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IN THE NEWS: Wakefield Discusses NBA "Thugs"

Nov. 30, 2004

The Oregonion

Commissioner David Stern's suspensions of Ron Artest and eight others aren't enough to solve the basic problem facing the NBA

Sunday, November 28, 2004


Kirk Wakefield, a professor who teaches a course on the ethics of sport in Baylor University's sports sponsorship and sales program, has done studies on dysfunctional fans and players. He said he wonders why the NBA didn't see the potential for an incident of this magnitude coming and why it failed to establish standards and penalties for such conduct sooner.

"All players know that you don't go into the stands and you don't beat up your customers, but they didn't know what the clear penalty was going to be," Wakefield said. "That's my complaint. That should have been clear from Day One.

"Is this incident going to kill them? No. Does it hurt? Sure, because for people that were thinking too many of the NBA players act like self-centered thugs, this only makes it all too clear."

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