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This is madness

Ja Morant #12 of the Memphis Grizzlies - Michael Reaves/AFP
Ja Morant #12 of the Memphis Grizzlies - Michael Reaves/AFP

A Tale of Violence And A Series Of Bad Decisions

Violence and sports go hand and hand on the field of battle but the recent spate of savagery outside the lines has many wondering just what the hell is going on?!

Chaos on the Campus

A New Mexico State basketball player was in the news recently when he was involved in a deadly shootout on a rival campus. Mike Peake, a 6’7” forward on the Aggies’ hoops team, was involved in a brawl at a New Mexico State/New Mexico football game in October of last year that ultimately led to a deadly showdown a month later with one of the combatants on the Lobos campus.

To be fair, Peake was ambushed after breaking curfew in the middle of the night and was the one returning fire when shot upon, ultimately leaving with a bullet wound to his leg as a parting gift from the University of New Mexico.

The assailant was not so lucky as he arrived at room temperature shortly thereafter. But let’s also understand that not one but two college kids were carrying pistols like they were roaming the streets of Compton as opposed to strolling along a college campus.

Fast forward to February and New Mexico State was in the news again, but not for an academic grant to study the migration habits of the pronghorn antelope. Oh no, this was for student hazing allegations, and not the garden variety “drink ‘til you puke” nonsense. Nay, nay. This time the schoolboys decided to level up a few clicks from stupid to criminal.

Three Aggies basketball players decided it was a good idea to haze one of their teammates but I’m not sure hazing is an accurate verb considering the nature of the charges levied against the student-athletes. Allegations of false imprisonment, harassment, and criminal sexual contact are in play, although it’s likely the latter that caused the school to forfeit the rest of its season.

If you know anyone good enough to play D-1 basketball, I hear New Mexico State has openings. Just make sure they come strapped.

Malice & Mayhem

As long as we’re on the topic of collegiate thuggery, let’s take a walk on over to the SEC where Alabama’s Brandon Miller, the SEC Player of the Year, and Freshman of the Year, is embroiled in some fucked up shit of his own.

The story goes that Miller unwittingly transported a gun owned by former teammate, Darius Miles, who in turn gave the said weapon to a buddy of his named Michael Davis. Well, Davis wasn’t going to the shooting range to hone his marksmanship in preparation for a distinguished career in law enforcement. No, Davis allegedly came locked and loaded to gun down a 23-year-old mother of one named Jamea Harris. Miles, a spare part on the Alabama basketball team, and Davis, a nobody from who cares, are up on capital murder charges.

As for Miller, he has yet to be charged with anything as he was allegedly unaware that Miles had left his gun under some clothes in the backseat of Miller’s car earlier in the evening. Later that night, Miller picked up Miles at a nightclub with the gun still in the same spot. According to Miller’s attorney, Jim Standridge, Miller “never saw the handgun, nor handled it”.

And while Brandon Miller may not have known the gun was in his possession, there’s an old saying, “If you lie down with dogs, you wake up with fleas”. NBA rumors persist Miller will be a top-five selection in June’s draft but he better find new friends in a hurry.

Ja Morant Flashes Gat

In NBA news, Memphis Grizzlies’ Ja Morant, one of the hottest and most talented players in the NBA, decided it was a good idea to brandish a pistol during an Instagram Live session at 5:19 AM on Saturday, only hours after the Grizzlies were throttled by the Nuggets.

Morant has also had two previous allegations of gunplay with the first occurring when he and his associates threatened the head of security at a Memphis shopping center last summer. Nothing says gangsta like mean-mugging a mall cop.

A few days later he allegedly had his hand on a gun located in his waistband when approaching a 17-year-old with whom he had had a previous fight at a pickup basketball game in his backyard.

Let’s stop for a moment. You’re Ja Fucking Morant, you make a gazillion dollars and have zero problem pulling hotties on the daily. But yet, you’re scrapping with a teenager and flashing iron because…? Oh, I know, because you’re a goddamn idiot. I get the feeling Morant has an insatiable urge to be a gangsta, but it’s only a matter of time before he gets treated like one.

Jackson Mahomes is Gross

Patrick Mahomesawesome. His baby brother, Jacksongross. If you know of Jackson Mahomes through social media then he’s like a car accident, it’s tough to look away. But eventually, you muster the temerity to stop abusing yourself and summon every ounce of self-respect to avoid this kid like the plague.

But here we are, talking about Jackson Mahomes again, only this time it’s not so benign. This is a much darker side than the annoying cretin we’ve seen before and it stems from an incident at an Overland, Kansas restaurant and lounge where he allegedly shoved a waiter and forcibly kissed the 40-year-old owner named Aspen Vaughn. He went in for the snog three times and it’s all captured on video.

“He forcibly kissed me out of nowhere”, Vaughn said, “and I’m telling him, pushing him off saying ‘what are you doing?’ and then he proceeded to do it two more times where the last time I was pushing him off and I can see on the cameras that somebody was outside the office door and I was yelling for them to come help because he’s big and massive”.

Here’s a fast read on the Mahomes deal.

What Have We Learned?

Mistakes come in all shapes and sizes but if you’re in the public eye, any screw-up you make will most likely be caught on camera. When you’re a young guy making lots of dough, the world is yours for the asking and no one is more bullet-proof than you.

But as we have seen many times before, that’s total BS… As much as fans love you, they might also want a piece of you. Actions can backfire quickly.

Hopefully, the young guns above will learn from their mistakes and get on with the business of being the best in their game and stop trying so hard to be hard. No one will care how gangsta ya’ll are when you’re doing 25 to life. No one.

It takes a lifetime of training to reach the dizzying heights of being a pro athlete but only a hair-trigger second to watch it all vanish.

So, here’s to more huge moments as we celebrate the dunks, touchdowns, goals, and home runs that these amazing players deliver on the daily, and may we see much less of the pain and misery that can accompany fame and fortune.

Let’s ride!


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