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Could Have Been Me

An assistant basketball coach at Division 1 Wake Forest punched a guy in the face in New York last week. He effectively knocked the guy out with one shot — the recipient hit the ground, and the coach got back in his car and drove off.

Simple enough situation.

A couple days later, though, the punchee died. The medical examiner is determining, as of this writing, if the punch led directly to the man’s death, which may lead to the coach being charged with homicide instead of the initial assault charge.

This is unfortunate on both sides. Of course for the man who died, but also the coach. The coach is my age and from my city. We don’t know all the details of what happened, but I will assume the coach was solving a problem the way he was raised to solve a problem; the way many men my age from where I’m from would handle someone acting or even talking reckless.

What makes it scary is that I or many people I know could have been that coach, socking some random drunk who had (maybe) gotten out of line. Now this coach has to go to court and fight for his freedom in one of 27 U.S. states that does not utilize a stand-your-ground law, but a duty to retreat law that states a person must do all he can to get away from an issue rather than fighting back.

That could have been me.

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