So the wiz are doing some planholder meetings before games - the object is to find out about what we like and dislike about our experiences. They had 5 people there - all on the business/sales side of things and including one person who came down from the league in NYC. 2 of the people there were VP's.
Some stuff that was said:
1. Wizards did not leak any material to the media. (I was mentioning about the media and all of the rumors and gave the example of Ernie leaking stuff, and they answered this even though I didn't actually mean them to answer it)
2. Wiz are very frustrated because they are not able to explain their side of things. Everything of course is being vetted by lawyers. They are a lot of people pissed about the removing of Gil's jerseys etc. I told one of the VP's I would post what they were saying on this blog and he was really grateful.
3. RIght now the league is asking every player to disclose what firearms and weapons they have. There has been some talk about searching players before they go into the locker rooms but this won't happen according to the NBA person.
4. Before the season, Gil signed some papers that stated the do's and don'ts of being a Wizards player. He knew he wasn't allowed to bring guns into the locker room.
5. I talked to one of the VP's privately and he was talking about Gil being a 28 year old man and how at some point he has to grow up.
6. Wiz were not going to take any action when this broke because they wanted the legal process to play out. Gil forced their hand. Stern basically suspended him because he expressed no remorse, was lying on his twitter, and didn't seem to understand that what he had done was wrong.
7. One of the VP's expressed some anger that everyone seems to think they have abandoned Gil. It seems to be open as to when the jerseys come back, if Gil comes back etc. They want him to express remorse, understand what he did and change. (Not sure if this was said because they know the contract will be hard to void but I didn't get that impression)
8. It seems to be totally up to Stern how long Gil is suspended for. Wiz have no say.
9. Reason they removed his jerseys and went to such extreme measures is because of the image of the franchise and Gil being the face of the franchise. They didn't want kids looking at his jerseys etc and thinking that what Gil did was okay. It's also not the image they wanted to present. They weren't just abandoning or dismissing him as if he was trash. ( I thought this was really extreme when this happened but I can understand this now. Many people see athletes as role models which to me is unfortunate but is what it is. Athletes have a lot of influence)
I think that is all. Might remember more later. So were they being honest or was this just spin? From the emotions they expressed etc and a private conversation I had with a VP where he said some things I can't write here, I think they were actually being honest. But then again maybe I'm naive and want to believe them.