Amar’e Stoudemire busting his hand open on a fire extinguisher during the first round of the playoffs was one thing, but if you’re this hell bent on destroying you’re legacy, why don’t you bring a duffle bag full of guns into the locker room already and fizzle out (cough, Gilbert Arenas, cough). At least what Agent 0 did wasn’t so blatantly offensive.
All the fan asked was that Amar’e Stoudemire play at the level the Knicks need him to play at, to make up for a lackluster year. Amar’e knows he didn’t perform last season, despite injuries, he made it clear that the maximum deal he received is not worth it – not only based on his play. Punching a fire extinguisher case and missing playoff games where they needed him most was the tip of the iceberg. We know he went through a lot last season, losing a brother and battling injuries with a condensed schedule. That could be frustrating for anyone; hearing analysts doubt your ability, and losing confidence in yourself, but when a fan suggests to “come back stronger to make up for last season,” he doesn’t deserve to be called a “fag.” These two incidents alone display the immaturity of one, Amar’e Stoudemire. Turning 30 this November, this is not the kind of language you would expect to hear from a married man.
It is pretty obvious why this is wrong. Using language you would hear from a bully in a Middle School cafeteria 15 years ago doesn’t make any sense, and for him to think a direct message would keep this incident private is only evidence that he surely didn’t think this through. In fact, I was once told by Donte Stallworth that “my 96 followers didn’t care what I had to say, and neither did he,” via Direct Message, after I harassed him a bit, calling him a murderer (to be fair, he ran over an innocent guy with his Bentley, and continued his career in the NFL like it never happened). I immediately took a screen shot, and tweeted what he had said. Unfortunately, I didn’t receive this sort of publicity, but rightfully so – he didn’t call me a fag.
Incidents like these are bad for the NBA, and bad for the Knicks organization. For a star player to use this sort of language towards a fan is unbelievable. When you’re in the public eye, expect criticism. Analysts all over the country have echoed the same sentiment as the fan. I have heard radio interviews where he has accepted this criticism during the season, and vowed for a better return. He didn’t use ignorant language and hang up, he handled himself with maturity. His nine-hours-too-late apology only shows that he knew this situation would get him in trouble, instead calling the heckler “bro.” He couldn’t have been more insincere in his apology.
With all the problems the NBA has had with the image of their players, you could bet this fine was going to be handed down the second this message saw the light of day. You would usually expect much more from a high profile star like Amar’e Stoudemire, as you would with anyone. He is an adult for goodness sake. A role model for children should not be condoning this language. Kobe Bryant was fined $100,000 for using this language towards an official, and Grant Hill has made commercials to try to curb these outbursts, from players and children alike. It’s time that people recognize that kids commit suicide because of words like this – it’s time to set an example.
Take it from New Edition, Cool It Now, You’re gunna lose control!