Last week, a professional football player killed his girlfriend, the mother of his child, then killed himself at the Kansas City practice facility. During half time of the Sunday night game on NBC, the commentator, Bob Costas, took the opportunity to do what he is paid to so, comment. His against guns, thinly failed in quoting from a like minded reporter, set off a firestorm of publicity from both gun rights advocates and gun restrict advocates. My concern with Mr. Costas is not his known attitude towards guns, but rather his response to the event. He did not criticize the criminal who committed the crime, rather he attacked what he perceived a gun culture and even threw in a preemptive defense of football in general as if a root cause can be defined by public opinion rather than investigation.

The terrible events in Kansas City may have been preventable, none of us were inside that relationship. From what has been reported, he shot her several times with his mother and daughter in another room, then left to go to work to kill himself. He had spent the night away from home in questionable activities. If he had not had a gun, would he have been out of control enough to kill her with his bare hands? Possibly, again none of us were there.

This last weekend, there was more bad news for professional football. A member of the Dallas Cowboys was killed during a single car accident where he was the passenger. The driver was another player who has been arrested for intoxicated homicide, meaning he was under the influence and responsible for the death. Mr. Costas again used his pulpit to comment. Again, this is what he is paid to do. His comment again missed the mark. He attacked a culture of alcohol. What he missed is again the personal responsibility. Again he is providing a preemptive defense of professional football.

If we are going to blame a culture, what about the culture of professional sports? Young men and women are given huge amounts of money and told just how great they are. All doors are opened, alcohol, drugs, fast cars, fast women (for the men), and the attitude that you have to prove you are hot stuff every minute of the day. We have athletes in shootings, rape, murder, suicide, DUIs, drugs, just to name a few. When these people are done with their careers, most are dropped onto the trash heap of history, unless they are trotted our when some new hot gun is about to eclipse some measure that they had achieved. A select few get to join the ranks of commentators, but that group is even more select than the limited population who get to play professional sports. And what of the fans? We demand entertainment, encourage outrageous activities and eat up the intrusions into private lives.

I personally do not by into any of this. Actions are personal. What happened in Kansas City is deplorable, but not unique. Every winter, there are reports of farmers who commit murder-suicide. Are they under the pressures of a professional athlete? What weapons do they use? Sure some are with guns, but not all. There are plenty of car accidents where the driver was under the influence and a passenger died. Are all of them wealthy, high profile personalities? Obviously not.

Let us pray for the families of all those who have died, not just the famous, but especially the young one’s. We can all hope for prayer and hope that these high profile events will make everyone think before making terrible decisions that have consequences.

 

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Martin writes about writing in his weekly column Ramblings from Martin.

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