One month ago to the day, the NFL tragically lost a 26-year-old player who died far too young. Never would the NFL have expected when Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Chris Henry died on Dec. 17 that exactly one month later another 26-year-old player, Gaines Adams, would pass away, too.
Adams’ death Sunday morning of cardiac arrest due to an enlarged heart came with as much surprise as Henry’s death did and it’s a tragedy when young men and women die at such a young age. The tragedy is most difficult for Adams’ family and friends as they’ll have to cope with the loss for the rest of their lives.
I am both saddened and disgusted by the response of many Bears fans to the news of Adams’ death. While there were an abundance of sympathetic and sorrowful callers to radio shows and commentors on forums and message boards, there also were a handful of Bears fans that showed no grief whatsoever, at least not for Adams and instead for what Adams’ death does to the Bears’ football plans.
A young man has died and certain fans continue to chide Bears GM Jerry Angelo for trading a second-round pick for Adams. Others posted messages online wondering what the Bears would do to replace him on the field. I didn’t hear the comments myself, but Bears great Dan Hampton was on WSCR The Score Sunday morning and reportedly had some negative comments about Adams.
It’s understandable for Bears fans to wonder what the Bears will do to fill Adams’ roster spot. And I’ll go a step further and say it’s acceptable for Bears fans to feel a little discouraged that the Bears traded a second-round pick for a player that did not play a full season for them. These are natural feelings that occur and people can’t help the way they feel. Those thoughts crossed through my mind, too, but they weren’t my first thought. “Oh, my God,” was my instant reaction, and to some extent it still is.
But just because one thinks or feels these notions doesn’t mean it’s appropriate to voice them on a day in which all should be mourning the loss of a young life. For fans to immediately voice their concerns with the football ramifications of Adams’ death shows bad taste and poor judgment and are morally reprehensible. For a Chicago football icon like Hampton to say anything negative in the wake of Adams’ death is disgraceful and deserves public outcry.
I pray for the family and friends of Gaines Adams and I also hope that anybody who had the audacity to publicly say negative things about Adams or Angelo will feel some kind of remorse in the days ahead.