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To The People Who Are Blaming Steve McNair … (Guest Post)

Damon at This May Concern You has a few words for the people who blame murdered ex-NFL quarterback Steve McNair for his own demise

By Damon

You all should have stopped before your started. But since you didn’t, I’ll ask you to silence yourselves now.

No, I’m not foolish enough to paint Steve McNair as some “holier than thou” figure. He needs to be remembered as a human who did a little great, some good and some bad. It’s obvious he didn’t walk on water, make it so the blind could see or heal the sick.

He was human. Frankly, I don’t care how you look at him, so long as you don’t look at him as though he caused his own death.

More after the jump.

No one should be simple enough to say that McNair, the former NFL quarterback found dead this weekend, did himself in through his actions. That’s like saying “he got what he had coming.” I’m sorry, but death is a steep price to pay for adultery. Usually it’s divorce, alimony, child support and/or reconciliation.

From what we now know, though, the 20-year-old woman he was dating outside of his marriage blew a gasket or six. Sahel Kazemi allegedly put two bullets in his head and two in his chest before killing herself.

Why did she do it? Because she — not McNair — lost it. Why did she lose it? People will be speculating about that for some time unless a suicide note shows up somewhere.

Still, you all have begun lambasting McNair because he was an adulterer. Some of you have turned it into “a cautionary tale” for cheating men. That’s not what this is. It’s a tragic example of someone not getting her/his way and deciding to take control via the worst possible means. Sure, the wages of sin is death. But adultery doesn’t beget murder.

We’ve all been tried before. We’ve all had our buttons pushed by our own personal George Jetsons to a point where we wanted to hurl fine China as though it were a Spacely’s Sprocket. But even with all his threats, Mr. Spacely never killed Jetson. He may have thought about it, but never did.

Likewise, most of us remove ourselves from trying circumstances via means that aren’t volatile. We leave and move on with our lives.

Kazemi chose to end theirs. That’s where your negative thoughts concerning this issue should lay — on her decision to end lives. Men and women cheat every day. Some fools skip continents and go missing in action from political offices to maintain affairs with their “soulmates” (see: Mark Sanford).

Yet, it isn’t the right of the wife or husband, the adulterer or the adulteress to take the life of any person involved in the situation because he or she isn’t happy and wants to alter the outcome with haste. Sanford’s wife had plenty of options, but Option “Finish Him” wasn’t one that computed. I wonder why?

Still, this purported form of life-taking vengeance takes place daily. This weekend, it was a well-respected athlete — with a marital flaw shared by many — who happened to be victimized.

Yes, he is a victim. Not the one at fault. Saying “he got what he deserved” or “maybe this will stop men from cheating” is almost like saying that if put in Kazemi’s position, you might make a Truman Capote novel out of your lover, too. See how insane that reads?

Be a better caretaker of your own words. Don’t allow them to justify Kazemi’s actions. Don’t blame McNair for his death. Instead, fault the Level 10 crazy person who was weak enough to take McNair’s life instead of being patient enough to fall back with grace and humility. Let this be the lesson learned from this tragedy: You can choose to walk away from negative situations.

If you need something to think about, focus your minds and hearts on McNair’s wife and four children. Unlike the Sanfords, they had their choice of family/fatherhood stripped away from them. But also lament Kazemi’s loved ones as well. They, too, are mourning a loss.

These are the unfortunate consequences of murder and suicide, not adultery. People are people, and we’re all going to die. But no one deserves death because he/she is an adulterer.

Sincerely,

Damon

————

This letter originally appeared on the blog This May Concern You.

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77 thoughts on “To The People Who Are Blaming Steve McNair … (Guest Post)

  1. Frankly, I’ve never seen a bigger display of point missing this side of a Town Hall.com post.People here are acting like taking two to the head is a predictable, foreseeable consequence of adultery. "Well if he wasn’t cheating, he wouldn’t have been in position to end up like that.""Well if he hadn’t been out all night partying, he wouldn’t have been there when that drunk jumped the median""If she hadn’t run away from home, she wouldn’t have ended up getting picked up by that rapist."Why is it that the latter two are clearly out of line, but the former is perfectly reasonable?Y’all can stick all that "Yeah, but" crap. Any way you parse it, it comes back "He brought it on himself."To. Hell. With. That.

  2. I agree with Dames article not because I defend cheating sole because he did not deserve to die for his actions. I hate to say it but those who agree are probably bitter woman who have been cheated on. Murder is not a measured response to cheating. A punch in the mouth, keying his car, telling his wife are probably more appropriate but to die?? I think those that think he deserved to die are the ones who are morally bankrupt. Who made us the jury and executioner.

