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Gilbert Arenas is Proof That Money Doesn't Change Mindsets

Samuel Bell JrSenior Analyst IJanuary 1, 2010

PHOENIX - DECEMBER 19:  Gilbert Arenas #0 of the Washington Wizards during the NBA game against the Phoenix Suns at US Airways Center on December 19, 2009 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Suns defeated the Wizards 121-95. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

As fans, we're done with the excuses.

We're tired of superstar athletes rising to prominence only to turn their back on common sense and intelligence, to give way to chosen ignorance.

It's not everybody else's fault. It's your responsibility, what you reflect and what people see as a reflection of who you are and what you stand for.

Everyday we are bombarded with choices. Mundane decisions like whether to sleep a little longer or have a cup of coffee not withstanding.

It's the choices that affect our position in life and what we believe that stand by themselves in the level of importance.

Choices like whether you should bring a gun to work.

There's no way a professional athlete should have a weapon with him at a game, whether loaded or not.

The right to bear arms doesn't mean putting yourself and others in danger for no good reason.

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I agree with a man's right to have a weapon, but in the right circumstances. As a multi-million dollar athlete, there's no way you can justify having a weapon in a setting like, say, a NBA locker room.

This doesn't need to turn into a debate about gun possession, but a focus on the ineptitude of logic that Gilbert Arenas and Javaris Crittenton have displayed.

Reports surfaced recently that Arenas carried unloaded firearms to games in the Verizon Center and left them in the locker room.

Arenas has confirmed that this is true.

Really? A firearm in a NBA locker room? To use it on who, Antawn Jamison? Maybe Flip Saunders?

Not to make a joke about someone being shot because that is a really serious offense, but why would Arenas need a gun at a home game?

To make matters worse, he and fellow teammate Crittenton apparently had a dispute over gambling debts that Arenas failed to pay which led to Arenas drawing a gun.

Out of defense for his life, Crittenton drew a weapon also, but nobody was hurt.

So in other words, Crittenton had a weapon readily available also. This is complete and utter chaos for David Stern and the league, and needs to be addressed.

If it wasn't bad enough that Ron Artest drank alcohol at the half of games, we now have guys carrying guns to the arenas and drawing them on each other ?

This is madness and has to stop.

Arenas has since denied these accusations, but really who could believe him now?

We already know about him having guns in the locker room, so this story makes perfect sense.

Guns in the wrong hands take lives, not the guns themselves.

It just goes to show what kind of people these professional leagues employ. Guys who would've had a hard time in life had they not became professional athletes.

A person with a mentality that has to have a weapon at his job which pays him millions, and draw that weapon on his own teammate needs a reality check.

Arenas could've hurt himself or his teammates, or God forbid could've killed someone for what? A gambling debt?

This mentality is the same one that has thousands of people dead for no reason. It is a scary sight when the first way to settle a dispute is drawing a weapon.

In a culture of gangs and guns that has seen people like Christopher "B.I.G" Wallace, Tupac Shakur, Sean Taylor, Jason "Jam Master Jay" Mizell, and many others killed, when will we get it?

What has to happen for ignorant individuals like Arenas to realize that his life is at stake?

Arenas built a reputation as a playful, harmless guy who wrote funny blogs and gave entertaining interviews which made him a polarizing player.

Now he has made the public see him as a scared little boy who hides behind a weapon because he thinks that it makes him invincible.

Like many other individuals walking the streets.

Arenas needs intervention. Someone needs to pull him to the side and talk to him.

For better or worse, Arenas has to see the impact of his careless and thoughtless actions on himself and others before someone gets hurt.

You can take someone out of a bad situation and give them millions, but that doesn't change them fundamentally.

Arenas is proof that money is financial gain but in no way an antidote for extreme ignorance or a corrupted mindset.

Stern needs to act on this situation and make like the NFL's commish Roger Goodell and send a harsh little message to Mr. Arenas.

Could you imagine if Goodell found out that Vince Young had a firearm in his locker room?

Stern has made the NBA a global iconic sport after the departure of Michael Jordan, its most polarizing figure.

He also hasn't hesitated to act when someone threatened the integrity of his league, just ask Ron Artest.

This time he needs to stop a festering problem before it explodes all in his league's face. His players need to know the line that delineates unacceptable behavior.

We don't want to see another tragedy in the form of gun violence. It happens everyday on American streets.

We go to sports to help us get away from those perils that exist in the world that we inhabit daily.

When those ills reach the sports arenas, it is time for we as a people to step in and not allow the people we spend our hard money on to carry on like idiots as our impressionable children watch.

Arenas is proof that money doesn't equal fundamentally sound mentally. He won't be the last.