Source - Former Packers player Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila was nearly arrested — and two of his friends were arrested — Tuesday night in an incident that apparently arose from a family dispute over religious differences.
The incident happened about 6:15 p.m. Tuesday when Jordan Salmi, 24,and Ryan Desmith, 22, showed up at Assembly of God Church, 1460 Shawano Ave., which was hosting a Christmas pageant being put on by the private Providence Academy, according to Capt. Kevin Warych of the Green Bay Police Department.
“The officers responded to that church for a report of a trespassing complaint,” Warych said. “They came into contact with staff, who reported two individuals who were asked to leave but weren’t leaving….When the officers made contact with the two individuals, the officers tried to convince them to leave, but they did not. They were subsequently arrested for trespassing.”
Both were found to be carrying concealed weapons but had no permits, Warych said. ...
Gbaja-Biamila avoided arrest because he left when police told him to leave. ...
But Gbaja-Biamila later gave an accounting, posted in a 30-minute YouTube video directed apparently to fellow members of the Straitway Truth Ministry, a religious group with which Gbaja-Biamila is affiliated.
Gbaja-Biamila expressed deep religious differences with the pastor/head master of Providence Academy, condemned his sons for participating in what he called a pagan event involving decorated Christmas trees, and said they were committing sin by following the dictates of Gbaja-Biamila’s estranged wife instead of his.
He said she chose to rebel, and members of the Providence Academy, in choosing to support her, were “partaking of her sin."
“They got my sons — my property — doing pagan worship, and I told them I forbid it, and they dishonor me and say it’s OK for my sons to dishonor their father,” he said. “They used the sons, the children, to oppress the man, and the woman rules over them, so that the man walks in error.”
Well alrighty then. So this is happening. There's a lot to unpack here and it's hard to decide where to begin. I suppose I could start with Gbaja-Biamila's mental state, which a lot of people online are questioning. And the concern is legitimate. Because if you think that coming from nowhere as a fifth round pick to have a nine year career with 74.5 sacks and induction into the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame guarantees a lifetime of perfect, carefree, sefl-actualized mental health, you haven't been paying attention to a lot of guys' post-football lives.
But it's hard to say for sure if his issues are mental or just religious. It pains me to say it, but that's a fine line. A lot of religious beliefs sound really nutty to outsiders, taken out of context. Especially some of the ones my own faith talks about. (Who'd care to join me Sunday morning for the literal flesh and blood of our Savior?) But that doesn't make them invalid.
And besides, families have disagreements about religious practices all the time. Last night the Irish Rose floated the idea of going into Boston for a High Mass on Christmas Eve. Why would she drag me into the city to scramble all over the place looking for parking spaces and fighting crowds, far away from my sofa and giant glasses of wine, as opposed to just going to our parish right up the street? Because she and No. 2 son don't like the folk music and would prefer something more classical and traditional. For reals. Is that what KGB says it is? The woman using the sons to oppress the man and the woman rules over them while the man drives into the city in error? He might be onto something. The point is, I don't want to judge how another man chooses to worship.
I mean, I think think we can all agree that whatever your opinion of Christmas trees, that bringing unlicensed, illegally concealed firearms into a Christmas pageant is not the way to handle it. The birth of the Christ Child is all about forgiveness of sin. Peace on Earth. Goodwill toward men. As the song goes, "to save us all from Satan's powers when we had gone astray." There's no part of the Gospel of Luke that Linus recites at the Peanuts Christmas pageant that suggests you should settle your differences on observing the holiday by putting a cap in a sumbitches ass.
But I guess my biggest takeaway is the two guys who got arrested on behalf of KGB. You know how every once in a while you see someone and think, "Now these look like people who don't hang out together a lot"? That's him, Jordan Salmi and Ryan Desmith. If you told me one of the NFL's biggest badasses of the 2000s - a man who went four straight seasons with double digit sacks - would be hanging out in 2019 with two guys in their early 20s who look like they drive a black & white VW Beetle for the Best Buy Geek Squad, I wouldn't have believed you. And for sure I wouldn't picture them as the kind of guys who'd go to jail for a Packers Hall of Famer. So I guess the lesson here is something that's been said, many times, many ways: Religion makes strange bedfellows.
But seriously, KGB. Get help, because by any standard, this behavior is scary AF.