The chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus denounced yesterday homegrown basketball star Carmelo Anthony's appearance on a DVD that features men smoking marijuana and making violent threats against police informants.
In a written statement, Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, a Maryland Democrat, said, "His [Anthony's] appearance in the videos sends a dangerous message that condones drug dealers and the deadly consequences of their criminal activities."
Anthony and his agent have said that he was home visiting friends and didn't realize that he would be appearing on a widely distributed video. They also said the basketball star was not involved in any crime nor was he endorsing criminal activity.
The two-hour DVD, titled Stop Snitching, features men ranting, cursing and threatening police informants, whom they call "rats" and "snitches."
At least seven such videos were discovered by police about two months ago. The one featuring Anthony was released last week.
Yesterday, Cummings called on the National Basketball Association to "take immediate action to formally condemn any association by its players with activities that promote the illegal drug trade."
Residents have a right to work with police to protect their neighborhoods against drug dealers, the congressman said, and the videos and Anthony's appearance in them send a damaging and potentially dangerous message.
"It is my fear that, because of these types of threatening videos, the blood of some of the people with whom Mr. Anthony grew up will run in the streets of Baltimore," he said.