I try to avoid the comic stylings of Don Imus, but his latest cryptic remarks about football bad boy Adam "Pacman" Jones seem to be the only thing on the teevee this morning, and -- that being the case -- there is something that jumps out about it.
On Monday, on his radio show that is heard God knows where now, the I-Man interrupted a sports report about Jones' latest arrest to ask what race the player is and when the answer came back African-American, he said "well, OK, there you go. Now we know." Pretty lame stuff, and now today comes the inevitable explanation:
"What people should be outraged about is that they arrest blacks for no reason," Imus said Tuesday. "I mean, there's no reason to arrest this kid six times. Maybe he did something once, but everyone does something once."
Maybe he did something once? Unless Jones is the victim of the worst police conspiracy in American history, it doesn't look that way. Here are just a few snippets from a USA Today article that tries to summarize his record:
Jones has been arrested six times since entering the league and has been involved in 12 incidents requiring police intervention. He was present at a Las Vegas strip club shooting that left a club employee paralyzed during 2007 NBA All-Star weekend. He pleaded no contest Dec. 6 to conspiracy to commit disorderly conduct in a deal that reduced two felony charges of coercion stemming from the strip club shooting. The coercion charges each carried a possible sentence of one to six years in prison.
Jones also agreed to pay a $20,000 gambling debt to a Las Vegas casino to settle a criminal complaint alleging the suspended NFL player wrote three bad checks.
His problems began in college. Jones was sentenced to a year in prison for a bar fight, but the sentence was later suspended in exchange for two years of probation.
His record is even worse than that. If you have the time, and if you're at work right now you probably don't, read the Wikipedia entry on all his legal problems. One thing that strikes me is that a lot of the incidents involve violence against women -- which is really as low as it gets.
And so now Imus is claiming that Jones is being targeted because he's black? What an insult to the vast majority of successful African-American athletes out there, who not only play the game hard and stay out of trouble but also give a lot back to the community. Here in Philadelphia, how many have Jimmy Rollins or Donovan McNabb or Andre Miller or Ryan Howard been arrested? They're black superstars -- why aren't the police targeting them? Or is it reverse racism to say that "Pacman" Jones is only busted because he's black?
In other words, if you believe Imus' story, he's not insulting blacks anymore -- just the police and the women who've been harassed or assaulted by Jones. Is that really progress?