Rarely do I blog about issues that have nothing to do with my writing. There are plenty of opinions out there and mine is but one of them. However, upon reading the news today--and the responses to it--I could not hold my peace. Today an NFL player, Chris Henry, was reported deceased. The man, according to previous reports, had engaged in numerous criminal activities, including battery and destruction of property. He died trying to pursue a woman clearly attempting to flee him. Despite the man's history, fans are treating him like a fallen hero. According to a Yahoo Sports commentary, Henry was a role model in waiting who simply did not have the chance to prove himself due to his untimely death.
This is nothing short of outrageous. This man had a lengthy rap sheet, with numerous violent offenses. As the survivor of domestic violence, I know how a domestic dispute can progress--and what measures a person will take to flee a real-life monster. If Henry was anywhere near as violent a person as my ex, whom I left in 2001 (I am making no assumptions or accusations, here, just an innocent comparison for the sake of a point) then more power to the young woman who was behind the wheel of that fleeing truck.
When I finally left "Jeff" for good, it was with a cracked skull, torn rotator cuff, split lips, and bruises from head to toe. When he was on a rampage and I tried to leave, he would block my way out--he even ripped the telephone cords from the walls, so I could not call for help. He would truly become a monster: irrational, unreasonable, out of control, literally foaming at the mouth. Had there been a time when I could have gotten as far as the car, I would have thrown him off the back if he had tried to pursue--and if that had resulted in his "untimely" death, then good riddance. I know one of his exes had once tried to run him over with her car, forcing him into a ditch to keep from being killed; I don't blame the woman--actually, I applaud her--he was probably trying to block her escape. Jeff is nothing more than a worthless, abusive bully who is so spineless that he has to pick on women half his size in order to feel in control of his life. There are too many "Jeffs" in this world.
Why is it that people are so quick to defend and deify certain talented people, despite their horrific acts? Does being a gifted athlete negate a person's rotten personal life? Does one's physical prowess make up for his or her personal transgressions? How is it that we live in a world where violent criminals who just happen to reach stardom are treated as saints, and those who might call them on being the monsters they are find themselves being branded as jaded and unduly judgmental? What is wrong with society? Where have our values gone? Are most people so superficial that they really don't care to see a person for who he or she truly is--that the image is more important than the potential monster hiding behind it?
I just don't get it.