Common Core State Standard
SL.CCS.1/2/3/4 Grades 6-12: An essay of a current news event is provided for discussion to encourage participation, but also inspire the use of evidence to support logical claims using the main ideas of the article. Students must analyze background information provided about a current event within the news, draw out the main ideas and key details, and review different opinions on the issue. Then, students should present their own claims using facts and analysis for support.

FOR THE WEEK OF JUNE 20, 2011

Droopy drawers bring athlete's arrest and new discussion of hot-button topics

frontpageactionpoints.gif
1.gif
Find a photo or ad showing clothes suitable for recreation, nightlife or sports -- but not school, worship or work.
2.gif
Some people say Deshon Marman was reinforcing a negative stereotype. How can newspapers help change assumptions through coverage of athletes or minorities? Look for an example.
3.gif
Try to spot a picture of a performer, athlete or other celebrity in street clothes. What image does his or her style create?

A college football player left an airport in handcuffs last week essentially because he boarded a plane with pants sagging below his underwear. Deshon Marman, a 20-year-old junior returning to the University of New Mexico after a high school teammate's San Francisco funeral, was arrested before takeoff because crew members and police say he wouldn't pull up loose-fitting pants and was aggressively uncooperative. The athlete says he couldn't comply so when first asked because he had bags in both hands, and then saw no need to do so while seated.

A passenger who videotaped part of last week's incident says the pants were at mid-thigh level and showed black briefs. "When I first saw him coming down the aisle, I was like, 'Come on man, really?' " the seatmate told the San Francisco Chronicle, requesting anonymity. "But after he sat down, you couldn't see anything." After a night in jail, Marman was freed on $11,000 bail. The prosecutor's office will decide by July 16 whether to charge him with resisting arrest and trespassing for disregarding the captain's request to leave the jet.

Marman, who is African American, grew up in a high-crime part of San Francisco. "Where Marman comes from, pride isn't defined by how a guy wears his trousers," sportswriter Rick Wright said Sunday in the Albuquerque Journal. Reactions to the arrest include observations about race, culture and how small disputes can grow. "He was attacked for three reasons: his clothing, his skin, and his hair," claims the player's mother, Donna Doyle.
LZ Granderson, an ESPN commentator and writer who is African American, also sees the arrest as excessive. "No way should a conversation about baggy pants end in the young man's arrest," he says in a blog post. "Trained professionals are supposed to defuse nominal situations like this, not escalate them for arbitrary reasons." US Airways, the carrier involved, has no specific dress code. A spokesman says it asks customers to "dress in an appropriate manner to ensure the safety and comfort of all of our passengers."

Deshon Marman says: "I'm embarrassed by the negative attention that has been brought upon my family, my football team, my teammates and most of all myself." -- June 17 statement

Sports columnist says: "Life is about continuing lessons, and yours [Marman's] right now is learning to dress appropriately. You need to embrace it, if for no other reason than your own self-respect. Understand you set us back when you do these things -- 'us' being African-Americans and athletes." -- LaVar Arrington, Washington Post

Player's lawyer says: "Once he was seated, his buttocks were at the back of his seat and nothing could have been seen, nor was anything displayed. The issue should have been over." -- Joseph O'Sullivan, San Francisco attorney

Front Page Talking Points is written by Felix Grabowski and Alan Stamm for NIEonline.com, Copyright 2014
We welcome comments or suggestions for future topics: Click here to Comment

Front Page Talking Points Archive

Cable TV and dish antennas lose popularity as digital streaming expands

Federal response to Ebola grows as missteps spread concern

Video games can lift young players’ mood and social skills if not used excessively, new study suggests

University of Michigan football controversy renews focus on concussion risks

Millions of miles from Earth, a U.S. spacecraft orbits Mars to explore its atmosphere

Auto racing goes green: Battery-powered cars reach 140 mph in new Formula E series

Videogame ‘athletes:’ Are you college scholarship material?

Meet an extinct beast: Newly identified dinosaur had a 37-foot neck, 30-foot tail

E-cigarettes prompt new health concerns about young users, targeted with ads and flavors

Strong arm: Mo’ne Davis, 13, becomes a national baseball star with her blazing fastball

Complete archive