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Brian Eller

Tragedy strikes Redskins' Haynesworth

It's so easy to express hatred toward disgruntled athletes, especially when money is involved. The things we read online or watch on television continually show someone in professional sports unhappy with his/her contract. "Eight million dollars a year isn't enough," we'll hear. "I deserved to be paid more. It's an insult."

It's a trend that over the past decade has shifted to the norm among superstars. This year, for example, we watched Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis hold out of training camp and threaten to miss the season simply because he wasn't satisfied with the $500,000 he was set to make.

Here in Washington, Redskins fans are still witnessing the saga featuring a superstar who is being paid way too much money for his effort/results on the field. Of course, that man is Albert Haynesworth. After becoming a free agent following the 2009 season, Haynesworth, at the time seen as the most dominant defensive tackle in the NFL, signed a seven-year, $100 million contract with Washington, much to the chagrin of Redskins fans.

The past few months, however, have been anything but paradise for Haynesworth and fans of the Redskins. Haynesworth reported to training camp out of shape, a flaw that nearly cost him this season. Even through four weeks of the season, Haynesworth's time on the field has been limited and sights of the dominance he once showed in Tennessee have all but faded.

Friday, however, tragedy struck Haynesworth, an accident that took the life of his half-brother, Lance McCoy. McCoy was reportedly riding his motorcycle Thursday night when he collided with a car pulling out of a parking lot. He was just 23 years old.
In light of this terrible tragedy, I hope both Haynesworth and fans take a step back and realize any animosity toward Haynesworth or the team, whether caused by Haynesworth or fans, plays second fiddle to the things that are most important in life.

It's a shame that it takes events like this to open people's eyes to the facts that there are bigger things than football and money. Hopefully fans will feel sympathy toward a man who, quite frankly, hasn't deserved much these past few months. And hopefully Haynesworth will recover from his loss and return his focus and efforts to the football field where his talents are, a place where he can pay tribute to the family member he so tragically lost.

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