Should guys give up the strip club?

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Really, Jacoby Jones? Really?

Here’s how the news stories went before Wednesday, September 25, 2013 when Baltimore Ravens wide receiver and kick returner Jacoby Jones decided to open his mouth.

Jones and some other Ravens went to Opera Ultra Lounge (wink, wink) in Washington, D.C. to celebrate teammate Bryant McKinnie’s birthday.

We all know why I’m winking, don’t we? It’s at that word “lounge,” which is little more than a euphemism for a strip club.

Jones and his teammates departed the lounge (wink, wink) and boarded a party bus. (Double wink winks here.) Some kind of altercation ensued that ended with a stripper cracking Jones over the head with a champagne bottle.

Ravens head coach John Harbaugh expressed embarrassment and regrets about the incident that occurred the Monday after the Ravens beat the Houston Texans at M&T Bank Stadium.

(Before I forget it, just who was that team that played the Texans, and what did they do with the Baltimore Ravens?)

Two days later, Jones took to the airwaves on radio station 105.7 to give his side of the story.

“I’m going to take the responsibility that I was in the wrong place at the wrong time,” Jones said. “There was no altercation. There’s nothing wrong. I did nothing wrong but I take responsibility for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Enough said. I apologize to my teammates and everybody.”

Really Jacoby? Really?

If there was no altercation, if Jones “did nothing wrong,” then what in the wide, wide world of sports is he apologizing for?

What is he taking responsibility for, and what was wrong about the place and the time since, in Jones’ words, nothing was wrong?

Is Jones telling us, as I’ve suspected since the incident was first reported, that he DIDN’T, as the saying goes, “cop a feel” on one of the strippers and ended up getting his skull cracked open for his impertinence?

Jones’ comments sound like bat guano to me. It sounds like Ravens honchos pressured him into saying something, and what he ended up giving us was the drivel he spouted on 105.7.

A truly regretful man would have said this: “I was wrong to be in a strip club, and I won’t be going there again.”

I’m not going to suggest to readers that I’ve never been to a strip club. But I remember the last time I was in one, and it was work-related.

Go ahead, scoff and sneer. But it’s the truth.

Before I became a metro columnist for the Baltimore Sun in September of 1995, I worked the cop beat in the paper’s Anne Arundel County bureau for two years.

There was a story involving a county cop and some impropriety at a strip club. My editor asked if I wanted to patronize the club and get a feel for the place, the better to do a story.

Now I could tell you I accepted the assignment with a great deal of reluctance, but you all now I’d be lying my tush off.

Truth is, I needed no persuading, cajoling or convincing from the editor to take the assignment, which I couldn’t believe was being given to me.

I was being asked to attend a strip club where gorgeous women would shake their purty thangs in front of me. AND I’D GET PAID FOR IT. I bolted from the bureau office and headed to the club, convinced that journalism was the greatest profession ever.

But, as Jones found out the hard, painful way— his claim that he did “nothing wrong” notwithstanding— there’s a down side to attending strip clubs.

Need we recall where young Malcolm Shabazz— Malcolm X’s grandson— was when he met his early, untimely demise?

At a strip club in Mexico City. And where was Sean Bell just before some trigger happy New York City cops fired nearly 50 shots at him back in 2006?

Leaving a strip club, one that cops were investigating for evidence of drug violations and prostitution. Young Mr. Bell died after that encounter with police.

Jones got off lucky. At least he lived to tell his tale and profess his innocence, though I doubt anybody will believe him.

What’s the lesson to be learned? Guys, give up the strip club and stay home with the wife or girlfriend. Believe me, it’s a lot safer.