Learning to be a better role model
by Gilbert Jay Arenas, Jr.
The Post suggested on Dec. 31 that I send a message to young fans “about guns being neither glamorous nor desirable.” I am grateful for the opportunity to do something good in the face of the very bad situation I created.
I have done a number of things wrong recently. I violated D.C. gun laws and the NBA’s ban on firearms on league property, and I damaged the image of the NBA and its players. I reacted badly to the aftermath and made fun of inaccurate media reports, which looked as though I was making light of a serious situation. And I gave Commissioner David Stern good reason to suspend me from the game, which put my teammates in a tough position and let down our fans and Mrs. Irene Pollin, the widow of longtime Wizards owner Abe Pollin.
I understand the importance of teaching nonviolence to kids in today’s world. Guns and violence are serious problems, not joking matters — a lesson that’s been brought home to me over the past few weeks. I thought about this when I pleaded guilty as charged in court and when I accepted my NBA suspension without challenge.
That message of nonviolence will be front and center as I try to rebuild my relationship with young people in the D.C. area. I know that won’t happen overnight, and that it will happen only if I show through my actions that I am truly sorry and have learned from my mistakes.