Nothing about this Phillip Adams news has appeared on Barstool, from me or anyone else. Speaking personally (and I think everyone) it's not out of negligence. It's just from trying to avoid having to address something so egregiously terrible on a site that does everything we can, whenever possible, to stick to what's fun and entertaining. Life is awful enough as it is. And there's no sin in wanting to stick to what's funny to the extent a person can. It's the side of the street we've set up shop. And I can unhumbly say we're better at that business than literally any other site in existence.
But then there are times when you have no choice but to talk about a situation where there is nothing remotely positive. Where there is nothing but pain and anguish, tragedy and outrage. This is one. And with it appearing on every other news site, it can't be ignored. So here's the latest. Phillip Adams' dad is blaming his actions on the head trauma he got playing in the NFL.
Daily Mail - The prominent South Carolina doctor who was shot dead along with his wife and two grandchildren by former NFL player Phillip Adams on Wednesday had been treating the gunman and had stopped giving him medication, a US congressman who was friends with the victims alleged.
Adams, 33, a cornerback who played six seasons in the NFL and suffered multiple concussions, killed himself with a single shot to the head after midnight Thursday, hours after shooting six people, five of them fatally.
Rep Ralph Norman, a Republican from South Carolina, told WISTV that it is his 'understanding' that Dr. Robert Lesslie was treating Adams and had stopped giving Adams medication. ...
Adams' father, Alonzo Adams, confirmed to WCNC that his son was the gunman, and blamed the tragedy on his son's being a football player. ...
'I can say he's a good kid,' the father told the station. 'I think the football messed him up.'
Adams had only recently moved in with his parents in Rock Hill, just a 2 minutes' drive from Dr Robert Lesslie's home. He had a criminal history, which included assault and weapons charges.
I know as much about whether Alonzo Adams is right as you do. Which is to say, not the slightest, tiniest, most infinitessimal bit. He had documented concussions. He played six years, plus a college career playing against top competition at South Carolina. A little research shows that in his last season of 2015 with the Falcons, he took 535 total snaps, which is obviously a lot of opportunities for brain trauma. And we know that concussions get progressively easier to get the more you've had them in the past.
But you can't rationally acknowledge that fact without pointing out that there are thousands upon thousands of people who have had and survived concussions without committing acts of violence of any kind, never mind four cold blooded killings. It's one of those situations like when a veteran commits a heinous act and we naturally assume he's suffering from PTSD. It's a total case-by-case basis, and you'd have to be an expert who's worked closely with the subject for a long time to even begin to take an educated guess as to whether the violence was caused completely by the trauma he went through, some of it is, or none of it. Maybe the potential was there all along. But we're never going to know from reading a few paragraphs after someone goes on a rampage.
As far as "He's a good kid," what else is a parent going to say? There's almost never been a killing spree without one or more of the assailant's loved ones using that exact combination of words. To the point they've lost whatever meaning they may have once had.
More than anything, I just don't want to say much of anything that isn't about expressing sympathy for the victims. You can find photos of Dr. Robert Lesslie on Twitter, with his family or treating kids in his doctor's office and they'll break your heart into pieces. Whether they are victims of him simply coming into contact with a badly warped patient with violent tendencies or collateral damage of a broader problem of contact sports turning otherwise normal men into raging sociopaths is for smarter people to figure out. All we can do is hope they're able to, so that no other family has to suffer the way this one has.
I'll just add this. Over his career, Adams was with seven different teams. Doing the rough math, that means he had 360 teammates, plus however many he had at SC. Imagine you worked closely with somebody and found out they later murdered four people. How horrifying would that be? Now imagine it's possible that what caused him to do it was a condition he caught on the job while working alongside you. How would it feel to realize you could be in the same situation as him years from now, and still keep showing up to do your job?
And one final thought: For six games in 2012, Phillip Adams shared a locker room with Aaron Hernandez. Both committed murders, and both took their own lives. That is absolutely chilling to contemplate. And I can't imagine how it feels for the other 51 men who were on that roster. If you feel any sort of tendencies like this, for the love of God, get some help. Lives will depend on it, including your own.