Reilly’s coverage of Belcher suicide ‘powerful’ and ‘appropriate‘

BY STEVEN KUBITZA

Rick Reilly is often criticized for the tone in which he chooses to write, not to mention for his giant contract with ESPN.

Even with his polarizing style he has won countless awards. He proved why with his latest article on ESPN.com titled, “When ‘help’ is the hardest word.”

His article was written in response to the tragic death of Jovan Belcher, who took his own life on the morning of Dec.1 Belcher killed himself in front of members of the Kansas City Chiefs’ coaching and front office staff.

Reilly focused on Brady Quinn and how he has already lost two teammates to suicide in his short NFL career. Along with Belcher, Quinn lost teammate Kenny McKinley in 2010 when he was a member of the Denver Broncos.

Suicide is a sensitive and personal topic, but Reilly did an appropriate job and summed up the comments made by Quinn after the Chiefs’ win on Dec. 2. Reilly said we never know how someone is doing or if they need to talk to someone about their issues.

It is tough to pry this personal information from people, even if we find them to be close friends.

Reilly relates Quinn’s situation with his own, as he lost a friend to suicide just a few years ago. This story led to Reilly’s most powerful statement in the entire article.

“Are we our brother’s keeper? Our teammate’s? Our colleague’s? Do we have a duty to help people even when they’re not asking?”

Suicide is, unfortunately, something we must deal with in our society, including the sporting world.

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About The Richard A. Maxwell Sport Media Project

The Richard A. Maxwell Sport Media Project is a hub for teaching, research, and service related to sport media. The Project benefits students and faculty at Bowling Green State University, and offers outreach and media consulting to area and regional groups that work with student-athletes. Through collaborative efforts of the Sport Management program and the School of Media and Communication, BGSU students have the opportunity to learn such skills as sports writing, reporting, broadcasting, announcing, public relations, media relations, communication management and production. Faculty and other scholars have access to resources about the commercial and sociological aspects of sport.

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