In an interview with ESPN that started out about his rapping career, things changed when the topic of the Malace at the Palace came up. Stephen Jackson was asked if it was fun to go into the crowd and hit a fan, and his answer was surprising:
When I hit that fan, I definitely enjoyed it — until that fine came down. That $3 million I lost killed me. It brought me back to reality because I could have lost my job.
It was wild because it had never been done before. And it will never happen again so, yeah, adrenaline was flowing. How many people can say that they’ve punched a fan?
That answer is surprising, even for a guy like Jackson. The fact that he did enjoy hitting someone who is a part of paying his contract is an interesting mentality by Jackson. But his reasoning behind it may have some sense to it.
Do you know all the stuff that they say to us? The racist stuff they say to us? We get the N-word and people talking about our wives and family.
Just because we make a lot of money we’re supposed to be the bigger person? Fans tell us that our kids are ugly and that they should have thrown our mothers in jail for having us. That’s not disrespectful?
It somewhat does make sense why Jackson would think that he would need to attack a fan, but I think that the amount of money and his profession means that he should face some of these things. Do people cross the line? Of course, but it doesn’t mean that Jackson has the right to jump in the stands and hit everyone who says anything negative about him.
Finally, Jackson was asked if he regretted the Palace incident and this was his response:
No. Because the idea of Ron laying in the stands unconscious with all his teeth knocked out … no way. That whole arena was against and I didn’t have it in my heart not to do anything.
Jackson was worried about his teammate laying out in the middle of the arena and as soon as Artest went into the stands all hell broke loose. I would be interested to know what Jackson’s mentality would be if Artest had never gone into the stands. Would everyone been able to remain calm and cool under the circumstances or would someone, Jackson perhaps, been the first to jump into the stands?
The entire incident has been and will continue to be a giant black eye for the league and all involved. This interview was an interesting way to get in the mindset of one of the people involved in the mayhem and what he was thinking during the brawl.
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