By Todd Starnes
New York Knicks center Joakim Noah makes his living by dribbling a basketball.
The cadets at the U.S. Military Academy make their living by protecting a nation that affords Mr. Noah the opportunity to dribble that basketball.
So the decent thing to do would be for NBA stars like Mr. Noah to show a little gratitude for these brave young men and women.
Instead, Mr. Noah disrespected the West Point cadets and demonstrated once again that an alarming number of professional athletes hold our nation in contempt.
Mr. Noah refused to attend a team dinner with Army Cadets because of his stance against gun violence and the war. He was also a no-show for a speech delivered by a retired colonel.
“It’s hard for me a little bit – I have a lot of respect for the kids here fighting – but it’s hard for me to understand why we go to war and why kids have to kill kids all around the world,” he said in remarks first reported by New York Daily News. “I have mixed feelings about being here. I’m very proud of this country. I love America. I don’t understand kids killing kids around the world.”
He went on to say that he felt “uncomfortable” that the Knicks conducted their training camp at West Point.
Well, that can be easily remedied. West Point ought to give the entire team the heave-ho.
“Wrong place. Wrong time. Wrong move. At some point, everyone feels uncomfortable doing certain tasks in his or her job,” NY Post columnist Marc Berman wrote.
But, it’s not just Mr. Noah who should be taken to task.
The New York Post reports that Knicks Coach Jeff Hornacek gave the un-American player permission to skip the dinner.
A West Point spokesperson called Mr. Noah’s behavior “inappropriate.”
“We are disappointed and feel Mr. Noah’s choice of West Point to make a statement is inappropriate because of the great sacrifice that has originated from this institution over our nation’s history,” Lt. Col. Christopher Kasker said in a statement. “The U.S. Military Academy at West Point develops leaders of character for the defense of our nation.”
Mr. Noah reportedly told an Army officer that he did not mean to “offend” the cadets.
That’s a load of Grade-A fertilizer, folks.
This guy is on the record backing disgraced NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
“It is what it is,” Noah told the Post. “I didn’t commit a crime or anything.”
It’s true – that he did not commit a crime.
But by refusing to share a meal with the cadets who will one day put their lives on the line so he can play basketball, he demonstrated a gross violation of basic etiquette.
And while the New York Knicks may forgive this petulant man’s boorish behavior, I doubt their fans or their corporate sponsors will be so forgiving.