WARNING: HOT TAKES AND OPINIONS FORTHCOMING; DO NOT MISTAKE FOR NEWS
Welcome to the latest chapter of "Bogus Athlete Arrests". Today we view Thabo Sefolosha and Pero Antic, out well past my bedtime but the totally normal for NBA players 4am in the city that never sleeps, New York City.
A sad situation emerges, according to reports, that involves Pacers forward Chris Copeland and his wife getting into a fight and then a third party enters and when things get even more crazy, Copeland, his wife and a third party gets stabbed.
That's a terrible conclusion, to be sure.
Now, as police enter a no-doubt chaotic scene, Hawks players Thabo Sefolosha and Pero Antic are there. Then, as the dramatization in my mind goes, police are pushing through the two Hawks and get some resistance as you might expect from two big fellas at a drinking establishment at that time of the morning.
As the large gentlemen turn towards the folks pushing them, they move to intimidate to get the effort to move them to stop. As the men shoving are the police, and these players clearly have the edge on them physically, they are removed forcefully by arrest, in an apparent attempt to make the players respect their authoritah.
My speculation is that the guys were either too out of it or simply wrapped up in the chaos to notice these were police that were administering the attempt to move them, but I wouldn't take these arrests as any kind of character indictment of either. Confusing circumstances and a no-doubt surreal atmosphere put them on defense, a position both players are excellent on the court, and it led to them being removed and charged.
The fact that Antic was charged specifically for menacing and Thabo was not clearly means that Sefolosha needs to improve his intimidation game. Menacing!
I am sure that the NYPD was well within their power to make the arrests, but the bogusness of the extremity to charge them with multiple counts rings out with being arrested while black, tall or foreign.
What this means to the team is zippo, nada, nil. These players have seen this kind of stuff play out throughout their lives, so there will be no shock and/or awe at the circumstances. The league will levy a fine for the arrests, more bogusness and image protecting. A statement will be made from the team that does some sort of apology, a totally unnecessary but by the book, toe the line act that way overstates the severity of what Thabo and Pero did.
I am not yelling down good, honest police work and if Thabo and Pero were intentionally, actively trying to keep police from establishing a crime scene, complete with blocking the cops like a couple of Atlanta Falcons protecting Matt Ryan, then it's a little different than where I am coming from. But having seen a number of crowd control gone too far tactics, especially against black men in the ATL, I'm skeptical.
Feel free to admonish me for carelessly blowing off these bogus headlines and charges, but I just don't want folks to overblow the fact that Pero and Thabo were "arrested" and engage in some outrageous outrage towards them.
Instead, let's hope Copeland, his wife and the other party who was stabbed/slashed will be alright and that justice is served.