Felton gun charge….When will they learn to be role models?

By Rich Mancuso

Raymond Felton made the New York Knicks season that much worse. Late Tuesday afternoon he was arraigned on criminal possession of a firearm, a felony. The Knicks and the NBA are not commenting but they will have to respond soon.

They will have to respond soon and the comments have to be harsh. We have had enough of this! Athletes are no longer seen as role models and portrayed more as thugs on a street corner.  Whatever happened to strict guidelines the NBA and National Football league are supposed to have when it comes to their star athletes possessing a gun or other weapon?

See, this has become more of a society issue. Sports has become a role in this because the athletes, this time, Felton, is a part of that society that unfortunately now is becoming accustomed to a hand gun being as common as a sophisticated cell phone.

Recall recent situations of prominent sports stars and not abiding by strict New York hand gun laws.  Former New York Giants receiver Plaxico Burress in 2008 accidently shot himself in a New York City night club and served two years in prison for his mishap.

Burress said Tuesday, that New York fans will forgive Felton. Maybe, but the NBA and Knicks may not. Because this has become an issue that should not be tolerated, yet those such as Felton, and the many others who have the fortune of reaching the top, continue to abuse their privilege.

The NBA, under former Commissioner David Stern during the 2009-10 season suspended Wizards’ Gilbert Arenas after bringing guns into the locker room. He would also spend one month in a halfway house.

And there have been more cases to a lesser extent that have been unreported. A source recently informed this writer that there is more than one player in the NBA that possesses a hand gun, though many are registered.  Some states are not as strict as New York with hand gun laws, though there needs to be awareness that our role model athletes are in possession of an armed weapon.

They should not be different than your neighbor or colleague at work.  And a voluntary effort by various player association unions should issue strict warnings. Surrender your hand guns now to emphasize the crucial issue that plagues our society.

Felton is the latest.  And though there were no casualties, this is something the Knicks organization, more so the NBA does not need for a headline. There is no end to this madness. Act now and rapidly put an end to this serious issue.

After all sports, the world of fun and games is supposed to be our deviation from the harsh acts taking place in society.

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