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Joakim Noah Retires His Gunplay Routine in Light of Recent Tragedies

Commendable or Melodramatic?

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Joakim Noah Retires His Gunplay Routine in Light of Recent Tragedies

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Joakim Noah

COMMENTARY | The recent senseless tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School rocked our nation. With several innocent lives lost, or rather taken, not a soul with a heart was left unshaken. In the midst of unspeakable sorrow, catastrophes such as this often lead us to reevaluate our lives. We contemplate the things that we have done, those that we can do better and even things perhaps that we should do no longer. We examine our actions, and sometimes arrive at an epiphany.

Such a thing recently occurred with Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah. In wake of what has transpired in Newtown, Conn., and the gun violence running rampant in Chicago, Noah has deemed his post-basket celebration consisting of symbolic "finger gun" slinging inappropriate. It was a gesture he often made after hitting a rare jump shot or otherwise "feeling it."

The fact that despite his fame and fortune Noah remains empathetic enough to be moved to action by the misfortunes of society is admirable. He expressed a desire to be more sensitive toward the issue of gun violence in America, and compassionate to its victims.

Some may argue, as a matter of fact, they do argue in the comments section of stories announcing Noah's ­decision, that his gun slinging is not a big deal. Many believe that it is not offensive to anyone as the motion is done all in fun and relates to basketball, not shooting an actual person. While this is true, and some could probably stand to loosen up a bit, at this particular time the portrayal of guns and shooting is not the least bit funny or entertaining. It is an issue that possibly has become far too serious to be taken lightly.

Noah felt the need to do something. No matter how small or irrelevant it may seem to others, this was an important resolution to him. Kudos to the passionate big man for being strong in his principles. And it is my belief that none of us is in a position to label Noah's response as either significant or trivial-- for worth lies within the convictions of the individual.

Acamea Deadwiler is a Chicago-area native with several years experience covering the NBA, including the Chicago Bulls, for She has also been featured in Bounce magazine, SLAM Online, and various other publications. Follow Acamea on Twitter @AcameaLD.

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