From Zero to Hero to Hero to Jail

Posted On April 30, 2010

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Explanation of the Gilbert Arenas Situation

Gilbert Arenas, any basketball fan would know him for being one of the best offensive players in the NBA. Arenas, has unfortunately expanded across the borders of basketball to the realms of the public eye through his decision to bring unloaded guns to the Verizon Center locker room, where the Washington Wizards play. While bringing unloaded guns to your work place is never a good idea, Arenas didn’t even have a license to carry the guns for the city of Washington D.C. I’ll let you guys think for why anybody would bring guns to their workplace.

Gun Violence in the Form of Hand Gestures

Not a good idea

Arenas was eventually suspended by commissioner of the NBA David Stern, not for the gun incident, but for this picture to the right, that depicts Arenas with his hands in the shape of guns, with him and his teammates laughing.

An article by David Aldridge of talks about the incident “Arenas’ subsequent conduct, including a pregame routine Tuesday night before Washington’s game in Philadelphia in which Arenas pretended to “shoot” his teammates with his fingers.” He also includes Commissioner Stern’s decision about the incident which  “has led me to conclude that he is not currently fit to take the court in an NBA game.” That single picture was enough for Arenas to get suspended from the NBA because it showed that he did not take his situation serious.

20 Years Or Two Days

There was so much debate as whether Arenas would ever be allowed to play basketball ever again because his jail sentence had a possible length of 20 years. He got two days and 30 days in a halfway house. While the punishment does not seem harsh at all, he has been highly criticized by the media for his decision, leaving his reputation tarnished. Fear not Mr. Arenas, I am here to create a public relations campaign for you.

Gilbert Arenas- Family Man

Arenas’ explanation for storing the guns in his locker was because he didn’t want the guns in his house after his latest child was born. I think this would be good information to run with. So my first strategy for resurrecting Gilbert Arenas’ public image is to have a public service announcement commercial similar to the one below, but more serious. Arenas will talk about how with guns, there is always potential for somebody to get hurt, especially children. He could also talk about statistics such as this one from “Every day, about 75 American children are shot. Most recover – 15 do not.”

Once again, it would be more serious

A Press Conference Like Tiger Woods’-Just More Authentic

My next two strategies would focus on media relations. One thing the Washington Wizards did when Gilbert Arenas was suspended was they took down the banner of him that was on the Verizon Center. As the Wizards best player, the fans of Washington were severely let down by him because there were high hopes for a championship. I would contact the Wizard’s front office and persuade them to have a press conference with Arenas about next season, after he gets done with his sentence.

The press conference would have Arenas give a statement and a public apology to the fans of the Wizards and the NBA. The Wizards stated that he will play basketball for them next season, so I would have the coach and general manager commit publicly towards supporting Arenas, so fans can get confidence in Arenas and the team.

Gilbert Arenas For President-Of PETA

My last strategy would be focusing on community service and volunteering for Arenas. Of course we would have photographers and writers to help cover the events. Gilbert Arenas has already been in the news for donating his fur coats to homeless women, this act being praised by PETA. Arenas has always been involved with PETA, so I would just focus on getting his contributions spread to the public. While Arenas cant erase the public’s mind of what happened with the gun incident, doing numerous charitable acts can help distract that thought.

The Campaign Won’t Back Fire-Well Maybe

My strategies for the press conference could backfire if Arenas was to be traded to a different team. Then the whole Washington Wizards fan base would always remember him as the player who messed up the whole franchise by making a terrible decision. I could also see too much publicity of the charitable events by Arenas backfiring because it keeps Arenas in the public’s mind, they don’t have the opportunity to forget about what he has done.

Good Job Team- But is it Ethical

Public Relations Society of America Code of Ethics states how public relations campaigns are to be held. I do not see my campaign violating any of the rules as stated. I am not lying when Arenas has stated that he wanted to protect his children from the guns. What father would not want to do that?  As for accuracy, Arenas has his own foundation and he volunteers with the NB. The NBA sponsors the NBA Cares program, were all teams and players take part in volunteering for the community.

As for fairness, Gilbert Arenas did not harm anybody, nor were the guns loaded. He made a mistake and he has been punished with jail time. He didn’t kill anybody, and as long as he doesn’t bring guns to an NBA locker room ever again, how can the public be upset about this campaign?


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