Sunday, April 06, 2014

Why pro athletes should not get a pass on throwing gang signs.

There has been much talk lately about gang signs on the field and or court in pro sports due to the situation between the Philadelphia Eagles and DeSean Jackson. In fairness the Eagles have never publicly stated that any gang connections were the reason for waiving DeSean Jackson. the LAPD has also cleared Jackson of being involved in any gang activity.

But back to the gang signs. I believe that athletes whether, pro, college, highs school, AAU, etc should not be throwing up gang signs while playing. I believe that pro players have more of an obligation to set the standard here. Young players emulate everything they do. If Lebron James was shown drinking a glass of milk before every game there would be a milk shortage in the United States within months...LOL.

Players should not be throwing up gang signs for one very simple reason. Gang signs get people killed.

Example, a young boy could be emulating a sign he saw a player making after scoring a touchdown and that gets seen by a real gang member. That gang member confronts the boy to find out what set he reps. The young boy of course reps no set but is now open to a beat down or worse death because he doesn't know how to answer that question.

Pro players have to remember that the majority of youngsters that live in inner cities know of gang culture many or not involved in gang culture. Many learn what they think goes on in gangs from the media which includes rap music. ( not Hip Hop ). Pro players have to be conscience of what they are putting out there.

I don't believe that professional leagues should try to regulate this issue because it's hard to tell what's a gang sign and what's a message to a loved one. The signs could also be someone truly repping their hood although in a misguided wya.. When my friends and I were younger we all played football and basketball together we would throw up a "W" sign for Winans Ave anytime we scored or made a great play. There was nothing nefarious behind it. It's simply hard to tell in the picture accompanying this article the player is not throwing up a gang sign but a sign representing a music label ( okay some say the Illuminati ). In truth only a true gang expert would know what's a gang sign and what's not.

The solution is simple.

I believe players have to take a look inward and decide to do what's best for the young boys and girls that support them by buying their jerseys and sneakers. The players themselves have to stop throwing up the gang signs. By doing this they are not only setting a good example but not glorifying gang culture, they could be saving lives.

George Cook

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