Let's talk about Junior for a second. I don't want to take away anything from the man and what he accomplished both on and off the field. However, I find it hard to lavish praise upon a man that took his own life and, in the process, left his children without a father.
Was he depressed and dealing with after-effects of concussions from his playing career? Probably. We'll find that out eventually. However, suicide and depression are delicate topics. In all honesty, I dealt with severe depression and thoughts of suicide throughout my teenage years. I know how real it can be and, also, how one small thing can push you over the edge and convince you that taking your life is an okay thing to do.
I appreciate Seau for the player he was and everything he did for kids and the community. I hope his number is retired by the Chargers sometime soon. I can't wait for his Hall of Fame induction ceremony, although it is sad that he won't be there for it. That being said, I do not think the Chargers should put a sticker on their helmets or a patch on their jerseys in memorial of Junior this season.
Even if it seems like a small gesture for a man that clearly deserves it, it would also be a small gesture to tell everyone that is struggling with that decision that it's okay to take their own life. It tells them that they wouldn't be judged poorly for leaving their family, friends, loved ones and responsibilities. I feel that's wrong. If I put myself back in the position I was in at 16 years old, I could see myself looking at something like a Seau patch or sticker every week and thinking "Everyone would love me more if I were dead." Maybe there's kids out there that would think that way now. Maybe not. Maybe I was just that crazy.
Anyway, I'm rambling. This is all my opinion and I come from not the most normal of backgrounds. I just wanted to state that, for all the good things that are being said about Junior, try and remember that his kids will now have to spend the rest of their life without a father. And that his parents have to deal with the heartache of outliving their son. Take some of that effort you're putting towards praising #55 and think about them, and how Seau made the wrong decision. He should've picked up the phone. He should've talked to someone.
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