From the Press Box: Spread love, not hate, when tragedy strikes


Last week in the wake of Las Vegas Raiders’ wide receiver Henry Ruggs’ DUI/vehicular manslaughter incident, I saw a lot of hate and pretty much only one person publicly support the young player.

Raiders quarterback, Derek Carr, came out and first expressed sympathy for the family of the victim, Tina Tintor, a 23-year-old woman and her dog, Max.

“My emotions have been on a roller coaster, so to speak, this year,” Carr said. “My heart goes out so the family, to all the families involved. No one ever wants to see this, whether it’s a football player or not, you never want to see something like this happen. It broke my wife and I’s heart, honestly.”

In regards to his former teammate, Carr said that Ruggs needed to be loved “And if no one else will do it, I’ll do it.”

Carr was ridiculed by many for his statement about Ruggs, but perhaps he had the attitude that many people, including those who say they are Christian, should have had.

The Bible teaches us in John 8, when an adulterous woman was brought to Jesus to be stoned, Christ said, “So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her. John 8:7 KJV”

If I was the family of the victim, I can say with at least 85 percent certainty that I wouldn’t be speaking about expressing love for Ruggs.

But those of us removed from the situation, who don’t have a clue who Ruggs is outside of his stat sheet, need to re-assess our instant reactions.

All of us have driven impaired in one way or another. Whether from alcohol, narcotics, opioids, fatigue and most commonly, cell phones.

Was Ruggs, as a 22-year-old man, making a stupid choice in not only getting behind the wheel drunk and driving at 156 mph? Absolutely.

But the young man is going to be living in a prison of self-hate for the mistake he did. Not only did this ruin his life, but he ruined the lives of that victim’s family.

Now he receives hate from the keyboard warriors and court of public opinion?

Ruggs’ incident was a tragedy and the result of a young person who thought he was bulletproof and something like that wreck would never happen to him.

We have all felt like we were bulletproof at one point or another.

The past two years, and even before that, we have let social media and the political divide turn us on each other and cast “the other side” as villains. We are all in the same boat, just weathering different storms.

We can all take a page out of Derek Carr’s approach. Spread love, not hate.

John Lee is the editor of The Pampa News and can be reached at or find him on Twitter: @jcl1987.


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