who must “check the box” and suffer because of the widespread criminalization of Black bodies, Arenas is surely experiencing the consequences of a culture of discrimination. “You know, when people are released from prison and have a criminal record, they are discriminated against for the rest of their life in employment,” notes Michelle Alexander. “For the rest of their life, they’ve got to check that box on employment applications, knowing that application is likely going straight to the trash.”
Given his contrition and his efforts to walk the path of redemption, one can only hoping that Gilbert Arenasgets that opportunity and as a Lakers’ fan, I am hoping it is with the Purple and Gold.
David J. Leonard is Associate Professor in the Department of Critical Culture, Gender and Race Studies at Washington State University, Pullman. He is author of After Artest: Race and the War on Hoop (SUNY Press, spring 2012).