Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Three Dog Night

We are fans of truth and accuracy in everything we do, and particularly in the statements of NBAers. Thus we were refreshed when we read the police report about Charles Barkley’s recent arrest for drunk driving on New Year’s Eve in Arizona. Barkley was straightforward and frank with the arresting officer and did not deny either that (i) he was drunk and driving too fast, or (ii) that his female companion was not in his car to fix his stereo.

Predictably, some internet voices are ticked off about Barkley behaving like a fool. But Barkley has long maintained that he is not a role model. Drunk driving, of course, is gravely serious business, and perhaps a man who styles himself as something of a moral arbiter of all things hoopwise should not have that podium when his Kantian ethics are very questionable. (And there may be behavioral covenants in his employment contract with TNT.) I am surprised, though, at the sudden Puritanism from many who should know better. How many NBA players are able to celibately resist the fragrant charms of road life? How many NBA players have never partied hard with alcohol, marijuana, or worse? Yes, Barkley’s predicament is funny, but it really should not surprise anyone.

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