So, first things first: I sort of laughted when I heard how Plaxico Burress shot himself. You could not invent a situation more perfect for an incredulous, palms-to-the-sky "I mean, seriously??"
The guy goes to a club wearing sweatpants and decides he's going to keep his piece holstered in the top band. I can barely keep my wallet fastened to the top of my sweatpants—and he expects a firearm to stay up there? I've never touched a firearm that could be described as "light," much less "likely to hang on my waist by a piece of crappy elastic."
And then Burress nearly blows off his manhood as the gun slides down his leg as he walks to get a drink. Boom (Literally). Off to prison you go, Plax. You buffoon.
And here's what you were waiting for: BUT, that doesn't give Stevie Johnson the right to mock him—especially on the field.
The fact that it took this long for a player to make such a mockery during a touchdown celebration withstanding—Johnson mimed that he shot himself in the crotch after scoring against the Jets today —it's still not something to joke about on the field.
One, it is, for lack of a better word, immature. Making light of someone shooting themselves in such a public fashion is pretty ridiculous. You wouldn't laugh if someone made for of Cedric Benson's drunk driving charges or Albert Haynesworth's foot stomping of Andre Gurode.
We try to put those in the past and there's no sense in bringing them back to life.
But two, we're talking about gun violence. I know that's a buzzy, political debatish-type word, but it's true. Neither the NFL nor NFL fans nor NFL players need the reminder the guns are still a part of players' lives off the field. One of the strange facts highlighted during Burress' trial was how many NFL and other professional athletes carry firearms when in public.
They do it in some sense to be tough, but in another, not to end up like Sean Taylor. These guys are targets, often by kids they grew up with, and no one, ever, has the right to highlight that in such mockery, as Stevie Johnson did today.
Stupidity by way of violence is one thing. Perpetuating it is another.