Thursday, December 17, 2009

R.I.P. Chris Henry

NFL wide receiver Chris Henry passed away today, due to injuries he sustained in a car accident on Wednesday. His story marks one of the biggest tragedies and saddest stories that I’ve heard in a while. It's not just the untimely nature and unfortunate situation that resulted in his premature death, but the circumstances surrounding his troubled life. A few years ago, Henry was one of the top receivers in the NFL, in addition to being one of its biggest troublemakers. For many, he was a symbol of everything that was wrong with the struggling Cincinnati Bengals. At the time, the club was notorious for all the wrong reasons. Numerous players had been arrested for serious crimes. Henry himself had been arrested several times for such offenses as criminal damaging, driving under the influence, and marijuana possession. He was released by the team in April 2008, at which time owner Mike Brown explained that he had “forfeited his opportunity to pursue a career with the Bengals, and that his conduct could no longer be tolerated.” In the following months Henry turned his life around. With the help of former NFL wide receiver Michael Irvin, who was no stranger to legal troubles in his playing days, Henry found a way to get his life back on track. With the Bengals injury list piling up, and their poor performance continuing last year, Brown took a chance and re-signed the reformed Henry to the team. It worked out and Henry managed to be productive on the field once more, this time while keeping his personal life in check. Unfortunately, right when he found the road to redemption, Henry’s life was snuffed out.

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