Debunking Sal Paolantonio
This morning ESPN reporter Sal Paolantonio appeared on ESPN2’s morning radio/TV show Mike and Mike in the Morning to provide an update on the Marvin Harrison story. At the end of his interview, he said that he didn’t understand why someone like Marvin Harrison who had grown up in North Philly but gotten out and made something of himself would bother going back to his old neighborhood and purchasing these two businesses. And that after purchasing them, he didn’t understand why Marvin would be so closely involved in those businesses. Sal says he doesn’t understand it because he and Marvin both know that North Philly isn’t the safest place in the world. (In fact, just last week there were 10 people shot and killed in North Philly, and that does not include people who may have been shot but survived.)
This criticism annoyed me because Sal was basically criticizing Marvin for living and conducting business where he wanted to. I wonder if he ever considered the idea that Marvin purchased those two businesses to bring commerce to a part of Philadelphia that needs cleaning up in addition to creating legal jobs for people. Maybe he is involved in the day to day operations of these businesses a little more than most people would expect him to be, but maybe that’s also been his safeguard to make sure that everything is run on the up and up. If he’s doing the pat-downs at the door of Playmakers and confiscating people’s weapons, he’s doing it to protect the people and keep them all safe.
Of course we’ve seen what can happen when celebrities and sports figures feel obligated to help the people they grew up with in a not so nice neighborhood (see: Michael Vick), but I have to believe based on the way Marvin has carried himself that he’s smart enough to know when to draw the line. So, I take issue with Sal being appalled that Marvin would go back to his childhood neighborhood to live and help its economy.
At this point, we know that a gun registered in Marvin’s name was used in the shooting, but still they don’t have a credible witness that has identified Marvin as the shooter. And for that matter, I’m really not interested in someone saying they are willing to testify that Marvin was the shooter. That says to me that they’re just willing to say those words not that they know them to be true.
I’ve been thinking a lot since the story broke about Ms. Linda, Marvin’s mother, and how she’s feeling about all this. I met her last summer and she was just such a kind and personable woman. She did everything she could to raise her children to be good people, and I just hate to see that the press is trying to destroy everything she did to raise Marvin and his sister the right way.
There’re are a lot of holes in this case, and I’m just hopeful that this is all over soon. Every part of me believes that he did not do this, so PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE prove me right.