Jason Whitlock of the Kansas City Star rightly pointed out the true tragedy. McNair's four children. Four young boys were denied a father because Steve McNair was not focused on what was most important in his life. It really doesn't matter what was going on between Steve McNair and his wife. What matters is that McNair did not put himself in position to be around for the long haul.
I spent a lot of time recently thinking about affirmative action and the black community. The Civil Rights Act passed in 1964. For nearly 20 years minorities and women made huge strides into closing the quality gap. Something happened around 1980. I'm not saying that it was just Ronald Reagan. Instead, I think it was an atmosphere of hostility towards affirmative action and also towards unions which together has helped to cripple the black community. (Of course, there are other factors. There are internal problems in the black community which are very critical to retarding personal growth but, for now, I'm focusing on external problems.)
I do not have any statistics but I would bet that a large percentage of union jobs were held by blacks. As Reagan and the rest of the conservatives waged war on unions, blacks lost jobs in droves. Wall Street applauded as large corporations shipped union jobs overseas. This devastated the black community. Hundreds of thousands of black men without jobs. There were no prospects on the horizon. Many of them for various reasons become incarcerated in large numbers or fell into low wage dead-end jobs.
Against this backdrop, we have Steve McNair. He's just completed a highly successful 14 year career as an NFL quarterback. The number of black NFL quarterbacks can be counted on two hands since the inception of the league more than 70 years ago. McNair had an obligation to guide his young boys through the hazards that afflict all young Americans but especially those that have ensnared so many young black men. All McNair had to do was to stay on the path. He had made it out of the inner city (da' hood). Imagine being a multimillionaire. You have every creature comfort you need. Your only job is to be a husband and father. That's it. (I'm not saying that being a husband and father are easy. I'm not saying that being Steve McNair was easy. I'm saying that he made it through the tough parts.) You can't tell me that McNair wasn't on Easy Street.
I hope that Steve McNair's sons find a new role model. Role models are so hard to find these days -- especially in the black community.
What a real tragedy.