Opinion: The concern for sports crimes is increasing

Mason Desmond, Staff Writer

Star athletes have been featured in many headlines recently relating to violent behaviors. Players have an advantage when it comes to legal problems, as their punishments do not seem to be nearly as severe as a regular individual.
One impactful occurrence was Ja Morant, the star point guard of the Memphis Grizzlies, when he waved a gun on his Instagram Live on March 3.
The league analyzed the event to see how long Morant would be suspended. Morant’s possible 50-game suspension was dropped to only eight games. He did not play again until March 22, when he accumulated 17 points and five assists in a win against the Houston Rockets.
This was not the first time that Morant had altercations. A while before that, he swung and hit a 17-year-old boy after a pickup game, and then proceeded to show off a gun. There were no consequences for him after this event.
Morant is not the only player to have an issue with a weapon. Brandon Miller, a star freshman from The University of Alabama, had an instance similar to Morant.
Brandon Miller owned the gun used to kill Jonae Harris, the mother of a five-month-old boy. He was not charged due to not touching the gun. It is also reported that he was unaware that the gun was in the vehicle.
Alabama head coach Nate Oats believes that Miller was in the “wrong spot at the wrong time” after learning about the incident. After long discussions between authorities and the Alabama athletics department, it was decided that Miller would maintain his playing eligibility.
Morant helped the Memphis Grizzlies finish with the second seed in the Western Conference, and he was selected to play in the All-Star game. Morant is at an advantage due to his dominance on the court, hence why his suspension was cut significantly.
Miller, a dominant freshman, led the Alabama Crimson Tide in scoring, averaging 18.8 points per game. His dominance helped the Tide finish with the first seed in the AP top 25, along with the first seed in March Madness. This is most likely why he faced no consequences.
These players are essential to their teams, so once their teams lose them, it’s a concern. It is not just saying that Brandon Miller was at the wrong place at the wrong time, considering it was his weapon and someone else managed to maintain possession of it, making him responsible.
Higher-level athletes should be held just as accountable as an average human being. Just being a star athlete does not mean that a punishment should be less severe, especially when other people’s lives are at risk.