According to the Chicago Police Department, six people were slain and at least 49 others were wounded in shootings across the city over the New Year’s holiday weekend. Those are just the latest examples of the violence problem that continues to plague this otherwise great city. Bears legend Charles “Peanut” Tillman, who was born in Chicago and played 12 of his 13 NFL seasons with the Bears, spoke up about the violence on his Twitter account yesterday.
My thoughts on and hope for a better Chicago… pic.twitter.com/XPF6QXjxTt
— Charles Tillman (@peanuttillman) January 8, 2017
Tillman’s reflections on death and the legacy we leave behind brought his beloved city’s violence problem to the forefront of his mind. He urges his fellow Chicagoans to be more loving, peaceful, unified and respectful of one another. Tillman reminds us that our actions are all on record, and the impressionable youth of our city are watching.
Peanut’s legacy in Chicago is already firmly set. He stands out as one of the greatest through generations of a franchise rich with iconic defensive players. He is the all-time franchise leader in defensive touchdowns (9), interceptions returned for touchdowns (8) and interception return yards (675). Tillman also leads all Bears in history with 42 forced fumbles, thanks to his famous “peanut punch” technique. His 36 interceptions are second only to Gary Fencik (38) in franchise history.
Tillman had a resurgent 2015 season with the Carolina Panthers, but a torn ACL in their regular season finale marked the end of his playing career. On July 22 of last year, he signed a ceremonial one-day contract to officially retire as a Chicago Bear.
Let’s hope Chicago takes his message to heart. Change for the better takes time, but it isn’t impossible.