Dexter Rogers

Dexter Rogers

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Steve “Air” McNair gunned down by girlfriend

I needed some time to digest what happened with slain former NFL quarterback Steve McNair before I weighed in on McNair being gunned down recently by his girlfriend in Nashville, Tennessee. Bottom line: it was a sad end to a life that pleased so many people in the realm of sports. The victim, 20 year old Sahel Kazeme and McNairs’ girlfriend lost her life way too soon as well.

When McNair was finally laid to rest he was being portrayed as a tough competitor who gave back to the community. He was characterized as someone who always laid it all on the line for his team. McNair played through injuries during his career. On the field he was one of the toughest men to ever play. Off the field sadly that toughness was no match for the four bullets lodged in his body by his enraged girlfriend.

Looking at it deeper I remember writing about Air McNair back in 1994. I felt that he wouldn't get a chance to strut his stuff as an NFL quarterback because of systemic racism.. Back in the day there were stigmas about African Americans playing quarterback. Whites simply didn’t believe African Americans were as cerebral as white quarterbacks. According to stereotype is the farther away from the ball the better the African American will perform.

Luckily he was the third overall pick of the Tennessee Titans. “Air” McNair did a lot to deflate such rumors by guiding his team to the Super Bowl in 2000. Though his team came up short he was part of what many consider the best Super Bowl ever played.

Off the field McNair was a humanitarian who gave back to the community in Mississippi where he lived and also in Nashville where he played most of his career. He also loved children. McNair sadly leaves behind four of his own in situation that obviously went wrong. He leaves behind a wife who was there for him in the good times and the bad. Sadly she has to live knowing of her husbands indiscretions that have been played out over the last two weeks for all to see.

Though McNair was deemed a family man for whatever reason McNair went outside his home to take up with another woman. Is the latter wrong? Perhaps, but we don't know the entire situation with respect to his family and his marital status. In short, who am I to judge?

We know the athletes in uniform as superstar athletes not as humans who deal with everyday life like you and I. The problems they encounter mirror those we face: difference being they often live their lives before our eyes. They have money, fame, and a sense of entitlement most of us won't ever have. The media portrays athletes like McNair as superhuman when they are mortals like the rest of us.

At the end of the day it's just sad. A young man at 36 who seemingly had it all was gunned down in such a savage manner doesn’t make logical sense. Yes, McNair is high-profile but what the many regular citizens being slain around the world that often go unnoticed? Only the high-profile gets the ink and attention from the media. Seemingly it's all about what you have and who you know in order for value to be placed upon citizens and stars. I guess throwing touchdowns for living takes precedence over a school teacher trying to educate America’s youth or the every day Joe who just tries to make it. It's twisted but that's the reality.

We may never know exactly what happened with McNair and his girlfriend, but we do know that two people departed this earth too young with more to contribute to society. While difficult it’s possible we can draw from the recent deaths of high-profile personalities to live our best life daily for we know not when we will take our last breath.

Value what you have, value your life, value now. We may have a script for how we want our lives to turn out but the Creator laughs knowing full well that his script takes precedence over ours. The universe is in charge.

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