6.29.2005

you lose gambler!

my beloved texas rangers are finally getting national headlines again. unfortunately it's for a bad reason. musically named pitcher kenny rogers picked a fight with an unsuspecting camera man before a game (you can watch a clip of the altercation by clicking on the video link at the top of espn's webpage. from everything i've read and heard, the camera man didn't do anything to provoke rogers, and rogers just went apeshit on the guy. from the footage, extremely sorry on rogers part. not that i care one way or the other about rogers. he's always been a servicable pitcher that can eat up innings, but he' always had the reputation of having a short temper.

anyways, i was thinking about this parallels between this and the whole ron artest fiasco. now before i start, let me make it clear, that i understand that the artest thing is much more severe and much more out of line that what kenny did. however, at the same time, they're both way out of line. both crossed some sacred line by doing violence on someone who is not directly involved with the game in the context of a sporting event. true, rogers did his before the game. true, artest got a beer thrown on him, but in both cases, this is just something that you cannot do. i'm just wondering if the coverage will be proportional. it's just that when the whole artest thing went down, we had to endure about two months of people wondering if the world was coming to an end. i'm just wondering if rogers will get a proportional grilling. obviously, for the next few days people will be talking and writing about this. but will there be any calls for beefed up security? will there be any calls to get thugs out of major league baseball? will any analogies be drawn between what happened with rogers and the general moral decline of the world? will there be any commentary about how the hothead/redneck culture has made the game less palatable to fans?

my guess is that there won't. i'm not saying that there should be, but really why shouldn't it provoke the same kind of response as the artest deal did, except on a smaller scale? i know that athletes have gone after media people before, but nothing this violent in recent memory. what's really interesting is that my guess is that people will be more likely to just say that kenny rogers is a sorry sonuvabitch. but with the artest deal, it became a debate about how black culture is affecting the NBA. i doubt that there's going to be any real furor over this, but again, i ask, why shouldn't there be? if you think about it, at least artest was provoked. rogers had absolutely no reason to go after the cameraman.

again, i'm not saying that rogers should be suspended for the rest of the year or anything. and i'm also not saying that kenny rogers is going to get off easier with the press and the public because he is white. i'm just wondering how big the reaction to this incident would be if it were a black player. i guess i just wanted to go on record as saying that the response by the media and the public will be much more muted that it should be (again, let me emphasize that i don't think it should get the same kind of coverage as the artest deal. just that it won't get a reaction that is proportional to the standard that was set with the artest deal.

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