  3. Adeshola Blue says:

    Mr. Linton, I have seen enough people get killed over cheating to know that it happens. Must be a southern thing.

  4. Richard Linton says:

    People get killed over alot of things, doesn’t make it right. It happens all over the world not just in the south. Mr. McNair should have been more responsible not because some crazy woman may kill him. He had a obligation to be more responsible for the health of this family. If you don’t feel sympathy over the death of another human being you have some serious issues. I just take Dame’s argument at face value. He didn’t deserve to die because he was an adulterer.

  5. In every instance of death there is an opportunity to examine the causes, and whether or not they were preventable. Especially concerning celebrity deaths, uncovering the unbiases facts is a bit like trying to cleanse muddy water. In the case of Steve McNair, most would agree that his judgement was not the best. However, trying to decide whether or not he "caused" his own death and placing the blame on his shoulders is not for us to do. If anything, we shoud be sure that we aren’t exhibiting the lapse in sound decision making that is represented by McNair’s untimely passing.

  6. bigwilligirl says:

    Certainly we all have an appointment with death, but gettin’ your wig pushed bag over some tail (and make no mistake about it – THAT is the appointment Mr. McNair apparently had to keep) seems extreme…

  7. Monica says:

    Adeshola Blue,Perhaps it may very well be a Southern thing. I mean the idea the fallout from an affair can include murder. Off the top of my head, I can think of a one uncle being shot by his girlfriend’s husband and another uncle was poisoned by "distraught woman".I’m not saying that is what happened with McNair (I’m sticking with "treating with like crap will to you getting f’up").

  8. APeach says:

    I don’t buy this "don’t blame McNair" stuff. It pains me as someone who enjoys football, and who *still* will root for the team w/ a Black QB. I admired him as a player, and especially as QB, but I can’t go there. In fact, there seems to be a "King David excuse" quality to all this–probably because a QB. Anyway, I guarantee if that was his wife acting in the same manner that he did, she’d be called all kinds of whorish and would probably have her grave spit upon 5 years later. I just can’t be understanding of this, not at all. Even if he had an "arrangement" with his wife, vacays with his toy and such? How does he have time to raise his children? Oh yeah, he doesn’t.And I’d be sympathetic if it was a temporary screw-up. It happens. We are all flawed; we all have temptations and sometimes we fall short. But he Kept. Screwing. Up. After awhile, this ish is intentional and he was content being a selfish bastard.Similarly, I don’t buy the "Well, she was young" line. Bollocks! I was 20 years old once upon a time, too–and I knew better than to deal with a married man. Shoot, even if a guy *just* had a girlfriend, you knew that was a deal breaker–shoot, you know that in HIGH SCHOOL–so now all of a sudden, you just don’t understand if he’s married? Please. As one of my girls would say, "I’m gonna respect your girlfriend even if you don’t." In fact, I knew better than to deal with ANY man more than 2-3 years older than me when I was 20! I knew that type just wanted some ass to feel virile (as opposed to some my own age who just wanted ass, period)–and I’m being vulgar with it because the intent was vulgar. If I’m 20 and he’s 27, 37, 47…just WTH do we have to discuss? Exactly. This isn’t difficult.Anyway…McNair didn’t just make a mistake. He made several. And he kept making them. Only this time, it cost his life. She had NO right to kill him, but this was preventable.

  9. @APeach: To put it bluntly: Bullshit. Again, you’re acting like getting shot by your lover is a predictable consequence of infidelity. And we don’t know why she did it either. We don’t know if McNair was doing her dirt or was just there when she snapped.You might as well say Phil Hartman had it coming because he stayed with a woman he knew had mental problems.I’m sorry, but I’m seeing a lot more projection and "Another black man can’t keep it in his pants" bitterness than people actually looking at the facts we know.I would ask if all this "He shouldn’t have cheated" ish would be getting thrown about if the genders were flipped (A famous black woman getting blasted by her male lover).

  10. Andrea says:

    I was not trying to imply that McNair deserved to die, only that he could have prevented his death by doing the right thing: KEEPING HIS ASS AT HOME! He had a very "do-able" wife who gave him two children, was willing to care for his two older children, and kept house for him. That should have been more than enough for this guy. Why are so many successful men so damn self-centered?! Is it a sense of entitlement?

