman is dead to me.
I don’t know who he is anymore and I don’t want to know. Right now he is just the thuggish, thug thug that is glossin’ the “Thuglife” magazine cover. After this story, I’m going to ban myself from writing about him and it is time that others do the same.
IS IT TIME FOR PRO ATHLETES TO LOOK AT THE BOTTOM LINE?
It seems that Kobe Bryant and Kevin Garnett are not happy campers these days and in the NBA world, big time trades may soon take place before July 1st. rolls around. What is truly sad is the fact that nobody in both camps ever thought about the ramifications of taking a maximum deal at the tie it was offered.
When you look at what these players are making and when you understand the salary cap structure of the NBA, you can see why it may be time for NBA players to be more proactive in their contract negotiations and learn to become mini general managers in their own right when it comes to how much of a salary burden they are on the team they play for.
If you think this is not necessary, then evidently you still believe that Kobe and Shaq Daddy are the best of friends. The reality of the situation is that NBA salaries are really astronomical and out of control and it is time that the players realize that pretty soon the product they are so proud of will be weighed down with very few stars and a bunch of overpriced sub par members.
The reality that both Kobe and Garnett face is the fact that they are a large percentage of both of their respective teams’ salary structure. Garnett made $21 million of the Minnesota Timberwolves’ $65 million budget. Bryant is getting $17 million of the Lakers’ $77 million deal.
Both figures were from this past season and those numbers do not take into account the amnesty contracts that are being paid out by both teams for players who are no longer on the roster. Yet even if you subtract those numbers, those salaries are indeed a big part of why it’s hard to trade either to another team.
That’s where the general managers are at such a crossroads on trying to make a deal. Bryant and Garnett garner so much money in return for a trade that the only way either two players are moved is with a multiple player or team trade.
GM’s Mitch Kupchak (L.A.) and Kevin McHale (Minnesota) have to give up one player and get three back in return which many teams will not do. So for the time being, both players are just stuck staying where they are.
Yet one has to wonder if maybe had either player or their respected representatives and owners had looked into the crystal ball they would see the financial straits they are now in. Hopefully other players are paying attention to what is going on with this situation and take some notes.
Getting a maximum deal is an ideal situation but if you are a team that is trying to win titles, you don’t necessarily have to have a maxed out payroll to do so. Just look at where other teams have been on salary lists of the past champions to see how they did it.