Wednesday, September 22, 2010

RIP Kenny McKinley

I heard about Kenny McKinley's death like a lot of other people did, from being on twitter Monday night during the MNF broadcast. The news of what appears to be a suicide was so shocking that I really was numb for a minute. I didn't know McKinley, had honestly never heard of him before then but it didn't matter. Here was a young kid, a draft pick in the NFL going into his second year, a father, a son, a teammate. It just didn't make any sense to me and it still doesn't. To be honest that it hit me so hard is the reason why I hadn't done a post on it until now.

But the incident also made me look at twitter in a different light. Twitter is like this free stream of everything coming at you all at once and the more people you follow the more of that everything you see. I have never understood people who have thousands of followers but only follow a hundred or so people themselves. To me that kills the whole concept of twitter because you aren't opening yourself up to reading about different topics and different points of views. But to each their own.

Twitter however can be a horrible outlet to find out bad news, especially a story so tragic. The reason being is that not everyone is going to hear about the bad news at the same time and some just won't care or be interested. So while I am sitting there reading about McKinley's story I am seeing commentary on the game still going on. I'm seeing people still telling jokes. I'm seeing people have conversations about totally meaningless stuff. And on some level I felt....wrong. Like as if I had just witnessed a crime but did nothing to stop it. I know that's a severe comparison but for me there's always a question of how do you show the proper amount of respect in these situations.

That's not to say everyone should break down crying over a guy they also may have never heard of who plays a sport they may not even like. But, I don't know, it just seems like hearing about a young man killing himself even when it seemed like his life was going pretty well would give people more pause than what I witnessed on twitter.

I'm sure I'm not making sense at this point to many of you and maybe I even sound a little judgemental. I apologize if that's so because that's not my intent at all. It's just that social media seems to be desensitizing us even more than I would have ever imagined. I guess I was expecting there to be more of a conversation after the news break and instead people just kind of noted it and kept it moving. Again its not incumbent on tweeps to feel the same way about the news as I did, I was just...surprised I guess would be the word.

But we live in a facebook/twitter/tumbler world now for better or for worse. Even though I felt uncomfortable its not likeI logged off. And after some time passed I too jumped back into the conversation about the game. I just wonder how much of a negative a platform like twitter has on us that we don't even realize.

As for McKinley, as I stated before he was a father of a young son. According to Adam Schefter the NFL has set up a trust fund for little Keon has been set up and here is the information on how to donate.

Contributions for Keon can be sent to: Kenny McKinley’s Trust Fund, c/o NFL Players Assoc., 1133 20th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20036

1 comment:

  1. Steve,
    I think you make a brilliant point about the social media.
    While the intent may be to somehow draw us all closer together, we become spectators to our own stories, reactions, decisions... our lives.
    My mom told me, before she died, to avoid mediocrity and cynicism at all costs. At its worst, much of the social media world breeds both.
    I totally understand where you are coming from, and, no, you make complete sense.
    Thoughts and prayers to the McKinley family.