Being Our Brother's Keeper

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  • Tom, Sybil, Jay. I am hoping that your day is as fantastic as mine. For any of the TJMS family that has been mildly paying attention to the news around the NFL you are aware of two tragedies that took place in two weeks. First we got news of Jovan Belcher, a 25-year-old football player originally from Long Island, who shot his partner and the mother of his child 22-year-old Kasandra Perkins. Critics followed the incident immediately with message of domestic violence, gun control, and even steroid rage all in the name of searching for answers to why this tragedy happened.

    Nearly a week later tragedy struck Dallas as Jerry Brown Jr., a 25-year member of the Cowboys was killed in a car driven by teammate, nose-tackle Josh Brent. Again, the media and critics alike started to talk about the drinking policy in the NFL, the fact that rides are available to NFL players and this never had to happen, and the fact that Brent had a DUI while a college player in Illinois and perhaps one DUI should be grounds to block players from coming into professional sports.

    While some of critique was valid and others absurd, there is a larger point. Nearly 100 people die daily in the US from guns. How many died in KC that day that no one else heard about? Drunk driving deaths account for nearly a third of all traffic fatalities, but seldom do they make the front page of the local paper. Both of these incidents are legitimate tragedies. The families of the victims or those at fault don’t care what team they played for. 3-month old baby Zoe is not wondering if the Chiefs were able to pull together in the name of her dad and win Sunday’s game.

    People are people. And while they should do something, this is less about what the NFL does about guns, alcohol, and stress. The question is what will we do? Those lost and affected in these tragedies were sons, a daughter, fathers, and friends. Should our level of accountability and support be less impactful than the leagues? I don’t know about you, but we all, regardless of what we do for a living deal with stress, drinking issues, drug problems, relationship challenges, and other ish. But so often we walk by each other pretending everything is ok when we know it’s not, letting our family and friends make bad decisions and say nothing…minding our own business to the destruction of people we say we love. I can’t speak to the details of either situation in detail, but there is ALWAYS someone that can intervene if they take the time to see the signs. Later for the leaches that will let Celebs be destructive so they can get a check and later for us family members that ignore issues or don’t care enough to pay attention, because we think we have enough on our plates.

    I know that you can’t make a person do something they don’t want to do, but there are times people are crying for help and we have blinders on our eyes, ear plugs in our ears and steal blocking our hearts. I am not for making excuses for those that do wrong. I just know that I have made enough mistakes that that may have turned out differently had I been held accountable before my action vs. after it. We are all family, regardless of our profession or celebrity. Let’s act like it. When you ask how someone is doing, wait for the reply before walking away. Really listen with your ears and heart, and then respond accordingly. Let’s be bold and NOT mind our business sometimes. It might save a life. Finally lets live vs. just say that we are our brothers and sisters keepers. It won’t solve every problem, but it would definitely make the world a better place.

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