September 25 was a tough day to swallow for many people, especially those people like myself that follow the sports industry so heavily. In just one day, three different sports lost great individuals.
First, it was reported that superstar pitcher Jose Fernandez of the Miami Marlins was killed in a boating accident early Sunday morning. Fernandez and two of his friends were travelling at full speed in their boat when they struck a large group of rocks. The boat was capsized, and all three men were believed to have been killed on impact.
Fernandez was only 24 years old, and had already become a league-wide star, as he had been selected to two all-star games and was the winner of the National League Rookie of the Year Award in 2013.
The Marlins and Braves game was cancelled on Sunday as the organization as a whole tried to cope with one of their own being taken away way too soon. Every other team in the MLB who played on Sunday stood for a moment of silence, as pictures of Fernandez were shown on the scoreboards.
Not long after, the Calgary Stampeders of the CFL confirmed that defensive back Mylan Hicks was killed in a shooting outside of a Calgary nightclub early Sunday morning.
Hicks had spent time in the NFL on the San Francisco 49ers roster, after he finished his college career at Michigan State University. He was just 23 years old.
Hicks’ teammates were devastated by the news. Fellow Stampeder Bo Levi Mitchell said that the team will do whatever they can to honour Hicks.
“I know we are going to honour him as much as we can and play for him and his family and attack the game we know he would have.” said Mitchell via the CBC.
The shooting is still under investigation, and Calgary police have said that three suspects are currently in custody.
Lastly, the Golf community lost a legend. The famous Arnold Palmer passed away at the age of 87 on Sunday at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Hospital.
Palmer was a four time Masters winner, a U.S. Open championship winner in 1960 and he also won the British Open twice in 1961 and 1962. Palmer is credited as becoming the first golfer to earn over $1 million in his career.
Palmer’s death will affect many people around the world, as he helped globalize the sport during his playing days. Fellow legend golfer Jack Nicklaus, who was Palmer’s long time rival on the course, made a statement on his long time friend.
“He took the game from one level to a higher level, virtually by himself,” wrote Nicklaus via his Twitter account.
So as the never ending sports world continues on over the next couple weeks, it will be with heavier hearts as the lives of three great athletes, friends and people were taken in one day. September 25, 2016 will forever be a tough day to remember in sports.
Nick Brayford, Sports Editor