Bears players rally to support widow of slain fan

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The widow of a slain Bears fan killed in Jacksonville last weekend has been overwhelmed by the outpouring of support from the community, and from the Bears.

Several players have reached out to support the family, and tight end Kellen Davis has organized a fund-raiser Saturday night (click here for more information), and others have made personal gestures.

“She was concerned about not having a job,” Bears wide receiver Brandon Marshall said, via Sean Jensen of the Chicago Sun-Times. “I told her to take her time and get through this. Use the people around her. Use us to breathe and take the time she needs and be there for her children.

Don’t worry about any of that because we got her.”

Chris Pettry was killed last weekend in Jacksonville, leaving behind his wife Karen and three children.

“It’s shocking,” Karen Pettry said of the crime. ‘‘I feel like I’m going to wake up from this dream and it’s going to get back to normal.

“But I can’t believe this is happening. My kids don’t have a daddy, and I don’t have a husband anymore. All because of him.”

“Him” would be Matthew Hinson, who confessed to killing her husband outside a Jacksonville bar.

Chris Pettry wanted his wife to stay home with the kids while he worked, so now they’re faced with an uncertain future. Their 6-year-old daughter Jessica hasn’t grasped the reality of the situation, asking her mother “How come daddy isn’t coming home?”

“It’s been very stressful for us,” Pettry said, “but I can’t thank everyone enough for helping my family. I can’t believe it.”

Davis heard about the situation, and immediately started looking for a way to help.

“I just thought it was such a senseless and just a terrible thing,” the Bears tight end said. “It was pretty much a no-brainer just helping out a fellow human being who is in distress.”

56 responses to “Bears players rally to support widow of slain fan

  1. Tragic story. The man just wanted to watch his team and he ends up losing his life. Having lost a friend and my grandma a few years ago, I can take comfort in telling his family that they should take as long as they need to grieve. And it will get better.

    Props to the Bears and the community for helping this family out.

  2. Classy guy on a classy team. Wish more pro-athletes would take this as an example and follow suit with their fan-base.

  3. So 1 guy is dead, the other 1 will probably get free food and shelter the rest of his life? Yeah… Time for some street justice and use of common sense, because that right there is flat out wrong! RIP to Chris Pettry and prayers for his family.

  4. 49erstim

    There is no official word on the motive. Several sources are citing words were exchanged regarding the killer’s wife.

    Not trying to make sense of the situation. I do not believe jumping to conclusion on why it occurred and basing it on fandom has anything to do with it.

    It’s an unfortunate incident and I’m embarrassed by my hometown city.

  5. And people wonder why some of us avoid the bars/the stadium…

    Good for the Bears, I hope that family recovers as much as possible and I hope we can all realize that sports < humanity

  6. 49erstim says:
    Oct 12, 2012 12:40 PM
    It is a sad world we live in when you value your home team over another mans life.

    —————–

    I agree, but that isn’t what happened here. The killer was pissed off because Pettry was talking to his wife/girlfriend in a bar. Tragedy, yes. Another case of fan on fan violence? No.

  7. All the money in the world won’t bring Chris Pettry back, but I love what the players are doing, and what Marshall said to the widow.

    As for Hinson, words can’t describe what I’d like to see done to him.

  8. What a lowlife that jags fan is. I went to jacksonville to watch a game and tampa and jacksonville and tampa have the most classless fans. Im going to chicago for the monday lions game. I expect because of this fans will be respectful. Rowdy but respectful

  9. I am a Vikings fan. I would call myself a die hard, I get riled up and claim to “hate” the other teams in the division. I am glad to see the Bears Organization and players stepping up here. I have a lot of respect for that.

    This is just a game, what kind of person takes it to that level as a fan, to do that to a fan of an opposing team. Just terrible. My thoughts are with the Widow and her children.

  10. As a die-hard Lions fan, I want to give the ultimate respect and appreciation to the Bears players who have stepped up to help a family in crisis. There are no allegences or rivalries when tragedy strikes, because we are all in the same team, the human race! Class personified, and kudos for stepping up, I will keep the family in prayer, and I hope that more professionals display compassion and unity in their respective communities…

  11. I’m not fan of the Bears, but props to those guys. We constantly see the stream of negative news, it’s a breath of fresh air when you read news about the players doing good. Glad to see them supporting this family because at the end of the day, it’s the fans’ support that allows them to make those millions.

  12. Wow …. in a world with far to many selfish and self-absorbed jerks playing in the NFL, this is a complete breath of fresh air.

