What We Can All Learn From the Steve McNair/Sahel Kazemi Tragedy


Steve McNair“Like a compass needle that points north, a man’s accusing finger always finds a woman. Always.” — Khaled Hosseini

Of all the posts I have written over the last year, this is by far my most difficult. I had tried to stay away from this situation just as I had avoided the Rhianna/ Chris Brown incident. I simply felt that with the media’s bombardment of it, you’d get tired of it and anything I wrote at the time would fall on death ears. Above that was the single most important fact of life, Love is never supposed to result in death. It’s supposed to create life, never it’s opposite.

So here I am writing this post because we need to learn something from this tragedy and you damn sure will not get the real lesson from our mainstream media.

For those of you that do not know about this incident and I am sure that there are very few of you, I will provide a short recap and then we’ll move on to why this post was written.

Steve McNair was an American Icon in the World of Professional Football, the NFL. He was married with several children and had recently retired at age 36. His contributions to humanity through his Foundation are well known in Nashville and beyond. He was a man that on sight could disarm you with a smile that was contagious.

Sahel Kazemi was a beautiful, young and vibrant 20 year old Iranian immigrant. She was well loved by her family and friends and had her whole life before her. According to reports she had been involved in a somewhat volatile relationship with a previous boyfriend before a chance meeting with McNair whom had visited a restaurant where she was employed as a waitress.

On July 4th of 2009, the bodies of both McNair and Kazemi were discovered in the living room of an apartment that he co-owned in the Nashville area. Police have labeled it a murder/suicide, stating that McNair was shot while he slept on the couch by Kazemi, whom then turned the gun on herself. The two had been in a relationship according to reports for approximately 4 months.

I am and will always be a Steve McNair fan, but this post is not really about him. This post is about Sahel Kazemi and the lessons that we can all learn from her actions. I am not about to condemn either of these two people for what occurred on that fatal day in July or before. What I will do is try to make sense of what happened in hope that someone who reads this and has contemplated the same actions will rethink it and chose another course of action.

Steve McNair was a victim, but although the media fails to state this so was Sahel Kazemi. Many people would disagree with that statement, but it’s true. We just chose to ignore her plight because she unfortunately took a mans life. A very well known and loved man whom made us feel good about ourselves when he was entertaining us each and every Sunday.

Football is a violent sport, we know it is and of course no one knows it as well as the men who play it. It also comes with a lot of adulation. Millions of fans pack NFL stadiums each and every year with hopes of coming into contact with greatness. Football players sell us products, ask us to support the “United Way”, they make us laugh and they show that they are human, and yes they even make mistakes.

However, because of who they are generally they are soon forgiven. Could you imagine walking out of a tunnel to 70 thousand people chanting your name and 10 thousand people wearing a jersey with your name on the back? Could you imagine earning more money then some third world countries gross domestic product? They have it all, and then after several years it’s over.

Steve McNair was retired at 36, the average American will not retire if they do at all until probably 70. Now retirement for pro athletes is entirely different than the retirement of normal citizens. Many are still young enough to play mentally, however physically it’s a different story all together. Most don’t take retirement lightly, they have problems adjusting to life after football.

Ask Lawrence Taylor who turned to crack cocaine after his retirement. Many others become addicted to prescription drugs or even selling drugs after retirement. Why? They need something to fill that void in their lives that all that adulation created, they miss the excitement, the energy, the contact and other things that go along with playing the game.

I think and this is my own opinion, to fill that void in his life Steve replaced it with women.

This is why I suggested above that Sahel Kazemi is a victim as well. She was a 20 year old impressionable woman and into her life walked this man who was much larger than life itself.

He wined her, dined her, bedded her and for all intense and purposes was about to dump her. Now the police speculate that Sahel committed this tragedy because Steve was not about to leave his wife as she had been led to believe. I call this speculation absurd.

If they were together while he was married it wouldn’t really matter if he stayed married or not. Nothing would really change by him getting a divorce, even if he chose to marry her. They were already in a relationship.

No, I think that this tragedy occurred because in her mind she had convinced herself that he really loved her. He had shown her love, kindness, financial and emotional support, took her on trips that she could only dream of and made her feel special like no man before him had ever done.

In return she gave him all that she had, love, trust and herself. This young beautiful woman believed everything he had told her. Why shouldn’t she? We believed him enough to buy products he hawked, or to made donations to his charities or Foundation. If we believed him and we only knew him from watching him on that idiot box in our living room, why would a young impressionable woman sharing his bed not?

In the end it wasn’t the premise of him not leaving his wife that caused this horrible event. It was decided the night, when she realized that Steve had lied to her. The night that she discovered that there was another woman he was seeing as well.

We’ve all had heartbreaks, none are ever good and we each deal with them in our own ways. I’ve known people to stop eating, lose sleep and weight, go on drinking binges and worse, in an effort to dull the pain of a broken heart.

People have said that heartbreak is the worst pain any person should ever have to suffer. I agree, I’ve had my share, and recklessly I even caused a few.

So now, try to place yourself in Sahels shoes for one moment and look at things from the eyes of a 20 year old trying to come to grips with the fact that a man she adores, a man bigger than life is cheating on her with another woman.

Remember when you discovered a man was cheating on you? How did you feel? What were you thinking? Anger, revenge, hurt, disgust, pain, suffering, confusion and more is what comes to mind when I think back. These are feelings I pray no one ever has to repeat or go through.

As I said, we all respond to heartbreak differently. Very few people (luckily) chose the path of Sahel. We can all say that she could have done something different, but we weren’t her were we?
We can only speculate how she could have really felt and even then we’d come up short.

How many people have made the statement, “If I can’t have you, then no one will” in a relationship? It happens all the time, love is a contact sport even if we don’t believe it is. Hearts are broken at will, we fail to realise that our dealings with people are actually dealings with raw emotion. We have to take responsibility for our actions, we need to look at all of our relationships from our significant others point of view. Ask yourself, how will this decision I make effect them? How would you feel if the role was reversed? Don’t you deserve to know?

If we refuse to learn from this incident and begin to examine our relationships closely from both parties vantage point then this type of incident will occur again. The next time, it may not be a professional athlete, it could be you or I for that matter.

Love is not a game as some have handsomely labeled it. It’s life, and in this case, death.

Sahel is not the monster that the media portrays her to be, she is simply another victim of this so called game called love. We do her a great injustice by not viewing her as what she really was, a young impressionable young woman caught up in a web of lies and deceit. A woman who dealt with it the only way she knew how, removing the man she loved from this world and then following after him.

I pray that no one ever again loses their life in the name of so called love. I call it this because as I’ve said in many of my previous posts, it is wrong to ever love anyone more than you love yourself.

I end this by saying goodbye to both Steve and Sahel and I hope that we all can learn from this unfortunate incident, so that it may never repeat itself again.

Thank you for taking the time to read this post.

God Bless

P.S To anyone whom feels the need to bash this post for whatever reason of their choosing, please save it. I’m too busy mourning the unnecessary loss of two beautiful people to really care.

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3 comments on “What We Can All Learn From the Steve McNair/Sahel Kazemi Tragedy

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