Guest blogger, Wichi, weighs-in on World Peace’s battering of James Harden and what it says about society’s celebrity lust.
So how is the (latest) Artest criminal act not drawing the immediate attention of the Los Angeles police department? Somewhere Kermit Washington must be wondering if he just threw his punch in the wrong era. The era with less valuable broadcast contracts.
Its incredulous that the only discussion about this vicious and cowardly assault involves the expected length of the suspension. No one is discussing the possibility of an arrest. Yes, an arrest. California indeed still prohibits one person from, unprovoked, hitting another person. Its called assault and battery. It’s a felony. And it was caught on national TV. Even Marcia Clark could get a conviction on this one.
As far as I know there is no immunity for criminal activity inside of the Staples Center. Does Staples Center technically qualify as an embassy [Buss rules?] as one of the perks for not relocating? If Artest had clocked Harden at a club on the Sunset Strip, he most certainly would be locked up today. At an airport? Same result.
Yet there seems to be an unwritten immunity inside our American sports arenas. So, all I want is to clear up the rules.
And, if there is, does it apply to everyone inside the arena, or just the players? If it’s a backup reserve player, is this unspoken immunity still in place, or just for the starters?
If a Lakers fan had hit a Thunder fan in the same fashion in the nosebleed section (pun fully intended) is that also immune from prosecution? Or is there some sort of immunity for criminal activity that occurs in sports arenas as long as you are wearing an officially merchandised uniform and paying payroll taxes?
Diplomatic immunity grants a foreign country’s diplomats for crimes committed in the host country. As far as I know, Metta World Peace is not a diplomat, unless “uncontrollable rage” recently became a sovereign state.
So what gives?
Is the fact that the Lakers are in the hunt for going deep, perhaps even winning, the NBA playoffs a factor? What if the LA were tanking, would the DA consider charges then?
If this had been Perkins cold cocking Kobe, ending his season (if not career) would the LAPD still look the other way?
If Artest had pulled a knife, or gun, instead of a leveraged elbow, is still ok?
Its time our media, and our crime enforcement, manned up, got their celebrity lust under control, and took action. In our era of immediate video access on computers and phones, all of America is now aware of this awful episode. Granted, Artest is nuts. He likely has a serious mental problem. He has the right to use that apparent madness as a defense to the criminal charges that should be filed.
Does Harden need to be in a coma, or worse, for the police to act?
Artest has a well known history of beyond the pale behavior. The clubbing of Harden was not “aggressive play.” Anyone can see that. This isn’t a “hard foul,” or “playoff basketball.” Its just criminal activity dressed up in a salaried team uniform.
There is little difference between this and a gang banger, decked out in a Lakers #73 jersey, attacking a unsuspecting Thunders fan at an Ikea store. Is that ok?