ATLANTA — Is there such thing as out-of-bounds when it comes to trash talking and intimidation? Of course. There’s plenty of stuff said in the trenches that would make a celebrity roast sound G-rated.
Is it also out of bounds to tell the world, when it comes to trash talking and intimidation? Most athletes will tell you, without question, yes.
That’s what NBA locker rooms are accusing Charlie Villanueva of doing. Yes, I believe he had the right to be insulted if Kevin Garnett indeed called him a “cancer patient.” (KG denied this). It was a tasteless and crass comment in general to someone who’s batting the skin disease alopecia, which Charlie V has.
But why did the comment even enter into the public domain? That’s a separate issue that needs to be addressed. In that sense, NBA players say Charlie V stands accused of treason, as it relates to the athletic code that says: whatever happens on the field, stays on the field.
Here’s what Charlie V said tonight, before the Pistons-Hawks game, after KG’s denial: “I heard what I heard.”
He added: “I’m real sensitive to it. Just any disease in general and those people dealing with those issues. That’s not the first time somebody called me a name. The reason why I spoke up wasn’t for me, it was for the people who don’t stand up for themselves. I was trying to support them.”
But … KG didn’t use a bullhorn, if he said what he’s accused of saying.
More from Charlie V: “I’m over it. I’m done with it. I don’t want to make it a big deal. I don’t want this story to linger.”
But … there would be no story if Charlie V didn’t feel the urge to tweet it to the world.
Trust me: Athletes have heard far worse than this. Racial comments, stuff about yo-momma, your kids, wives, girlfriends and yes, probably even folks stricken with a deadly disease. That certainly doesn’t make it right, and nobody is endorsing that right here.
And yet, while there are plenty who are angry at KG, a segment of the athletic world has beef with Charlie V, too.
So now it’s your turn, readers: Is Charlie V wrong for tweeting? Let’s hear it.