New York Knicks’ guard Cleanthony Early was robbed and shot in the knee on December 30 after he was at a strip club in Queens with his girlfriend. The attack came 10 days after teammate Derrick Williams was allegedly robbed of $750,000 worth of jewelry by two women he had brought home that night.
Carmelo Anthony, who is the face of the Knicks’ franchise, pleaded for gun control. Anthony was in the NBA’s Christmas Day public service announcement to raise awareness of gun epidemic in America and said after the shooting of Early “we have to do something.” Anthony also said “We are all targets at the end of the day no matter how much love people show.”
He is right in this matter because as a professional athlete, especially one that plays in New York City, there will always be a someone who doesn’t like them for whatever reason or wants to see them fail. For young athletes it is hard not to get caught up in the flashy lifestyle that comes with being young and rich. Anthony said that he won’t go as far as telling his young teammates what to do or not to do, but if they came to him for advice, that would be a different matter.
Anthony also said “At the end of the day, we’re all grown men. If you’re out that time of night, it could happen anywhere. It could have happened outside his house. Would the story have been any different? At that point, it’s all about being a little smarter, wiser.
Knicks’ head coach Derek Fisher shared the same view as Anthony’s message of players being victims by saying “It’s clear they’re victims. They didn’t break any laws.”
Frank Isola wrote for the New York Daily News about how the recent string of events, added on with Chris Copeland being stabbed outside a Chelsea night club and Thabo Sefolosha suffered a season-ending broken leg due to police officer hitting him with his baton, that the Knicks will be a tougher sell to free agents. He is absolutely right in this regard. Sure, this could happen anywhere, but there have been four incidents alone since last April in the greater New York area. This could be a deciding factor on whether a big-name free agent joins the Knicks or decides to go elsewhere.
If these young athletes want to go out on the town and have a good night, they should maybe look into hiring some security guards. Many top athletes have their own security team whenever they go out in public. A fashion trend of numerous athletes is expensive jewelry and clothing, which will draw attention from those who could be envious because they can’t enjoy the same luxuries.
At the end of the day, there needs to be more gun control for the safety not only rich athletes, but the everyday man and woman.