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With the tragic news of Steve McNair’s death this past weekend, it deeply saddens me to see that people are forgetting the player he was on the football field, and instead focusing so much on his personal life. I will admit that things seem strange, and he did commit the act of adultery, but we don’t really know the whole story. We probably will never know seeing that McNair and his female companion are gone. All we can do is assume as more news arrives. Who knows what his explanation or rationale was for stepping out on his wife. I am not condoning what he did in any way, but who knows what problems were going on his life that drove him to that point. One thing that is certain; no one deserves the fate that he suffered.

It seems like a lot of people forget that athletes are regular humans beings that make mistakes all the time, except that their mistakes are broadcast for the world to see. What makes McNair different from millions of men who cheat on their spouse’s everyday?

I’m upset that the first thing people do is jump to conclusions and judge without knowing any facts. It seems like people like to “piggyback” off what the media says. Today I saw a newspaper headline that read “QB Sneak”, which I think is insensitive considering the man just lost his life.

I, for one, will not let the media define him.

I will remember McNair as a great quarterback who graced the football field with amazing talent. I will remember him as the “iron man” who constantly played through a ton of injuries. I will never forget the great performance in Super Bowl XXXIV when his team fell one yard short of victory.

More importantly, McNair was an African-American quarterback that came from a small historically black college, Alcorn State, and had a great career in the NFL. I believe that he helped pave the way for black football players today, as well as athletes at black universities, especially black quarterbacks. McNair’s success proves that athletes at historically black colleges can accomplish their dreams without having to go to a “big” football school.

His legacy on the football field will always be number 1 in my eyes. What about you?

R.I.P Steve “Air” McNair

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