I don’t watch football, but I know the name Junior Seau. He was big when I was in high school and college, and I remember hearing his name on TV. I used to watch sports, when I was in school, but the older I get the less I care about professional sports. I watch golf, and that is about it. I also have a theory that all professional sports are rigged. Anyway, I know this is old news but Junior Seau was found dead yesterday in his California home. Further details point to suicide.
The reason I wanted to write about this was a discussion I was in earlier today on Facebook. Ed Wenck posted something about it, saying, “The top trending story online today is the death of Junior Seau of a self-inflicted gunshot wound at 43. If we learn the man was suffering from brain damage, how should the NFL react? Comments, please.”
When I read the status update, a few people had already commented. But I was curious why the finger was being pointed at the NFL. The NFL has nothing to do with it. I left a comment saying, “The NFL has nothing to do with it. The NFL didn’t pull the trigger. The NFL didn’t make him suit up and play those games. If an injury he got while playing in the NFL was what led to this, it was his choice to get up, get dressed, and go out on that field. The NFL just gave him an opportunity to. It is the same in any sport. For instance, racing. When a driver dies in a car crash, it is not the fault of the IRL or NASCAR. Consider that a job hazard. It even goes for firefighters and police officers. The NFL is not responsible, and it is irresponsible for anyone to try and blame them.”
Think about that for a second… ALL of us have hazards at our job. I sit behind a computer all day. I might get carpal tunnel syndrome one day. If and when I do, I can’t go blaming my boss. It was my decision to apply for a job there. It was my decision to sit the way I do and to stay behind a laptop all day and night long. The same goes for any profession. But what got me heated was a response from Cary Allen Fields. Cary said, “I agree, but…football players have $$, Ricky. They can afford to hire a herd of attorneys to keep these liability issues tied-up in the courts from now until when our babies is watching football (or not). If you were the NFL, wouldn’t you want to at least appear as though you were taking measures to protect players? They must already get players to sign something that waives their responsibility for personal safety, ain’t it? Imagine they must. Got to wonder how that applies to boxing.”
Why does a player have to sign anything? I am not sure if they do, but if they do… why? Do firefighters have to sign something when heading into a fire? Do police officers have to sign something when pulling over a speeding vehicle? Do boxers have to sign something before getting into the ring? That is a job. You understand and accept those risks when taking said job. If he did in fact kill himself because of an injury that he suffered in the NFL, that is not their fault… he is the one that pulled the trigger.
It is sad when anyone dies… for him and for his friends and family. But I have little sympathy for someone that commits suicide. Suicide is one of the most selfish things a person can do. To take total control over whether you live or die is beyond me. I have had some bad things happen to me too, but I have never thought about killing myself. It sucks that he is gone, but there is no one to blame but himself. He was the one that decided to take his own life into his own hands. I hope his family can get some answers, since there was no known note at this time. I also hope folks stop trying to blame the NFL for this.
Junior Seau was a legend. There is no doubt about that. But the man will forever be remembered for taking his own life on Wednesday, May 2, 2012.