Football is a game of physicality and passion. It brings out the best in the young men playing the game. It has also been the subject of a larger controversy around the United States.
Are humans meant for contact like this? How will their bodies hold up long term? What type of mental issues will retired players have?
The entirety of this conversation has been brought to the forefront with the whole Chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) controversy in recent years.
For former Indianapolis Colts defensive back De’von Hall, his passion for physicality on the football field apparently masked psychological issues he’s been dealing with off the field throughout his life.
Now, nine years removed from his four-game stint as a member of the Colts, Hall is in a jail cell facing the accusation that he killed his mother. It’s a terrible story for the family — one that will tug at your heart strings.
The Los Angeles Times just ran a lengthy and dramatically dark feature on Hall’s ascension into illness, which culminated in the death of his mother. A first-hand account comes from Brandeis Eubanks, one of the residents at the home in which the murder took place. It’s a harrowing tale.
“He hit her. He stomped her out,” Eubanks told the 911 dispatcher. “They got in a tussling match and next thing you know she was on the ground and he was stomping her out.”
According to the Times, Hall’s mother, Alecia Benson, laid on her back. She was spitting up blood, her head battered and completely unconscious.
In the end, Benson died and her son was charged with murder. He’s currently in jail on $1 million bond and refusing to see visitors.
Apparently, Hall’s violent ways long proceeded that night in Southern California back in April. His teammates at Utah State viewed the linebacker-turned-defensive back as someone that just wasn’t right in the head.
“If he (Hall) caught the dog, you didn’t know if he was going to pet it or kill it. I wouldn’t want to be in a room one-on-one with him,” former teammate Caleb Taylor once said.
Even at this point, some of Hall’s family members don’t think he understands what he did. In fact, some believe he doesn’t realize his mother is dead.
They are also potentially looking to place the blame elsewhere.
“The NFL, in my opinion, should’ve done a better job in making sure they took care of this kid,” Tony Benson, Alecia’s brother said.
Blaming anyone but the individual that commits such a heinous acts seems to be a cop-out. With that said, Hall’s history of mental illness surely played a role in what happened back in April. It’s a sad story — one that tells us a story about the darkness that human nature itself can bring.