    Kudos to the Bears players for simply caring, let alone going above and beyond.

    Reading Brandon Marshall’s words of support – telling her to “take her time and get through this. Use the people around her. Use us to breathe and take the time she needs and be there for her children” has stopped me in my tracks.

    I never would have thought such caring words could have come from this man, and it has given me a whole new appreciation for him, and the rest of his teammates.

    I don’t know the situation behind her husband’s killing, but there’s a family in Chicago whose world was just turned upside-down, and these guys are stepping up!

  13. This senseless murder had nothing to do with football. It was the night before the game and the murderer was a jealous husband not a jealous Jag fan.

  14. I once had a beautiful wife who was constantly hit on or had guys wanting to talk to her. No matter how mad you get that some dude is talking to your girl you don’t go stab the dude in the neck. It’s your wife’s job to politely ignore other men in a bar setting or let them know you are unavailable. If your girl/wife cant do that then set her free. I don’t know details in this case, but it seems to me this woman had to know she would make this guy jealous talking to some other man. Add a little alcohol and a man with a family gets killed. Props to Kellen Davis and the Bears. Class move by a class organization. Even knucklehead Brandon Marshall earned my respect here.

  15. It’s kind of misleading that you fail to mention that the killing had nothing to do with football. I still think the support is great, but people are going to jump to conclusions without that information. The murder happened the night before the game. The victim just happened to be traveling for a game. You have a responsibility to note that this was not fan violence. Happy Friday.

  16. It is interesting the number of thumbs down some of the comments are getting about some Bears players trying to help out a widow and her kids. Regardless of whether you like a team or not or if somehow you think in some twisted way that the victim shouldn’t have been talking to the killer’s wife, a little sympathy for the family and a little respect for players trying to do the humane thing.

  17. Great story from a Packers fan.

    Football is Football. Why do people take it to another level. Its just a game. Nobody should be hurt, or for that matter killed to root on a team.

    Some people just dont belong in society!!!

  18. What a great gesture by The Bears and especially by Kellen Davis.

    Now they are my next favorite team!

    Donation made. I hope it helps the family!

  19. @ 49erstim and winkandthegun

    Whether this was over a team or a woman, does it really matter? Does someone hitting on “your” woman justify killing? Team trash talk? This is a human life, a man with a wife and children depending upon him. Unless it’s self defense, can’t you just control yourself and walk away? It should be a very short list of reasons as to why you would kill someone. (defending yourself from being killed/protecting your child/loved one from devasting harm-killing). Life is precious. It saddens me how angry a society we have become and what little value we put on life.

    Sending prayers to the family.

  20. icardfan says: Oct 12, 2012 1:32 PM

    “I once had a beautiful wife who was constantly hit on or had guys wanting to talk to her. No matter how mad you get that some dude is talking to your girl you don’t go stab the dude in the neck. It’s your wife’s job to politely ignore other men in a bar setting or let them know you are unavailable. If your girl/wife cant do that then set her free. I don’t know details in this case, but it seems to me this woman had to know she would make this guy jealous talking to some other man. Add a little alcohol and a man with a family gets killed. Props to Kellen Davis and the Bears. Class move by a class organization. Even knucklehead Brandon Marshall earned my respect here.”

    Was all set to like your comment ’til you had to be insulting to Marshall…If he earned your respect, why still call him a knucklehead? His words to Karen Pettry were indeed heartwarming, we should all be so eloquent.

  21. Let me be clear here:

    I know the gentleman who was with Pettry at the bar on a personal level. They flew down there together to enjoy the game together.

    These two gentleman were sitting at a table at a crowded bar outside.

    The two women were standing, waiting on a table when they walked up to the outside of the bar.

    The two gentleman offered to let the ladies sit down with them at their table while they waited on their own.

    The husband walked up, the two men introduced themselves and offered him a seat.

    They spoke to the group of 3 a grand total of two minutes.

    The group of 3 left when their table inside the bar was called. Pettry got up 45 minutes to an hour later and went to get two drinks. At the bar he was assaulted, sliced and killed by Hinson.

    These two men did NOTHING AT ALL wrong in this situation. The murderer (Hinson) originally said he had no clue why he killed Pettry. He then said because he was jealous that Pettry was talking to his wife in that conversation that he was a part of.

  22. Neither of these two men were hitting on these two women. They – as any gentleman would do – offered two seats while the ladies stood. They had her husband there and spoke to the three of them for a grand total of two minutes.

