Cowards.

Clinton Portis. Mike Golic. Carmelo Anthony.

Famous men. Large men.

Cowards. And I'd tell them so to their faces.

They are all advocates for the so-called "Stop Snitching" movement. They may not all announce their support explicitly, but they make it clear by their statements.

Clinton Portis, running back for the Washington Redskins,
said:

"I don't know if he was fighting dogs or not, but it's his property, it's his dog," Washington Redskins running back Clinton Portis told WAVY-TV in Virginia. "If that's what he wants to do, do it. I think people should mind their business."

When told that dog fighting is a felony, Portis replied, "It can't be too bad of a crime."

This morning, on his ESPNRadio program, Mike Golic stated that, if he were aware of performance-enhancing drug use in his sport, he would not report that use to a supervising or investigating authority.

In December 2004, NBA star Carmelo Anthony appeared in an underground DVD entitled "Stop Snitchin'." While he did not advocate violence, the purpose of the video was to discourage cooperation with police.

These men insist that their comments were taken out of context, or that the brotherhood of professional sports prevents them from turning in wrongdoers. This is the height of cowardice.

There are websites, which I will not link here, that provide lists of known or suspected informants, cooperating witnesses and undercover law enforcement agents. The thin excuse for this database is to keep people in the community informed about whom they can or cannot trust. In truth, this list allows criminals and would-be criminals to skirt the law and harm people who might stand in their way. It also allows for unscrupulous cowards to place their personal enemies in the line of fire by falsely submitting their name, address and photo for inclusion.

The law protects all of us, and it is only as strong as we allow it to be. This is the case for any rule or authority, whether municipal or social. Men like Carmelo Anthony, Mike Golic, Clinton Portis, as well as Scooter Libby, Busta Rhymes, Cam'ron and others, weaken our social order by placing blind loyalty to friends or cohorts above proper behavior. To do so is cowardice, pure and simple.

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Although not rising to the level of offense of the individuals listed above, I'd like to add former Dane County Board member Dave Blaska to the list. Dave was so upset by my fair responses to his inane posts at the
IsthmusDaily Page that he implored me to go away. Poor thing.