Sons of Anarchy featured two distinct Presidents of the titular club over the course of its seven seasons, but as the show dug more into SAMCRO’s past, a major mystery emerged: why wasn’t Piney ever in charge? Sons of Anarchy immersed viewers in the world of motorcycle clubs in the made-up town of Charming, California. Jackson “Jax” Teller (Charlie Hunnam), who served as the club’s vice president at the start of the series and is the son of John “JT” Teller, one of the club’s original members, led Sons of Anarchy.
The first episode of Sons of Anarchy begins when Jax discovers JT’s manifesto, in which he outlined his ideas and goals for the club, which were quite unlike from those of Clay Morrow, the organization’s current president and Jax’s stepfather (Ron Perlman). This was the start of a lot of issues between Jax and Clay, both in the club and in their personal and family life. Ultimately, Jax took over as SAMCRO President and fired Clay for all he did to the club and its members, including JT. A different, older club member, Piney Winston (William Lucking), whose health difficulties prevented him from serving as President, in principle, should have taken over SAMCRO’s Presidency but never did.
Piney’s SAMCRO History in Sons of Anarchy
One of the First 9 and one of SAMCRO’s original members, Piermont “Piney” Winston was also the father of Opie Winston (Ryan Hurst), Jax’s closest buddy and another club member. Along with fellow veteran Lenny Janowitz, Piney and JT founded the Sons of Anarchy Motorcycle Club after returning from Vietnam and witnessing the decline of their homeland as well as the bigotry and economic suffering that accompanied it (Sonny Barger). Piney stood down as VP in 1990 owing to health difficulties connected to emphysema, but he continued to be a patched member of the club. When JT passed away in 1993, Piney should have taken over as President of the club. JT took over as President of SAMCRO, with Piney as his VP and Lenny as his Sgt-at-Arms.
Piney sponsored Clay to join the club as a patched member, but when Clay took over as president because Piney was unable to, Piney stayed a member in order to have a vote and control Clay. Of course, Piney was unaware that Clay was accountable for JT’s murder. When Clay got the club engaged with the Galindo Cartel in Sons of Anarchy season 4 and discovered from Tara (Maggie Siff) about Clay’s participation in JT’s killing, friction between Piney and Clay rose. His conflicts with Clay ultimately resulted in his death, when Clay murdered him in his cabin while making it appear as though it had been the Lobos Sonora or the work. The third SAMCRO member slain by Clay was Piney.
Could Piney Have Made A Better President Than Clay in Sons of Anarchy?
Due to his emphysema, Piney seldom went on runs, therefore the viewer rarely saw him in action with the rest of his club brothers. As a result, it is difficult to say if he would have been a better president than Clay or even Jax. Piney was one of the most dependable and composed members of SAMCRO. Though it would have made him Clay’s new target, Piney was aware of the existence of JT’s manifesto and even had a copy of it that he subsequently provided to Jax. Had he been elected president, he would have likely done his best to carry out his best friend’s vision for the club.