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Monday, December 17, 2012


Three Mondays…three weekends marred by senseless deaths that touched the sports world. I’m getting sick and tired of feeling sick and tired.

Two weeks ago, upon restarting the Hat Trick after a month long delay, I had the unpleasant but, I thought, obligatory task of discussing the murder-suicide committed by Jevon Belcher of the Kansas City Chiefs, who killed his girlfriend before turning the gun on himself. Last week, the story of Josh Brent of the Dallas Cowboys grabbed headlines. Brent was the driver in a single car accident that killed his teammate and best friend, Jerry Brown. His blood alcohol level was reportedly more than twice the legal limit. Today we are all mourning the mass killing at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut that left 26 innocent people dead, including 20 children aged 10 and under.


The children at Sandy Hook Elementary were not pro athletes. This tragedy aside, they could not have otherwise been more anonymous. They were ordinary Americans going about their business. This tragedy touches the sports world because it touches EVERYONE. Everyone either has children, wants children, cares about children, knows a teacher, had a favorite teacher, or was a child at one time in life.

At NCAA, NBA, and NFL games across the country over the weekend, there were moments of silence observed honoring the victims of the mass shooting. What does it accomplish? It won’t bring the victims back and does very little to ease the pain of their families and the survivors. We want to do something, but the harsh reality is that we can do nothing in the wake of the death and violence that can undo the damage done. We can only comfort and console those who need it most.


We can write all of the articles we want. Public officials can give all of the speeches they want to. We can erect memorials from sea to shining sea and even have a colored ribbon dedicated to victims of random, mass violence. Until we as a society begin have serious discussions with the end goal of changing the landscape that helped enable the perpetrator (and others like him) carry out nearly two dozen infanticides, we are doing little more than giving the families of the victims a pat on the head.

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