Repeat after me. It’s just sports. It’s really not that important. And as stupid as it is to get into brawls over your favorite team, it’s a thousand times worse to actually take your life over a tough loss. But that’s just what one Arsenal fan did after his side was knocked out in the Champions’ League semifinals yesterday.
After the Gunners fell to Manchester United 3-1, 29-year-old Suleiman Omondi went home from a bar in Nairobi, Kenya, and hanged himself on his balcony. He was still wearing his Arsenal shirt. Jesus.
Everyone makes mistakes. Sure, some are more condemning than others, but human beings can always work to get beyond them. That’s no longer the case for 17-year-old Billey Joe Johnson, one of the nation’s top underclassmen running backs who died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound after being pulled over by a traffic patrol officer in Northeast Mississippi early Monday morning. Forget layoffs and economic distress, this is about as depressing as you can possibly get.
How big a loss is Johnson to the sporting world? Well, the odds are that in the coming years you would have learned a lot more about him. The junior was being recruited by just about every school in the SEC, and he had scholarship offers from Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, LSU, Ole Miss and Mississippi State, among others.
Police are keeping quiet about whether Johnson’s death was a suicide or a pure accident, but an accidental shooting that instantly kills him (i.e., that hits his head or carotid artery) with a shotgun seems like a major leap of faith. After all, he was either wielding or moving a shotgun, and the fact that he had a shotgun sitting in the front of his truck would lead one to believe he had a pretty good idea of how to safely operate one.
Kirk Wright created a bogus investment scheme that defrauded everyone from professional football players to his own mother.
Yesterday, Wright hanged himself in jail.