The lacrosse world was rocked by tragedy today when it was announced that Yeardley Love, a senior on the Virginia women’s lacrosse team, was found dead in Charlottesville, VA. The events took a turn towards the even more bizarre when it was revealed that George Huguely, a senior on the Virginia men’s lacrosse team, was being charged with her murder.
When preliminary reports indicated that the two were involved in some sort of relationship, the story quickly escalated to another level of confusion and pain. This last fact, coupled with the involvement of lacrosse players, will result in lots of knee jerk reactions online and in conversations everywhere, but since this happened in OUR sport, we think we should make it our collective goal to treat this a little differently than how the tabloids will report it.
Let us not create extra drama, because the real drama that surrounds this case is more than enough. Let us not speculate wildly or take sides (especially when we aren’t directly involved) because there is simply no way that most of us are qualified to do so. Let us move forward somberly and respectfully as two seemingly promising lives have been either ended or changed forever. Let us stay away from assumptions and focus on the facts.
Please let us look at this objectively and not through our own biased eyes. Let us hold with the idea that it could have been any of our friends, our teammates, our sisters or brothers or even ourselves and treat it with the same respect and care that we would wish to experience, should we find ourselves in an tragic situation like this.
And finally, let us not forget the Duke case, where we prompted the rest of the world to rush to conclusions about our small community because we ourselves rushed to judgement. The two cases are obviously completely different, but please let us forever remember the anguish that the rush caused and the scar that it has left on our sport. The events of today are incredibly sad and our hearts go out to all of those involved, but we hope that we as the lacrosse community can rise to the occasion, meeting it head on, with class, courage and a sense of support and community that no other sport offers.
People talk about lacrosse being a world-wide brotherhood and this is not only our moment to prove that, it is our time to mourn together, to remember the better times and to forge ahead for a brighter tomorrow. We’re shaken up by what happened today and we did not personally know Love or Huguely. Our hearts go out to those who did, and the only thing that can make us feel just a little better is that we know those who truly love lacrosse feel the exact same way.
Let us stand tall as one united community proud of our sport and the men and women who play it.
- Lacrosse All Stars