Questions About Pacman Jones and Tank Johnson

Bleacher ReportSenior Analyst IJuly 5, 2009

The behavioral problems (specifically, alcohol abuse) of white people get rationalized (ex, Jared Allen, Matt Leinart) while the behavioral problems of black people get irrationalized (ex, Pacman Jones). 

In the case of Matt Leinart, he administered alcohol to underage girls in a dangerous manner, and no one cared.  Alternatively, they voiced their admiration for Leinart. 

No one questioned whether Leinart engaged in lewd acts with girls that were under the influence, and not of legal age to drink.

If he had, that would have been rape.  No one investigated or even asked.  If Leinart had been Terrell Owens, then I guarantee that TO would have been compared to Darrell Russell in suppositions and conjecture.

I do not know what transpired at that party.  That though is what disturbs me. 

I do believe that the reason we "don't know" is that Leinart is white, whereas, had he been black, we would have known every gaudy detail about it, along with endless rumors and abstract moralism.

Moreover, Jared Allen has committed what is the equivalent of a felony DUI in some states by one arrest in Idaho in 2002 and two arrests in Kansas in 2006, yet Allen was suspended for only two games, after he had spent time in jail.

Meanwhile, Tank Johnson was suspended after a cluster of legal issues, most of which were thrown out.  The only issue that stuck is that Johnson had illegal possession of guns in Illinois.  However, the same possession would have been legal in his home state of Arizona.

In other cases, police arrested Pacman Jones for disorderly conduct in public, while strippers have twice accused Jones of spitting on them. 

I hope that you don't infer that I think that the word of a stripper has no inherent veracity, but the fact is, the courts only ordered Pacman to stay away from those clubs or was given probation, partially extended from a bar fight he engaged in, while in college.

Yet, the NFL suspended Pacman and Johnson for extended periods and journalists demonized them in the media, yet Allen and Leinart went on their merry way.

I do find it sadistically ironic that Pacman would be demonized for the same behavior that is regularly lionized in country music songs, when he played pro football in the country music capital of the world, Nashville. 

The south has a notorious affinity for strip clubs, bar fights, and alcohol related antics.  The fact is that they will sing songs about it -- that is an undeniable fact.  The message however has been, you can only live it down if you are white.

All I see in Pacman Jones is a player with an alcohol problem and a cluster of accusations against him.

Ask yourself this: If your father had been murdered when you were four, while the grandmother whom helped raise you died from cancer -- can you say absolutely that you would you have been different?

As for the 2007 "make it rain" story from Las Vegas, if you read the info about that melee without raising an eyebrow then you probably did not read it.  A valet described the suspected shooter as a, "black man with cornrows," who took-off into the night.

That sounds like every stereotype of black people I have ever heard.  Considering that, the melee occurred during the 2007 NBA All-Star weekend, that person could have been Allen Iverson, Carmelo Anthony, Jermaine O'Neal, or Richard Hamilton.

What also makes no sense is the order of events.  At the Minxx Gentlemen's Club & Lounge, Chris Mitchell (and owner of "Harlem Knights") claimed that he filled a trash bag of Pacman's cash that he "thought" was for the dancers, while he also claimed that the melee broke-out after he told the dancers to gather the money.

Simultaneously, Mr. Mitchell claimed that the melee broke-out after he -- and a male associate -- left the club with the bag full of cash.  The police also recovered two Breitling watches from Mr. Mitchell.  (Who owned those watches?)

That raises another question in my mind: How much cash was in the bag?  Police say that $81,020 was retrieved, but there is no mention as to the percentage carried by Mr. Mitchell.  Did he have all of the money, or just part of the money?

As well as, when did Mr. Mitchell tell the dancers to gather the money: When it was in his bag, or when he was outside with an unnamed associate with plenty of opportunity (a bag full of cash) to bribe and intimidate the unnamed valet into baring false witness?

It seems to me that Pacman was just a convenient patsy and red herring because he had a reputation of accusations by strippers. 

I'm not claiming that Pacman did not "make it rain," -- I'm simply saying that people have focused on that to the detriment of the real question.  That being, who pulled the trigger?

I cannot listen to the Bob Dylan song "Hurricane" and not hear the eerie similarities to "make it rain."  And something tells me that Mr. Mitchell was trying to live-out the plot from Ocean's Eleven.

The reports would have you believe that the shooter was just some random thug in a flurry of confusion, rather than an inside job.

Ultimately though, I do believe that the trivial misconduct by black people gets irrationalized while the trivial misconduct of white people will get rationalized.

Legally, if you have engaged in lewd acts with a person whom was under the influence, and you were not, or if one person was not of legal age to drink -- then that is rape. 

A common act amongst the antics of frat boys and white guys in general (but not me). 

Nevertheless, if some black guy gets drunk and hangs-out at strip clubs, then we're supposed to believe that he's Public Enemy #1.

What's the difference?  Both sides are intoxicated and in pursuit of sexual gratification. 

The difference is, white people will impugn black people in all sadistic irony to deflect criticism and remorse for their behavior, in order to score their brownie points.