Ted Bird is a Montreal-based broadcaster who has won multiple Crystal, RTNDA and CAB awards for excellence in writing and broadcasting. They're in a closet or a trunk somewhere, but he really won them.
Tuesday, April 24, 2012
I got your world peace, right here
The most disturbing element in the latest controversy surrounding the Los Angeles Laker formerly known as Ron Artest isn't the vicious elbow he delivered to the head of Oklahoma City's James Harden. It's that serious, professional sports journalists and broadcasters are forced the refer to Artest as Metta World Peace - the name he legally took when he made the leap from unhinged to merely loopy.
There ought to be a law against giving yourself a name that's more appropriate for a pet turtle than it is for a person. In fact, in some jurisdictions, there are laws. Several years ago, the Quebec government refused to register the birth name Spatula for a couple who thought it would be a good idea to name their baby after a cooking utensil. More recently, 5 year old Adolf Hitler and his siblings were taken into protective state custody in New Jersey, not long after young Adolf's parents tried to special order a "Happy Birthday, Hitler" birthday cake.
But back to Metta World Peace, whose name is apparently supposed to represent the principles of Buddhism in promoting harmony among nations. Lovely sentiment, but how do you list that in the phone book? Under "M" for Metta World Peace, "W" for World Peace, Metta, or "P" for Peace, M.W? If he has kids (and paternity can be proven), what's their last name, and how do they line up in alphabetical order at school? Do they fall in behind the MacDonald kid, the Walton kid or the Patterson kid? Did World Peace give any thought to the longer term implications of following the harebrained example set by fellow pro athletes Chad Ochocinco and World B. Free? And if he's violently elbowing opponents in the head on the basketball court, where's the credibility in claiming to be the embodiment of global reconciliation? It seems to me that if someone's going to legally change their name to promote a belief system, it's incumbent upon them to live by the principles their new name represents.
I'm Eta Lotta Pi, K103 Sports.