We featured Joakim Noah and Russell Westbrook‘s celebratory six-shooter a couple weeks ago, but after the horrendous shootings at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newton, Conn., last Friday, Noah has decided to abstain from his enthusiastic gun-shooting after he makes that wobbly jumper. It also warrants mentioning the city where Noah plays, Chicago, has been absolutely decimated by gun violence over the last year, so his decision is two-fold.
After word broke of the shootings, Joakim Noah took to twitter to excoriate American gun laws.
This is so f*cked up…There needs to be some kind of gun control.. For real
— Joakim Noah (@JoakimNoah) December 14, 2012
Lost amid the tragedy in the Connecticut has been the continuing violence in Noah’s adopted city of Chicago. Through October of this year, there have been 438 murders in Chicago with guns. This is right in Noah’s backyard, and he’s realized there’s a disconnect in the celebration and the hundreds of lives lost because of guns.
Last night, Noah recorded his second career triple-double in Chicago’s 100-89 victory over the visiting Celtics. He recorded 11 points, grabbed 13 rebounds, and dished 10 assists in 36 minutes of action. But fans didn’t see Noah’s trademark six-shooter display after any of his four field goals, and neither did they see the celebration during Chicago’s victory over Brooklyn on Saturday night.
That’s because Noah has fired off his last round, saying after the Bulls’ most recent victory:
“You can’t joke around with things like that. Too many people are dying because of guns. We have a problem here with guns. So just trying to be a little bit compassionate about what’s going on.”
Noah’s use of the gesture originated in practice back during the 2010-11 season, when he pantomimed shooting guns after hitting a jumper in the face of then-teammate, Keith Bogans. “It was kind of like a funny, comical thing,” he’s said recently. “But I guess we’re in a situation right now where it’s not funny.”
In the wake of the shootings in Connecticut and the continued gun violence in Chicago, Noah has come to realize it’s not appropriate to continue the celebration.
“It’s what happened in Connecticut. That was shocking to a lot of people, but things like this have been going on. We have a serious problem with that in Chicago. It’s crazy, man.”
Noah doesn’t own any guns, and he never heard any complaints from fans or the league about his celebrations over the last couple years, but considering all the murders in Chicago this year — particularly the South Side — plus last week’s disaster in Connecticut, continuing the practice doesn’t feel right to Noah, and that’s a good thing. Westbrook — it should be noted — simply holsters his hands rather than shooting off guns as part of his celebration, so it’s not really the same thing. Regardless, Noah is done with that particular brand of celebration now.
Dime raised more than $,1000 yesterday as part of our “shoot jumpers, not guns” t-shirts, and we’re all trying to bring awareness to the issue as the nation mourns still more victims of gun violence. Regardless of your stance on gun ownership in this country, basketball fans can all agree that jumpers are a lot more exciting than guns. So make sure that’s all you’re shooting, and stay safe out there.
What do you think?
Follow Spencer on Twitter at @countcenci.
Follow Dime on Twitter at @DimeMag.
Become a fan of Dime Magazine on Facebook HERE.