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.