Tuesday, July 7, 2009

The Untimely Passing of Steve McNair

Married ex-NFL superstar Steve McNair -- who was found shot to death next to the body of his girlfriend -- had promised her he would get a divorce, her sister has revealed. But there's no known record of the former Tennessee Titan filing for a divorce from his wife, Mechelle. The quarterback was shot twice in the head and twice in the chest, an autopsy showed, and his death has formally been ruled a homicide. His girlfriend, Sahel Kazemi, had a single gunshot wound to her head.

McNair, 36, had vowed to Kazemi, 20, that his marriage "was going to be finished, the whole divorce was going to be done, two weeks from yesterday," her sister, Sepideh Salmani, told The Tennessean newspaper. Cops yesterday described evidence supporting the theory of a murder-suicide with Kazemi as the killer -- but police refused to rule out other theories about the bloody scene at the Nashville love-shack condo McNair rented with a pal.

The autopsy showed McNair, whose body was found on a sofa Saturday afternoon, was shot four times with a semiautomatic pistol, said police spokesman Don Aaron.


I remember the first time I saw Steve McNair play. He led his Alcorn State team to the I-AA playoffs where they faced the Youngstown State Penguins. His team kept it close for awhile, but it eventually lost to a very good YSU squad. As a kid growing up in the South, I looked up to McNair because he overcame so many obstacles to gain national recognition. McNair grew up poor and attended a small historically Black institution. Nevertheless, he always gave 100 percent when he was on the field and he played lots of games against doctor's orders. His competitive spirit prompted him to do anything, within the rules, to get the job done. You have to admire a man who demonstrates that level of dedication to his craft.

My heart dropped when I heard about his violent death. I heard the news while I was watching television with my little brothers. They are too young to understand the gravity of McNair's passing, but I couldn't stop thinking about it. I was going to write about his death sooner, but I didn't want to post anything until all the facts came out. Sadly, it appears that my worst assumptions are true. Like many professional athletes, McNair had a young mistress. McNair and his wife may have had an "understanding", but that information hasn't been released to the public. McNair's actions were wrong, but he didn't deserve to die.

"Love Don't Love Nobody" by The Spinners sets the mood for this story. Love is and will always be indiscriminate. It can make you feel invincible one day and suicidal the next. My heart goes out to McNair's wife, his four sons, and the family of his mistress.

Sometimes a girl
Will come and go
You reach for love
But life won't let ya know
That in the end
You'll still be lovin her
But then shes gone
You're all alone