Special Lacrosse Player Killed For Headphones

beats by dre headphones

As I was making my way across the internet news scene this morning, I came across the most discouraging and tragic story I have encountered in a long while. It involves lacrosse at a low level, but on a much larger scale, it tells a darker story of America, where success in the face of adversity can be wiped away in a flash by a random act of violence.

Christian Massey, an adult with special needs (who had played a year of JV lacrosse goalie in high school), was gunned down in Philadelphia, PA, by a would-be robber. Massey was shot five times as he tried to flee from his assailant. And all this seemingly happened over some headphones. That’s right… someone wanted the new Beats by Dre headphones Massey had recently purchased, Massey refused to give them up, and he was shot to death.

The fact that someone would gun down a special needs adult is disgusting in and of itself. The idea that someone would do that for a pair of overpriced headphones is what makes it even more tragic and completely senseless.

You can blame the robber, obviously. He or she pulled the trigger and committed the crime. But it’s not like this happens everywhere, and in every civilized country. This is a weird occurrence, and it is uniquely American.

I don’t know what the answer is right now, but I think we need to take a good, hard look in the mirror and decide if our cultural obsession with swag, commercialism, and what seems to be a rapidly growing “me first” attitude. There is one thing I know: when the “new new” is more important than someone’s life, we have a problem.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Massey’s family, and all those who knew him, especially those at Marple Newtown HS.

Here is a note that LAS writer Josh Potter sent in about Christian within the world of lacrosse:

I only watched him play once, and it was a pleasure to see this young man in the net. He was good. Not afraid of the ball one bit and he was well liked by his team. On senior night he was escorted by the coaches of the team because his parents were not in attendance that night. Sad to see this happen would be an understatement. He was a student at a local special needs school and was granted a spot on the high school team anyway because he was of high enough function and high enough skill to play. He was a good kid.


  1. This just makes me sick. I think about if someone did this to my brother. Something needs to be done about this, things have gotten way out of hand. This should serve as a wake up call, which I have a hard time saying due to the fact that an innocent and clearly defenseless person lost their life.

  2. What a horrible incident. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends. In the article you identified Christian as a “special needs adult”. I am grateful for the article and it creating awareness but we should also be identifying Christian as an adult with a disability. His disability did not define him, he was an adult first and his disability comes second to that. I do not mean to bash the article but it is something we should remember as we remember Christian and his family in our thoughts and prayers.

  3. This is no doubt a sad story. My heart goes out to the victim, along with his friends and family. Whenever anyone is victimized by violence it is tragic, regardless of that person’s abilities. I will never understand how anyone could be so cruel.

    I think it is important however to take a step back. It is easy to criticize our culture and throw blame around when these types of stories are reported. Please keep in mind that negative stories are reported more frequently than uplifting stories. Most people are good people. Please don’t let these aberrations dictate your perceptions.

  4. This is a tragedy, no mistake about it. The senseless loss of life is unforgivable regardless of who it is. Christian’s loss of life is a tragic event which no parent should ever have to go through. My heart and condolences go out to his family and friends.

    It is interesting that you bring up in the article America’s cultural obsession with “swag” and the “new new.” Before we take a look at society’s obsession with commercialism and having the “latest and greatest” we should look at our sport first. Our sport has become the definition of “swag” and the “new new” as lacrosse and the lacrosse player lifestyle has seemingly become all about the look and all that “swag.” In my opinion, this article should have been focused on the senseless loss of life, not some editorial piece about the greater obsession of Americans with having the latest technology, clothes or the latest look. We should first take a look at our sport and it’s obsession with having “swag” and the “new new” before we apply this to society as a whole. Cut your hair kids, tighten up your helmet straps and play the game the right way, instead of trying to look like you are a lacrosse player.