McNair’s life should be remembered for the good and not his off the field issues

July 05, 2009 |

When I received the WNST text message that said Steve McNair was murdered I was stunned and naturally wanted to know all the details. A day after discovering McNair’s body, details are starting to come out and I have a feeling those details may tarnish some people’s legacy of McNair.

McNair’s body was found with the body of 20- year old Sahel Kazemi who is believed to be McNair’s girlfriend. The thing that has people viewing McNair in a negative light is the fact that he was still married and had four kids. I do not know all the details of McNair’s marriage so I do not want to speculate on things, but people can infer that he was having a relationship with a woman who wasn’t his wife.

I do not condone McNair’s actions if he was indeed messing around, but I believe he should be remembered for his on the field play and off the field charitable contributions instead of  his relationship with a 20 year old.

As sports fans we tend to forget that athletes are normal people who have lives off the  field just like we do. People make mistakes and I tend to forgive people unless the act was incredibly reprehensible. Many people will consider cheating on your wife as a reprehensible act and I can understand that, but that should not be what they associate Steve McNair’s life with.

When examining McNair’s legacy one needs to look no further then Magic Johnson. Johnson was forced to retire from basketball because he contracted aids from having sex with a woman that was not his wife. When Magic dies, people are going to remember him as a great basketball player and fun loving person and won’t focus on how he got the disease. How is Johnson’s situation any different from McNair’s situation? Its not, but people will undoubtedly hold Johnson to a higher standard they will McNair.

Michael Jordan is a known degenerate gambler, Pete Rose bet on his own sport and baseball players are using steroids all over the place. Athletes make mistakes, but for the most part, people still love them. When Michael Jordan was dominating the NBA, nobody cared that he gambled hundreds of thousands of dollars off the court. McNair’s “rap” sheet doesn’t even compare to some hall of famers in other sports and I think people should take a step back before rushing to judgement about what kind of life McNair led.

My memories of Steve McNair will be those of him leading the Titans to the Super Bowl, leading the Ravens to their best regular season record in the history of the franchise and his toughness to be able to play through pain.

I never got to meet McNair but everyone that I have spoken to that has come in contact with him talks about what a nice, caring person he was and that is what should be focused on. McNair was very gracious to fans and those less fortunate and is the biggest sports icon in Tennessee.

Despite only playing two seasons here in Baltimore, McNair made a lasting impression on me. His play on the field and his toughness endeared him to me and the rest of the fans. The Baltimore Ravens organization and the city of Baltimore are better because of Steve McNair.

Steve McNair’s life was ended much too early and I hope people view that life as it should be viewed and not focus on the negatives.

My thoughts and prayers are with the McNair family and I know  that they know what kind of man Steve McNair is and that is all that matters.

Whatever details do come out it will not change my view of Steve McNair.

He was a generous, fun-loving person who embraced his community and everyone in it. But the thing I will remember the most about Steve McNair is his toughness and the fact that he was damn good football player.

I hope everyone else does the same.