It was one of the ugliest, most disgusting, abominable moments in recent sports history. An Alabama fan attending the Southeastern Conference (SEC) men’s basketball tournament wore a shirt stating, “Killing our way through the SEC.” The fan was referring to the fact that a former member of the Crimson Tide basketball team – rated among the top teams in the nation -- has been arrested for murder, and the current star of the team provided the murder weapon.
Has the fan no sense of shame? No, apparently none whatsoever.
The scene was Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena, where the SEC men’s post-season basketball tournament was taking place. When reporter John Talty asked the idiot fan about his incredibly evil shirt message, the guy told him to “Get the f–k out of my face.”
This ugly scene follows the January murder of Jamea Harris. Ex-Crimson Tide basketball player Darius Miles allegedly shot and killed Jamea Harris. He and Michael Davis were both arrested and indicted on capital murder charges.
Brandon Miller is the star of the Alabama team who provided the gun to Davis and Miles and is caught up in the maelstrom of public outrage.
The disgusting acceptance of the crime by the nameless Alabama fan typifies athletic supporters who put jocks and winning above common human decency.
We saw the same thing in Cleveland in recent months as some Browns fans defended serial womanizer Deshaun Watson while insulting his accusers. One coarser-than-coarse fan there protested Watson’s NFL suspension with a sign saying, “Bitch gimme a massage.”
The Cleveland and Alabama fans may represent tiny minorities, but their cruelty and lack of respect for humanity is utterly detestable. People want answers, they want accountability for high-profile crimes, and they’re not getting it.
While Miller has thus far legally skated on the gun issue, he and Coach Nate Oats took a lot of heat in SEC tournament press conferences the past few days. Outkick writer Trey Wallace reported Oats was standoffish for the way he responded to a question about his former player, Miles, saying, “A lot of this is just hard to deal with, to be honest with you. But it’s a private matter.”
Miller deflected a question about his role in providing the murder weapon to the suspects.
“Respectfully, I am not gonna be able to say on that,” he said.
The coach described his team’s “unbelievable culture of guys just caring about their teammates.” That comment is unbelievable, in and of itself, considering a former player just got indicted for murder and a current player is gaining national condemnation for his role in a homicide.
Insert your blank stare here.
Coach, are you kidding? An "unbelievable culture?" Yes, it is…but not for the reason you think it is. Are you that clueless?
“I never lose sight of the fact that a family has lost one of their loved ones that night,” Miller said at the start of the SEC tournament on Wednesday. “This whole situation is just really heartbreaking. Respectfully, that’s all I’m going to be able to say on that. I just lean on my teammates. We just go places to get wins.”
No matter what happens with Alabama basketball off the court, the Crimson Tide are not getting any “wins” in the court of public opinion. The missing words from Alabama’s coach and star player are “accountability” and “responsibility.”