    No one was hitting on anyone…..

  23. My thoughts, too, Larry – excellent sentiments by icardfan, but no need for the aside dig at Marshall.

    Marshall’s struggle with Bordeline Personality Disorder has by now been well-documented. While a mental illness is no ‘excuse’ for bad choices in his past, it certainly puts them in a somewhat different perspective.

    And Marshall himself has never tried to downplay responsbility for his own choices in the past, but instead has owned up to them and attempted to move on.

    Marshall isn’t perfect, and he’ll be the first to say so – but he’s also come a LONG way in a short time in his ability to show courage, self-relfection, accountability, class, insight, empathy, and maturity.

    The guy’s growing up. Unlike BPD, it’s possible to outgrow the “knucklehead” diagnosis, if only people will let you.

    It’s so nice to hear a story like this, but nothing about it surprises me: the Bears have always been a great organization, and one that has always tried to build itself and its traditions around substance over style, around values, principle and character.

    Bear Down.

  24. I always think that people are getting more drunk during a football game. My thoughts go out to that family. If I was them, I would sue him but then if he won then you would lose a lot of money. That’s my opinion but it’s up to that family!

    Again, my thoughts go out to that family.

  25. all the good comments on here of people expressing their condolences and gratitude towards the bears for helping out and so many thumbs down buttons have been clicked…if ur one of those thumbs down clickers…your disgusting….classy move by da bears

  26. The Bears are a class act! Football is a game and the guy just wanted to go see his favorite team play and get killed???? This is a sad and horrific act by a coward that took a life of a man just being an gentleman by giving up a seat…..sad!

  27. That’s great pub, but there are also “fellow human beings” that paved the way for them to be able to do things like his…. take some of of your $ and help former players who can’t afford to take care of themselves because they never made the $ you guys do, and can’t afford to ven pay their bills!

  28. VERY classy and thoughtful by Bears players.

    What is NOT classy or thoughtful is every freaking idiot here who decides to “thumbs” down good thoughts, prayers or anything of the like whenever anyone says something positive.

    Honestly, I just don’t understand some people… I really don’t.

  29. toonzes says: Oct 12, 2012 4:35 PM

    “That’s great pub, but there are also “fellow human beings” that paved the way for them to be able to do things like his…. take some of of your $ and help former players who can’t afford to take care of themselves because they never made the $ you guys do, and can’t afford to ven pay their bills!”

    Your concern for former players is admirable, but not an excuse to downplay what the Bears are doing here…This is not about ‘great pub,’ it’s about helping a grieving family stay afloat after losing their sole means of support. Have a heart for them, too.

  30. “That’s great pub, but there are also “fellow human beings” that paved the way for them to be able to do things like his…. take some of of your $ and help former players who can’t afford to take care of themselves because they never made the $ you guys do, and can’t afford to ven pay their bills!”

    Your concern for former players is admirable, but not an excuse to downplay what the Bears are doing here…This is not about ‘great pub,’ it’s about helping a grieving family stay afloat after losing their sole means of support. Have a heart for them, too.

    Larry, ask yourself this… if it wasn’t a Bears fan “would they have cared” ? didn’t think so!

  31. @paytonsghost34:

    Thank you for shedding some light on this.

    I have known men in my life who would have reacted exactly like this neanderthal did, and I hope this one pays for this overreaction for the rest of his life.

  32. What are the 5-7 people thinking who keep giving thumbs down to a nice show of support for a family that was devastated? Boy, rough crowd. Is that you, Suh?

  33. @ toonzes…If Pettry wasn’t a Bears fan, he never goes to Jacksonville, soyour question is moot…If Hinson killed a Jags fan, I imagine the Jags might do the same thing the Bears are doing.

  34. @Paytonsghost- Wow. Never heard the full story like that. It’s obvious the killer is a neanderthal and of a very low intelligence. Hopefully this murderer gets a little where he’s going.

  35. Bravo to the Bears team and those in Chicago area. What would really be appropriate is for the City of Jacksonville to join in … to show goodwill toward a terrible situation that happened on their turf. The disregard for life and opinion has gotten totally out of hand in this country ~ very sad, indeed. I’m happy the man responsible is being held and that he confessed his crime … but that will not “bring daddy home”. My prayers go out to Mrs. Pettry and her children. May God always watch over them, especially during this very difficult time. God bless them, and all of those giving assistance. The word “valor” comes to mind.

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