Monday, December 01, 2008
Judging Plaxico Burress
I try my best to give professional athletes the benefit of doubt considering the spotlight can be overwhelming. Those who keep up with my commentary may not believe that since I have been extremely critical of Terrell Owens, Ron Artest, and other troublemakers. But, after securing two Op-ed spots where I shared my thoughts that basically blasted Michael Vick I have been accused of being judgmental by people who suddenly value biblical scripture. Therefore, I have also been somewhat closed lipped when it comes to expressing my unadulterated feelings about the behavior of a few black athletes.
Since that accusation (judgmental) I have been selective with my words of disappointment because to be labeled ‘judgmental’ can assist in credibility lost. And, we all know that a writer must be creditable. However, I am willing to put my reputation out on the limb if I am standing by what I believe to be appropriate characterizations of men who in my bold opinion do not give a damn about loyalty, family, personal character, and the law. Unfortunately, Plaxico Burress falls into this category this week. He is a reasonable target for my condemnation; and lingering frustration with black men who allow money to change them for the worst.
Plaxico is flashy. He runs routes with precision. Plaxico is boastfully outspoken. He has proven to be dependable when the ball is in the air. Plaxico is everything most fans like. He is the type of guy everyone loves. The sad point is Plaxico and the likes of him know that they are liked and loved without restriction; and they use this to ‘juice up’ their already inflated egos. Egos that allow them to make stupid decisions that put, not only their careers in the hands of a rich white guy, but their lives in jeopardy.
I keep asking myself, ‘Why would Plaxico insist on carrying a 40 caliber glock in a nightclub after he was told that he could not bring it in?’ In his persistence what he has done is injured himself, strained his relationship with a colleague (Antonio Pierce), disregarded his responsibility to his employer (NY Giants/NFL), further damaged his reputation, and added a label to the list of descriptives he has earned in his short time in the National Football League: Felon.
How stupid can these guys be? They have money, fame, and respect – but they for one reason only (ego) cannot stay away from becoming another judicial system example. I often wonder how I would respond to becoming an instant millionaire. Some will tell you that I cannot make the following prediction when and if I ever earn or come into millions of dollars:
I would not be a damn idiot!
Plaxico is in the need of our tenderly stern judgment. Someone besides the NFL Commissioner and the District Attorney of New York must. Those powers surely will in the coming days while we sit back and allow another black man to go down without culturally reprimanding him for dishonoring himself all because some outdated source (bible) tells us that it is wrong to judge.
Written by Brian E. Payne. Inspired by “judgment is not wrong if done with a sense of lovingly resolve.” I believe that, and not this: Romans 2:1.