by Laurent Berstecher
San Antonio Spurs’ Tony Parker may not be able to lead the French basketball team in London for the 2012 Summer Olympics on account of of an eye injury. Parker was hit in the eye by a piece of glass during a brawl between rappers Drake and Chris Brown’s entourages at the W.i.P nightclub in SoHo earlier this month.
Parker, who initially declared he was fine after the incident, recently revealed that he had to go through extensive surgery to remove a shard of glass that had penetrated 99% of his left eye. “I almost lost my eye,” said Parker, who is currently confined to his hotel room to prevent infections. Parker will have to wait until July 5th to go see a specialist in NYC, who will determine whether he is fit to play in the London Olympics. In the meantime, ‘TP’ has joined the rest of the French squad in Pau, but has yet to start training. London looks uncertain for Parker, who is already forfeit for France’s next four preparation games. However, the injury still appears to be relatively benign, and does not pose a threat to Parker’s career with the San Antonio Spurs.
Tony Parker may have avoided the worse, but it was a close call. Too close perhaps, as TP has decided to sue the W.i.P nightclub for $20 million. The lawsuit was filed on Thursday in Manhattan’s State Supreme Court. The club is accused of being negligent, as they let the two rappers inside despite their conflictual history, and continued serving them alcohol even after both parties were “clearly intoxicated.” W.i.P was also suspected of being understaffed that night, which made it harder to control the situation. Parker’s lawyer said they were waiting for the police investigation to determine whether Drake and Brown should be added as defendants.
According to TMZ, the club responded to the allegations, saying that Drake and Brown were let in because they were not particularly known to be prone to violence. In addition, W.i.P claims to have been adequately staffed, as 15 security guards were present that night. Basically, not their fault.
Tony Parker did certainly risk a major career upset in this incident, one that could have cost him a lot more than $20 million. However, it seems that, by suing the club for negligence, Parker and his lawyer are simply looking for a scapegoat. Can a club really be held accountable for the behavior of its customers? Shouldn’t the person who actually injured Parker be charged instead?
Perhaps the most convincing accusation is that organizers continued selling large quantities of alcohol to both Drake and Brown’s entourages, even though they visibly had enough. But really, imagine that you own a nightclub. When you sell a bottle for $500 net profit, it’s hard to stop. You might even be tempted to say “go ahead and break it’ I’ll bring you a new one” (evil genius smirk, rotating chair and cat-petting included.) Even more so if the clients are famous. If you cut them off, you’ll soon find yourself boycotted by all those slightly alcoholic celebs who don’t appreciate being told when they’ve had enough.
In the end, there is one question that really jumps out of all this: If there really was bad blood between the rappers, if everybody knew about it and it was public knowledge, if the two should have been denied entry and open bar, if they were wasted, if the situation was bound to escalate, and if he had the Olympics in a few weeks… Why the hell didn’t TP just go to another nightclub?
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