  11. Monica says:

    I think the Phil Hartman situation was different, in that it was Phil’s Hartman WIFE and although he loved and supported her as a spouse, it wasn’t enough to help her defeat her personal demons. Did McNair work to help his side piece maintain her grip or did he add to her problems?

  12. Monica says:

    @FreezerPlease see one of my previous posts. One of my uncle received one to the dome after his girlfriend’s husband found out about the relationship. The man told unc to stay away from his wife. Of course, this warning was ignored. That man shot my uncle in broad daylight in front of witnesses, drove to the sheriff’s house, turned himself in and did not serve a single day in jail.It happens and in that case, my uncle should have left that damn woman alone.

  13. APeach says:

    @Freezer: No, I think the defensiveness and "another black man" stuff is your projection, and yours alone. Clearly, the examples of Senators Vitter and Ensign as well as Gov. Sanford put the lie to that, as you damned well know.We already know what would happen if the genders were reversed–she’d be considered a whoring slut who was a terrible mother and completely unconcerned about her children’s well-being–again, as you damned well know. Let’s deal in the real world, shall we? There’s no such thing as male sexual immorality because by and large, most aren’t expected to practice it and aren’t sanctioned if they engage in "King David" behavior. And nice way to ignore the fact that the other actor in this incident also bore responsibility–but I guess that wouldn’t fit into your little rant.Who’s taking things personally, again? I don’t think those that drag race in the middle of the night (or are spectators) should die when a car crashes. But it’s damned reckless to put yourself in that position. You know it’s illegal; you know it’s dangerous–but you do it anyway. I’d prefer if it McNair wasn’t reckless, so I could just remember him as a great field general. He didn’t deserve to die. But he was reckless. You can sugarcoat it all you want and/or claim it’s a plot against Black men, but plenty of Black men see his actions as reckless, too. Sure, he could have died being faithful…but it would be a hell of a lot easier to explain it to his children.

  14. swiv says:

    i surely hope no one is saying he should die, but i don’t think anyone is absolving him of his participation in the process. anyone who takes it to either extreme is an idiot and has no concept of cause and effect.

  15. Sheneneh says:

    Michael Jackson said it perfectly: "MAMA always told me, be CAREFUL what you do. DON’T go around breaking YOUNG girls’ hearts!"If mama tells you something 9 times outta 10 it’s b/c a SEVERE consequence can come from it (hence a WARNING). The bottom line here is, Steve didn’t deserve to die the way that he did, but the truth of the matter is HE DID.I’m still trying to fathom how folks, mostly men, are harping on that it wasn’t his fault. Both of them were at fault, period!That silly LITTLE girl should have stayed in her doggone lane and messed around with unmarried men her own age. While Steve should have honored his vows that he made with his WIFE and been at home with her that night.Matter of fact wasn’t this a holiday that he was taken out on? He should have been somewhere boiling the ribs and chopping up some cabbage for slaw for the 4th, with his WIFE.All these STDs going around and these stupid people are still bed hopping it’s totally disgusting, not to mention NASTY, think outside of your underwear people. Had McNair told her, her true role, maybe he’d still be alive today, Fault and blame is weighing on her and him b/c she should have known he wasn’t planning on leaving his wife for her esp. when he helps you get a vehicle, instead of paying for it out right. And how are you, "the jump off", going to get mad at a "possible" other jump off? if he is cheating on his wife with you what makes you think he’s going to be faithful to you?She had no business messing around with him and he had no business messing around with her, the gatdamned end.

  16. Jamminontheone says:

    Yes, I am one of those in the camp of "he got what he deserve". Many men have done careless thing but none should result in death. But we now know that the ones are left to pick up the pieces: his sons. Instead of SM raising his sons to be better than he was, he blantantly did what he wanted to do. I pray that they will be upstanding men. Instead of divorcing his wife, then starting a relation with this woman would have been the right thing to do. But he didn’t and he continued to lie. Most would think that she was just a dip and he should have just hit it and quit it. After listening to the endless promises that he probably made to her, she snapped. I feel sorry for his parents and hers. It was senseless but that was the consquence.

  17. Robert M says:

    Words fail for anyone whom doesn’t understand that if you go out and do something you should not be doing and something bad happens it’s your fault no matter what happens. It is irrelevant whether or not someone should not do what they do.

  18. BlackEssence says:

    No one ‘deserves’ to die. No man should take vengeance into his (or her) own hands and execute the life of another.But…Oh what tangled webs we weave…. We can’t control the actions of others, but we can control our own….let this serve as a cautionary tale. Sometimes the sentence is not a bullet, but AIDS.

