Yet again shots were fired in downtown Indy, and yet again Jamaal Tinsley, the starting PG of the Indiana Pacers was involved. In fourteen months Tinsley has been at the center of three night club altercations. Shots were fired during two of the incidents. Today’s IndyStar coverage of Sunday’s shooting makes much of pro athletes being targeted.
Athletes say their wealth and fame make them an easy target. Their status can cause jealousy or perhaps initiate a confrontation that would enable a person to file a lawsuit and be awarded a large sum of money.
Alonzo Mourning, Elton Brand, and Jeff Foster (huh?!) are quoted in the article, and they all recount instances of harassment, simply for being professional athletes. Jermaine O’Neal and Reggie Miller are cited as athletes who travel with professional security guards.
I agree that pro athletes, especially high profile players (Tinsley qualifies as high-profile because we’re talking about Indianapolis – only two pro franchises and a “small” big city), are targets. Elton Brand of the LA Clippers said:
You’re definitely a target. Anytime you’re in a bar, restaurant or club and someone wants to start trouble, you just have to back down and walk away from it because you have a lot more to lose. If you do something stupid, you’re in trouble. If they do something stupid, they’re famous.
All of that is true. So is this: anyone who is at a bar or club at 0300 (3am for you civilians) is asking for trouble. To some that may sound like a whacked out, religious, fundamentalist prude, etc., but it is accurate. There is much that one can do out on the town at 3am that is good.
According to what has been reported thus far, Tinsley and Pacer equipment manager Joe Qatato were victims. Victims of thugs, and victims of their own, especially in Tinsley’s case, stupidity.