Basketbrawl. I\'m Responsible?

There are 5.5 million people who live in the Detroit metropolitan area. Last night at the Detroit Pistons-Indiana Pacers basketball game, one (likely non-sober) fan decided to toss his cup of beer at Pacers' headcase player Ron Artest. Now we will hear a lot of chatter in the media and talk radio about 'Detroit's Image' and 'Detroit's Black Eye'. ESPN talking heads will drone on and on about 'Detroit Fans'. Suddenly, the actions of 0.00001% of the area's population somehow represent all of us who live in/near Detroit. In this collective mindset, I guess I'm partially responsible and will have to bear the burden.

Note to Artest: Heading to the locker room, taking a shower, and calling it a night would've been the optimal solution, even though turning the other cheek may be far easier said than done (even if it tarnishes your "street cred"). But if you are going to go berserk and charge the crowd, risking real injuries to many people and potentially instigating a mini-riot, at least figure out who actually lobbed the beverage before you start throwing punches.

Well, I guess Mr. Artest will now have that time off to promote that upcoming rap album.

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"Note to Artest: Heading to

"Note to Artest: Heading to the locker room, taking a shower, and calling it a night would’ve been the optimal solution,..."

Especially because he's a juicy lawsuit target. What an idiot.

"Note to Artest: Heading to

"Note to Artest: Heading to the locker room, taking a shower, and calling it a night would’ve been the optimal solution,"

Sure, that would've been the optimal solution, but can you honestly say that's what you would have done in that situation?

shonk, No, I couldn't 100%

shonk,

No, I couldn't 100% guarantee it (which is why I mentioned the part about "easier said than done" immediately after the text you quoted).

I agree with Artest on an emotional level. But not on a common sense level.

It's like road rage. Some people have the most asinine reactions to the smallest traffic situations. It's understandable in raw human emotional terms, but they're still responsible for their actions they take.

Well, I was embarrassed to

Well, I was embarrassed to be a Pistons fan after seeing the incident. I won't call it "Detroit's Black Eye," but I would dub it a "black eye for Pistons fans." One man may have launched the beer cup at Artest, but hundreds of them threw stuff at the Pacers as they tried to leave the floor and head to the locker room. One hooligan throwing a beer would have be dismissable. Half an arena trying to start a riot is a bit different....

In general, sports fans are

In general, sports fans are pigs. If the draft was in effect, half of you/those fans would be cannon fodder in Iraq or preparing for the coming wars with No. Korea and Iran. I say DRAFT you pigs. That would solve 50% of the problem!

a.d.f., Actually, I tend to

a.d.f.,

Actually, I tend to view it the other way around.

I have absolutely no sympathy for the initial beer-thrower. Whatever punishment he got, or is going to get, I can't say that I care.

But, given the "swing first/ask questions later" trio of Pacers in the stands AND afterwards on the court, I couldn't sympathize with them being pelted with every food and drink item imaginable as they ran through the tunnel. (I'm definitely not using this as an excuse, but I'm betting 99% of those fans hadn't seen the beer thrown on Artest, and might've just assumed Artest was just beating up a heckler).

All in all, there's plenty of blame to go around and the whole scene was just ugly.

Isn't it totally ironic that

Isn't it totally ironic that before the game, as Artest came into the arena -- he was heckled from the stands and his reaction then was to HIGH FIVE everyone? Where was THAT guy at the end of the game?

I disagree with anonymous,

I disagree with anonymous, also. I would've expected a similar outcome in most any arena after the players attacked innocent fans in the stands. Although, I've also long felt security at the Palace was lacking. Especially during pre-play off games. Adequate security may have prevented at least some of this.

Diana, I was wondering when

Diana, I was wondering when you were going to chime in with your thoughts. :grin:

Two things irked me during the last 48 hours pertaining to this spectacle beyond the obvious beer-thrower and Artest's subsequent stagedive into the crowd.

First, the feel I get from various media is that Pistons Fans (of which I am one) are unusually obnoxious and unruly compared to the other, more docile fans in other locales. The theme is, it's just Detroit being Detroit. But the facts are this: When opposing team players bulldoze into a home crowd to start punching out people, for whatever reason, all bets are off. Civility and 'law and order' are going to nose-dive. Anyone who doesn't believe this would happen at any college or professional sports event in the country is clearly not using sane judgement. (I mean, imagine UM players charging into the OSU student section if one got hit by a cup of water. What would happen in the Horseshoe after this point?).

Secondly, the actions of O'Neal appear even worse than Artest's. At least people saw Artest coming and could somewhat "prepare". O'Neal just sucker-punched this guy on the court who wasn't even looking, which is considered the lowest of the low. The fan is half the size/strength of O'Neal, but O'Neal still felt the need to add that additional advantage.

Ah well. The Pistons did win tonight in OT on a game winning dunk by Prince. Thousands of good, decent fans went home happy. Yet, the one beer-throwing clown will be the de facto representative of the Detroit Piston organization and the City of Detroit for a long while.

the fans should get more

the fans should get more punishment than the players.
how would you like to be at your job and get pelted by anything, not to mention people just yelling things. if the fans cannot control themselves then they dont beong there. i think basketball is the only sport where fans can be that close to the players, maybe the security people should rethink that problem.
if the fans get away with this crap what is next?
i saw on tv that this wasn't the first time fans have thrown stuff at the same player, isn't that some kind of assult?
maybe he's not a nice guy...then dont go watch!

> "how would you like to be

> "how would you like to be at your job and get pelted by anything, not to mention people just yelling things."

If my co-worker tossed a cup of water at me, I would summon Human Resources and he would - at minimum - be suspended. Most likely though, he'd be fired. I wouldn't press charges because getting splashed with a liquid wouldn't be worth the hassle of filing a police report, going to court, etc.

If I started throwing punches in return (especially at the wrong guy, like Artest did), I'd not only be fired, but chances are very good that I'd be brought up on criminal charges. Breaking his jaw would feel good in an instant-gratification kind of way, but I'd better be prepared to accept the harsh punishment that would follow.

I don't really blame Artest much for snapping. Any one of us could. As Morgan Freeman said in Shawshank Redemption, every man has his breaking point. But he's responsible for the punishment that comes with that impulse act of revenge (And that's what it was... revenge. It wasn't self-defense).

Hi Doug, I was going to see

Hi Doug,
I was going to see this game too, but was home with the flu. I watched the news last night at eleven, and they gave the name of the beer tosser.
Charges are to be filed against him today, as he didn't turn up at the police station in Auburn Hills as promised.

Did you see any of the comments on the news by 'fans' in the bars in Indiana wearing the 'Detroit Sucks' hats? It was infuriating. I was yelling at the tv screen telling them to bring their fat butts up here with those hats! LOL [See? They've labeled us as 'bad' and listen to me.]

It also ticks me off because I've long been a Pacers fan as well. I lived in Indiana for quite a while, and went to college there. I love Reggie Miller.

Ron Artest has done this sort of thing before, and it wouldn't surprise me a bit if it was a publicity stunt for his new album. What an ass.

Diana

If my co-worker tossed a cup

If my co-worker tossed a cup of water at me...

The relevant comparison would be a customer, not a co-worker. It's interesting to note that if you beat him up you'd still probably be fired, but the calling-HR remedy doesn't apply. Other than calling security, is there any substitute? It seems the choice on a pragmatic level is between brushing it off and fighting back. It should be no surprise that Artest chose the latter.