Karl Malone Speaks Out on Athletes Carrying Guns

Brendan CollinsCorrespondent IDecember 2, 2008

Two years ago, ESPN released an article about gun use among professional athletes.

Karl Malone, an All-Star basketball player for the Utah Jazz and future Hall of Famer, spoke out against athletes carrying guns.

With all the talk surrounding Plaxico Burress and athletes carrying guns as a source of protection, it is time to look back to Malone's words of wisdom.

I can understand that athletes of all professional sports are targets, some more than others, but the walking around with a gun is not the solution. Many people point to the tragedy of Sean Taylor and the stabbing of Paul Pierce as evidence that professional athletes are targets for criminals.

However, with that being said, I think fans, media and most importantly the athletes themselves need to have some common sense.

"I don't know what you need a gun for in the NBA. What are you doing that you want a gun? Who have you pissed off that you need a gun?"  Karl told ESPN after being asked about gun use among NBA players.

Karl is an avid hunter and supporter of the National Rifle Association, but finds it foolish that professional athletes need guns to protect themselves.

"I think it's just a smoke screen, just an easy reason to say you want a gun," Malone said.

While Malone supports the constitutional right to bear arms, he said he is skeptical of the average athlete's mentality when it comes to firearms.

Malone thinks that carrying guns has become a way that the players can show off their toughness or rough background.

"Everybody sticks their chest out now when they have a firearm on them,'I come up from the hard part of the streets, the mean streets, and I need my gun and all of that?' Come on, please, enough of that already. We're tired of that."

Malone also questions peoples off the court or off the field habits. Sometimes these players need to make better decisions as to where they are hanging out and who they are hanging out with.

"Three a.m.? My goodness gracious, what were you doing out at three o'clock in the morning? Who were you with? Where were you at? Do you need a gun to protect you or do you need a babysitter to get you where you need to be all the time so that you don't get in any trouble?" Malone said.

"We need to talk more about where we are going, what we are doing, and who we are hanging out with that lead up to these confrontations."

Well said by a real tough man, who does not need guns to protect himself. Athletes, watch what is happening to those who carry guns—use your heads!