  19. Zion says:

    I think Damon is simply trying to make the conversation a little more complex versus the HE GOT WHAT HE DESERVED. I believe that McNair has disgraced himself and his family, but I don’t believe he deserved to die. We have to be careful with the word deserve. As a believer, I begin to think about what each of us may deserve through the eyes of an angry God. McNair should serve as a warning that our actions can hurt us, and others.

  20. Andrea says:

    We’ve all done things we’ve not been proud of. This was a tragic situation with multiple victims. No one derserved to be murdered.

  21. I can’t for the life of me say, he got his just desserts or "his dealings caught up with him. No, someone decide a permanent solution to a temporary problem. McNair is wrong for cheating on his wife, this Iranian girl is wrong for taking two lives. Throwing Old Testament scripture doesn’t exactly fit since 1. we are not Jews 2. The death, burial, and resurrection of Christ doesn’t give the OT the same credence. Christ himself said, let he who is without sin cast the first stone? *Putting his stones down*What I also find interesting is if the situation was a man murdering a woman for such behavior, the man would still be getting run down for it. He would be all kind of simp, etc. I can never wish death on even my worst enemy. Bankruptcy? Prolly. Flat tire on a busy freeway? Maybe. You get to continue drawing breath from those.

  22. JJ says:

    Again, you’re acting like getting shot by your lover is a predictable consequence of infidelity.In what world?It happens so often that we have a name for those types of murders: crimes of passion.Death is a FORESEEABLE consequence of adultery. As are hot grits, slashed tires and for those of you from down south, pot ash to the face.Those are very real, very common consequences to adultery/cheating.Everyone seems to forget that when they attempt to justify their philandering ways.

  23. Chanel says:

    This is the most ignorant writing I have ever read on this site. McNair the victim?? What the hell?? They both were idiots and Steve McNair was the biggest idiot of the both of them. I’m pretty sure he saw the crazy in this girl before she decided to kill his ass and then kill herself. But because he was, as they say, "the big man on campus" he thought he could do whatever the hell he wanted to do. He was dumb for messing around on his wife with a crazy-ass and she was dumb for thinking he would actually leave his wife for her—–which is probably the reason why she did what she did because she knew if she couldn’t have him no one else would.

  24. ariana says:

    damon, great article. i cant believe people can say that because this man was cheating, his death was somehow inevitable or that he brought it upon himself. People commit mistakes all the time-some are worse than others. however, just because someone wasnt making the right choices, or wasnt doing right by his family, does not mean his death is excusable or ok or even forseeable! he is still a victim. just because his wife was a vitcim of his infidelity, doesnt make his death any less wrong. his life is not somehow less valuable than mine or yours. "play with fire and you’ll get burned"-mcnair got more than burned, he DIED.

  25. terrence moore says:

    You will have to excuse me because this is my first time posting on this blog, but I think the comments on this Mcnair post are EXTRA-ordinary. I agree with Damon. Period. Beyond the simple fact he did not deserve to die, the larger question for me is what gave her the right to kill. Please don’t give me the maturity angle as a rational or the wages of sin either. Many a people walk away from situations like this one, no matter their age, all the time. There are lines you do not cross. Period. There are Few, if any, exceptions for murder. Also we normally associate these acts of violence with men, but this time it was a woman, and it seems to have taken on a different light somehow and I can’t understand why. I feel this particular subject personally, because a few years ago I had a friend killed by a woman he was ending his relationship with, and I heard a very similar arguments made by female friend. Somehow he must have done something wrong and therefore he gets what he got. I’m sure in her mind (the girl who hit and killed my boy with her car) he was wrong and she was right and that was enough. Now he is dead and her life is ruined too. I wonder if Phil Hartman’s wife decided, when she shot him in the head, he was doing her wrong. Respectfully (yes I am going here) If the situation was switched (as it often times is) would we here the same response. If this was a middle eastern woman who cheated would we have as little sympathy and the same heavy handed judgment. Because for me saying "he should not have died but…" is not good enough. The "but" in that sentence negates anything said previous to it. Is him being dead protecting his kids. His widow. Nope. The ultimate victim is the family as they have to live with the memories and the tragedy not because an adulterer died: A father died, A son died, A brother died and yes a Husband died. My condolences to the family.

  26. Sheneneh says:

    Then to top it all off, this idiot didn’t even have a damned will. He couldn’t handle his business on any level OFF the field.

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