May 2, 2012, - 7:03 pm
The big story in sports news today is former NFL player Junior Seau’s suicide by gunshot. While no one knows yet–and we may never know–why Seau killed himself, suicide is the most selfish act you can commit against those closest to you and there is no justification for it–unless, for example, you know you are about to be tortured to death, a position in which Seau certainly was not or unless he was completely out of possession of his faculties, of which there is zero evidence. He left his aging mother in a world of hurt from which she’ll never recover and several kids who are now fatherless and forever traumatized. His girlfriend walked in on his dead body. It goes without saying that it’s so very tragic and sad. But it’s sadder for those left with the choice he made today.
For those who follow pro football, as I do, Seau was a linebacker. And a lot of people are speculating that perhaps he committed suicide because of brain injuries from concussions suffered from the many hits he sustained in that position. He would not be the first. Former Chicago Bears defensive back Dave Duerson also committed suicide. But still, that is rare, even for former NFL players. A very few, however, have lost the ability to care for themselves or think fluidly, due to the injuries. The rush to blame this on concussions, based on scant evidence, is silly.
I wonder about Seau’s finances. Many NFL players have profligate spending habits, which don’t change when the gravy train runs out and their NFL careers are over. Some can’t handle that they are no longer stars on the field. And maybe one of these could be the reason for his suicide. Or maybe he had problems with someone in his life. Who knows what the reason could be?
Regardless, unless he was struck by a mental condition or extreme pain beyond his control, there is no excuse for suicide. And there is no excuse for the pain to which you expose your family and loved ones. Sadly, no one will say that because the story broke today and we tend to mourn and fondly remember the dead, despite what they did and any sort of critical thinking about it. We’ve made suicide far too acceptable in this world. It’s time to end the glorification. It needs to be condemned, rather than chic-ified.
I pray for Junior Seau’s mother, who has to live on with the pain of burying her own son in a death that didn’t need to happen, and for his kids who bear a similarly unnecessary burden. The NFL concussion issue is a crutch and probably an excuse for the real reasons Junior Seau died.
Tags: brain injuries, concussions, depression, Junior Seau, NFL, San Diego Chargers, selfish, suicide