I chimed in on spirited debate Sunday afternoon after hearing of the death of Garrett Reid. Garrett is the son of Eagles head coach Andy Reid and was found dead Sunday morning at Eagles training camp. The post focused on a quote that Garrett gave the police when he was arrested for selling drugs in a low-income Philadelphia neighborhood back in 2007. The originator of the thread gave the inclination that the outpouring of sorrow for Reid was excessive and that there would be no remorse on his part because he sold drugs in “his hood”, while others argued that the timing of the thread was poor.
Sadly enough, the nightmare that the Reid family is living is all too familiar story that will continue to be told in spite of race, location or financial status.
Garrett Reid was a child of privilege who wanted more than to be known as the son of a NFL head coach. Garrett Reid wanted to feel the same rush that Nino Brown felt as he was the pied piper for crackheads and fiends who needed his product. Unlike Brown, Reid was didn’t need that lifestyle to support anything he wanted to do, but the power trip that came with being “that guy” was too much to ignore:
“I liked being the rich kid in that area and having my own high-status life,” Reid told a probation officer, according to court testimony in November 2007. “I could go anywhere in the ‘hood. They all knew who I was. I enjoyed it. I liked being a drug dealer.”
Once the thrill wore off, Reid could hop on I-76 and head back to his home and wash away the smell of the inner city before his parents got a whiff.
Reid’s statement is compelling once his name is stripped away from it. Other than feeding their families and peer pressure, you can link that quote with just about anyone who has been snatched off a street corner and placed in an interrogation room. The fact that Garrett was Andy Reid’s son selling drugs in the hood was a “salt on the wound” kind of thing. Reid didn’t sell drugs because he had too, he did it because he could. We all know kids that came from two-parent homes, parents that put all their all into their children, like I’m sure Andy and Tammy did. Kids who were well-schooled and didn’t want for anything, but they did it for the hell of it.
And they weren’t white.
Garrett Reid didn’t lose his life in a hail of bullets nor was he set up in a deal gone bad. His body gave out to a past he was trying to escape. The same way souls of people who I still love gave out and that’s what grips you in the end. It strips away everything and just leaves heartbreak and sorrow.
Today, my heart goes out to the Reid Family. I don’t see an NFL head coach or the wife and children of one. I see a father burying his dream, a mother burying her protector and his siblings saying goodbye to their first friend. The Reid’s are the same heartbroken family that I’ve seen dozens of times mourning a loss that didn’t have to be.
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