Jose Fernandez was Drinking Before He Died: Don’t Let It Overshadow His Legacy

Reports have emerged that Jose Fernandez and his companions smelled strongly of alcohol when their bodies were recovered.

This was predictable. It was 3am, he was speeding, and he had just left an establishment that sold alcohol, where he had been for several hours. It doesn’t take John Nash to put the fucking pieces together.

Prepare yourself for the predictable lectures that arise when anything like this happens. Which is natural. I get it. It is a poor idea to get drunk and then take a speedboat out in the pitch dark. I think we can all agree on that. But be on the lookout for anyone who gets too moral about this.

Boat Crash

Whenever someone dies and there is alcohol or drugs involved, a lot of the commentary is often presented with a twinge of “they deserved it.” No one comes right out and says it, but the attitude is there, creeping just far enough above the surface to be detectable. The terms “drugs were found in the car” or “alcohol was found in his system” almost become code for “his/her life didn’t mean as much, so you don’t have to be as sad.”

That line of thinking is often unfair and hypocritical, especially in the case of someone like Fernandez, where the good so vastly outweighed the bad. Think about your life. Have you ever done anything stupid and risky, possibly in your teens or early 20s, that increased your chances of dying? Were drugs or alcohol involved? If not, then congrats. You deserve to be commended. But I’ve certainly been in positions like that and so have most of the people I know at one time or another. And so have many of you I’m guessing.

How would you feel if one mistake you made was fatal and it ended up tarnishing the way you were remembered? Would it be fair if that mistake overshadowed everything good you had done in your life?

Don’t excuse what Jose Fernandez did. But also don’t let it overshadow his legacy.

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