Sunday, December 16, 2012

Special Treatment? Not QuiteThe Benefit You Think

I have seen a lot of chatter about Michael Carter-Williams getting special treatment with the alleged shoplifting incident at Lord & Taylor's, as reported by Mike Waters of the Post-Standard.  Most of the negative chatter is about how Carter-Williams is getting preferential treatment because he is a high profiled Syracuse athlete, implying that the average person would be getting different treatment in this situation.
I would agree that he is indeed getting special treatment, but not to his benefit.  The policy, as reported by Waters is: 

"Lord & Taylor’s store policy dictates how to deal with shoplifters, according to one source. In most cases, the police are not called. Instead, a person who admits to shoplifting must pay a civil fine. The fine is five times the value of the merchandise with a cap at $500. When the fine is paid, the accused is released. Shoplifters are not allowed to keep the merchandise."

The article further states that in most cases the police are never involved, nor even is mall security.
If Carter-Williams was the average Syracuse citizen, he would have paid the fine, the issue would be resolved, and the issue would have no public attention.  Instead, because he is a star athlete, and people recognized him at the mall, he is being persecuted by members of the public.  How is Carter-Williams benefiting in this situation from his celebrity?

I do not condone this alleged shoplifting action.  However it does seem to me that based on the facts presented in the article, he was treated by Lord & Taylor's as if he was the typical Syracuse citizen caught up in the same circumstance.  And that is the way it should be, regarding how it was handled from their end.  No special treatment.

The special treatment he is getting is from the media and the public because of his celebrity.  Mike Waters has to report on this, because ignoring the story would be irresponsible journalism. There is a story that is floating around the community regarding something that impacts Syracuse basketball, and if he has done his diligence and gotten the facts, he should report on them.  

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