The Commish vents…
by Vincent Thomas
If one more self-serving, spiteful, cowardly moron snitches on another athlete, I’m going to lose my cool … actually, the cool is gone. “Let’s vent!”
Within the past two weeks, we’ve had salacious revelations about A-Rod and steroids, Michael Phelps hitting bongs, Jamaal Anderson sniffin’ coke off public bathroom stalls and, most recently, alleged accusations that Dwyane Wade hosted orgies that doubled as spliff parties. Most people are outraged with the athletes behavior. This string of stories is supposed to be a referendum on this era of American sports and an indictment of today’s athletes. Whatever, man. None of these acts is as deplorable and downright corny as the chumps that are leaking this info with their schoolgirl hands cupping their giggling, snickering mouths. I’m not trying to champion illegal substances or infidelity. But athletes of a certain profile are being targeted, here. And the whistle blowers aren’t acting from any seat of nobility or morality; they’re just your average, blithering tool. Seriously, STOP SNITCHIN’!
The call for snitches to shut their traps is quieter these days. That’s why TMZ and certain blogs exist without fear of any repercussions. They’re nothing but snitching entities. Snitching is kinda cool, now. We need to revitalize the Stop Snitchin’ campaign.
Stop Snitchin’, as a phrase, began as a viral hood campaign. It developed a bad rap when the campaign became so ubiquitous, it made its way into The Wire. Carmelo Anthony was infamously featured in a Baltimore-area video trumpeting this very exhortation. The phrase soon came to connote an extremely deviant, inhumane version of a sentiment that has been a pseudo-rule for centuries. Here in America, the whole “snitch” notion — similar to the Mafia’s “rat” archetype — was a finger-wag at fellow criminals. It basically went, “if you get knocked doing something illegal, don’t turn coward and snitch/rat me out to weasel your way into some plea bargain.” Call me a degenerate, but I’m perfectly fine with that protocol. If you want to be a lawless crook, take your punishment like a man. Don’t go snitchin’ on the next man, groveling for leniency. The problem is that, this new breed criminal popped up over the past decade (we can go ahead and call them jackals) that took the snitch code to new levels. Now, Grandma The Concerned Citizen had to fear for her life if the cops showed up at her door and she talked. Or a profound bozo like Cam’Ron, as he stated on 60 Minutes, wouldn’t alert the authorities if a serial killer was living next door to him. I remember seeing The Roots drummer ?uestlove rockin’ a “Start Snitching” T-Shirt and thinking, “Yeah, ?ues is right; this has gotten out of control. An equally viral campaign has to get going to combat this.” Soon, though, the Stop Snitchin’ cries died down — or, at least, it wasn’t such a brazen, public campaign.
But this current free-for-all snitching culture ain’t where it’s at. You know what I would have applauded? I would’ve given, say, Cal Ripken or Greg Maddux or Ken Griffey Jr. a standing ovation had they starting naming names in 1998 when Sosa, McGuire and a host of others were sticking needles in their butts. Roy Oswalt has recently gone public with his disgust for the game’s cheaters. Well you know how I’m on it? I’m sure Oswalt knows of a few offenders. Name names, Roy. That’s how I’m on it. That’s not snitching, to me. That’s brave morality. What’s immoral is this anonymous clown that betrayed privacy only revealed Alex Rodriguez’ name from a list of 104 players. This guy is a prime-time, opportunistic schmuck. In a world of vigilante justice, he’d get a visit from The Goons.
What about this dillweed that took a picture of Phelps getting blazed and sold it? I’m with Seth Meyers — who appropriately called this dipstick something that rhymes with tick — in his disdain for that move. I don’t necessarily care too much that Phelps gets high during his personal time. It’s no doubt best if he didn’t, but, whatever. I do care that some bumbaclot would use this as an opportunity for personal gain. I can’t front on actually taking the picture. “Yo, I was at this party with The Michael Phelps and, get this, this kat was getting high, too! Look, here’s the pic!” I get that. But that’s one you keep on your phone or camera only. You don’t go sending it out to everyone and you definitely don’t sell it to TMZ. Any person with a shred of fellow-feeling has to feel the same way. That’s a snitch move. That square wouldn’t take a picture of friend sparking-up and send to his boss, would he?
This Jamaal Anderson story really sticks in my crawl. Some farmhand at Peachtree Tavern, heard some sniffing in one of the stalls and then “alerted an off-duty police officer.” I’ve been to Peachtree Tavern before — ain’t no concerned citizens at the Peachtree Tavern. What, was it a Rick Warren revival that night? Had that been anyone but a former NFL-star and current NFL analyst, the snitch would have either ignored the suspicious sounds or knocked on the stall door and asked to join the party. Maybe Anderson needs a wake-up call, since his behavior was quite self-destructive, but my problem is the motive behind telling the cop. If a friend tells Anderson’s parents that he thinks Jamaal is partying too much. That’s concern, intervention. The chump at Peachtree Tavern is a snitch.
Then we have this Richard Von Houtman character, Dwyane Wade’s failed business partner. This sunburned punk does his best Mean Girls impersonation, telling the Palm Beach Post about alleged sex-parties DWade and his crew like to throw at Wade’s condo. Exactly what does this have to do with DWade and the public? I could take this spot-blowing from an aggrieved condo tenant or DWade’s wife, but not this scorned muscle-head.
“The man isn’t what people worldwide think he is. He and his friends are just a bunch of idiots,” is what this cornball told the Post. “I got sucked into doing business with him because he has a first-class media persona, the new Michael Jordan. He was that good guy, father-of-the-year, celebrity who had his head on his shoulder. I found out after a year he was not like that.”
That’s spiteful. I have no idea if what he claims is true. My problem is that, if it is the case, So What? I’m sure this rube knows plenty of men that flout their marriage and break the occasional law, but since DWade is famous and had a falling out with Von Houtman, he chooses to carelessly vomit up this information. That’s what a buster would do.
It’s hard out here for cheaters and druggies with all these snitches on paparazzi witch-hunts and gold-digging treasure chases. I’m all for comeuppance and moving away from our current culture of rampant immorality, but, please, Stop Snitchin’. I’m gonna do my part. Celebs: If I see you sniffing coke from a prostitute’s leg with a blunt burning behind your ear, I’m just gonna shake my head and keep it moving. OK, I’ll take a pic and save it in my Blackberry, but I promise to keep it close to the chest. I ain’t no stooly!
Vincent Thomas is a columnist and feature writer for SLAM. He can be reached at email@example.com.