As I’m writing this, the grisly details of Steve “Air” McNair’s death are coming out. While sleeping on the sofa, his girlfriend Sahel Kazemi, shot him once in the head, twice in the chest, and one final time in the head again. She then positioned herself so that when she shot herself, her head fell into his lap. How sweet. I suppose she thought herself a Juliet, but I doubt McNair wanted to play Romeo.
Before I go on with this column, I want to emphatically express that in no way whatsoever do I believe that McNair deserved what happened to him.
However, as great of a leader as he was on the field, that character doesn’t seem to have translated off the field.
McNair and Kazemi met roughly six months prior when McNair and his family ate at the Dave & Buster’s restaurant where she worked as a server. The two began dating. They took a parasailing trip in Hawaii, and McNair even purchased her a brand new 2007 Cadillac Escalade.
In the week leading up to the deaths, Kazemi had apparently become rattled, believing that McNair was involved with another woman. You know, another woman besides his wife and mother of his four children. I’ll touch more on that later.
Kazemi had apparently seen this woman leaving his condo. Also, two days earlier, Kazemi got a DUI for telling the officer that pulled her over that she was “high, not drunk,” while McNair was in the passenger seat. These two events made Kazemi fear that her relationship with McNair was coming apart.
The DUI wasn’t his first brush with the police either. In May of 2003, McNair was arrested for DUI and illegal gun possession when he was pulled over with a blood alcohol level above .10 and a nine millimeter handgun in the passenger seat.
Then, on May 9, 2007, McNair was a passenger in a truck that was pulled over for suspicion of drunk driving. Both McNair and his brother-in-law, who was driving, were arrested for DUI. This was done because by Tennessee law, someone can be arrested for DUI even if they are a passenger in their own car and the driver is drunk.
Following her release from prison, Kazemi went to a shop and purchased a gun. Now, as smart as Tennessee’s passenger DUI law is, this is a little bit ridiculous. How is it that someone can get arrested, charged, and buy a gun all in one week?
According to Nashville Police Chief Ronal Serpas, “she had become very distraught and on two occasions told friends and associates that her life was all messed up and that she was going to end it all.” I want to send out quick congratulations to the “friends and associates” that Kazemi confided in that she was going to end it all. Great job not telling some form of authorities about this until after she had done it and taken someone with her. Way to not be a “snitch.”
The real victims in this are the four sons I mentioned earlier. In the past months, McNair and Kazemi spent so much time at the condo that McNair was renting that they thought they had moved in there together. So McNair obviously wasn’t a dedicated father, and now, he can’t be a father at all, because his family wasn’t good enough for him.
As a fan of Steve McNair the player, I guess I just feel cheated that he wasn’t the man off the field that he was on the field. He donated money and time to charities, but these days, it’s done for publicity as often as not. I’m not saying it was, because I wasn’t, and never can be in his head. However, I think your responsibilities as a man start at home. As this whole situation shows, his lack of family orientation was evident, and you could even argue it got him killed.