From the YouTube description: “Saw Shaquille O’Neal last night give a homeless guy $20 bucks then little Nate Robinson comes off the bus to tell the homeless guy I AINT GIVIN YOU SHIT! Homeless guy was talking crap and Shaq had his eye on 2 passing ladies. Funny stuff if you were there.”
Funny stuff if you were there? I hardly know what happened and I don’t feel like trusting an anonymous YouTube user, but let’s pretend this really was a homeless guy. I couldn’t hear exactly what he was saying, so let’s pretend he really was talking a lot of crap (and I heard a little bit, so I assume he was). How is swearing at a homeless guy funny?
Look, I’ve done a lot of bad things in my life. I’ve also walked by homeless people and given them nothing, even when I had money to spare. I’m not saying Robinson should have handed this guy a hundred dollar bill, and I’m not saying he had to offer him a ticket to the Celtics’ next game.
But he should treat people with respect. I don’t care if the homeless guy said Robinson’s kids are ugly, and I don’t care whether he was being pushy when asking for (demanding?) cash. There’s no need to swear at him, call him a buster and treat him like a piece of dog meat. Nate’s better than that. He should have treated him with dignity, even if his behavior didn’t warrant it. He should have smiled, even when he didn’t feel like it, or at least ignored the homeless man’s comments. Getting into an argument, or whatever you want to call it, with a homeless man is inexcusable.
Look, this homeless guy didn’t deserve $20 dollars. After swearing at Robinson, he didn’t deserve a dime. Just because he’s unfortunate doesn’t mean he deserves the help of others. But Robinson didn’t have to stoop to this pushy homeless man’s level and get in a verbal altercation. He just didn’t.
NBA players automatically become role models. Their lives are put in the public eye. Fair or not, that’s the way it goes. That’s the price of fame, the price of wealth. At any time, NBA players could be being filmed for the next YouTube clip. And they need to act like they are, unless they want to look like a jackass in front of the entire world.