The trial will be sensational no doubt. A South African magistrate will be susceptible to Pistorius’s celebrity, his disability notwithstanding. If what Magistrate Desmond Nair said after releasing him on bail is any indication (prosecution had not presented enough evidence to keep Pistorius jailed), we are in for a bumpy ride. The fact that the courtroom erupted in cheers when Pistorius was released is an ominous sign indeed.
The parents of Reeva Steenkamp are devastated right now. You know that they must rue the day she ever met Pistorius. Just look at her face, her beauty savagely destroyed by four bullets discharged by Pistorius on Valentine’s Day, a day supposedly meant for love but instead it became one for heated arguments and ultimately death. Reeva Steenkamp cries out for justice from her grave, but does anyone care?
I think we have all forgiven too many athletes their trespasses. If we the fans do not make a stand somewhere soon, then children will continue to think these behaviors are implicitly acceptable. How long can that go on? If Pistorius gets away with it, we will have reached a place where there may be no turning back. That will be a sad day for fans everywhere but especially our kids, for then we will be saying that even murder is okay as long as you can perform on the court or field.
Obviously, we are to blame. We elevate players to heroic status, but they are not gods or demigods, they are only humans. They have their tragic flaws, and when they fail we are not able to process it, so we make excuses and try to prop them up and raise them to their former glorious heights. Unfortunately, it’s a long hike to the top of Olympus, and that only makes it more difficult and painful for us when heroes inevitably fall again.
Photo Credits: pistorius - nytimes; steenkamp - cbsnews.com