Athletes + Guns = Thugs; But Regular Americans + Guns = Patriots — Huh?

The latest athlete drama surrounds an NBA player and guns. NY Knicks guard Raymond Felton was arrested early Tuesday morning charged with three gun charges, two of which are felonies. The two felony charges are second and third-degree criminal possession of  a weapon. According to USA Today Sports:

The second-degree felony charge carries a maximum sentence of 15 years if convicted, and the third-degree charge carries a maximum sentence of seven years if convicted.

Felton will probably take a plea deal and he may do some time, but it’s unlikely, given his relatively clean criminal history that he’ll do 15 years. The first and immediate reaction would be, “OK. Another professional athlete makes a stupid decision.” While that may be true in some respects, I think it’s unwise to pass such judgment without looking at the bigger picture.

‘Stand your ground’. It’s the controversial law that has inspired heated debates about self-protection and gun ownership. No, Raymond Felton is not charged for discharging his gun or killing someone in a presumed self-defense incident, but he still had the guns. The question is how is he any different than many Americans who assume and claim their constitutional right to have and own one?

The first argument is usually for protection. Well for the professional athlete, their status makes them a target, so carrying a gun makes sense according to that argument. The second argument is regarding a person’s constitutional right to do so. OK. Professional athletes are Americans too. The recent number of shootings and high-profile cases surrounding gun violence is an issue about gun control, among other issues. Felton’s case is simple: you have to have a license to carry a weapon and/or carry a weapon according to the laws of a particular state. If you violate those laws, it becomes a criminal matter.  

That doesn’t necessarily make the person involved a criminal.

Felton clearly made a mistake. If the charges are true, he violated the law, and will have to deal with the consequences. His status should make him think differently about his choices. However, let’s not be so quick to judge. The same people so quick to call him a thug for carrying a gun are some of the same people who are also quick to call out their right to do just the same–except they consider themselves patriotic Americans.

What do you think?

Your Jersey Girlfriend,

~Angela Davis



NCAA ends ‘use rights’ with EA Sports

The NCAA is pulling its contract with EA Sports which include use rights for their logo and name in video game as they fight a lawsuit which claims they owe billions of dollars to former college players for allowing their likeness to be used for free.

“We are confident in our legal position regarding the use of our trademarks in video games,” the NCAA said. “But given the current business climate and costs of litigation, we determined participating in this game is not in the best interests of the NCAA.

The contract officially expires in 2014 so that will be the last year of the NCAA Football game. However, EA Sports will still produce a college football game, which seems to fall in line with the NCAA rules:

“Member colleges and universities license their own trademarks and other intellectual property for the video game,” the NCAA said in a statement. “They will have to independently decide whether to continue those business arrangements in the future.”

It seems those arrangements are in the works as s source within EA Sports says after the contract expires, the game will be called College Football 15. This really is the best strategy for the NCAA because the outcome of this lawsuit could be historical and possibly impact the future landscape of college sports. 

The lawsuit filed by former UCLA basketball star Ed O’Bannon, which was then expanded to include other players claims, according to ESPN,  that the NCAA and EA Sports have used their names and likenesses without compensation and demand the NCAA find a way to give players a cut of the billions of dollars earned from live broadcasts, memorabilia sales and video games.

I’m very interested in the outcome of this lawsuit. While I initially felt that college players had no case for getting paid, I’ve change my position after understanding the billions of dollars raked in by the collegiate powerhouses and the many students who don’t get the support and resources needed after being the contributors to the billions raked in.

I think there should be a change to the NCAA system. While I don’t think they should get paid on the level of professional athletes, I do think some level of compensation is the right thing to do.

In the meantime the NCAA is backing out extending their use right and that is just smart strategy.

Your Jersey Girlfriend,

~Angela Davis

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