Standing near the sidelines at a football game can be risky. For a photographer in Kansas, it turned out to be fatal.
Linda Gregory took pictures of Wichita Northwest High School football action for nine years alongside her husband of 23 years.
During the game at Bishop Carroll Monday, September 4, two players involved in a block went out of bounds and struck Gregory. She was knocked backward, hitting her head on concrete around the field.
“The doctors at first thought she’d be OK,” husband Mel Gregory said. “And then it got worse and worse.”
She died at a hospital Friday, September 8, after her family took her off life support. Her organs were donated to help other people.
“She passed and is at peace,” husband Mel Gregory wrote on Facebook.
Friday night was a football night as usual. The Wichita Northwest team remembered her with a moment of silence and wore “LG” stickers on their helmets in Linda’s memory.
But instead of mourning at home, Mel was back on the sidelines snapping photos of the action.
“She was the most generous and loving person I’ve ever known,” he told KSN near the team bench while choking back tears. “I think she would love it that I was carrying on our tradition.”
Mel admitted on Facebook that facing TV interviewers was hard. But he said his wife didn’t blame the players for what happened to her.
“I know that the players are traumatized,” Mel wrote, but he wants to show them support.
“She loved these people,” he said. “The kids are her primary concern.”
Perhaps inspired by what happened, Wichita Northwest handled Wichita Heights in the Friday night game 41-13.
“Linda was an amazing person who breathed life into our students,” Wichita Northwest head coach Steve Martin said in a statement reviewed by the Kansas City Star. “She was a mentor and friend to some of our boys.”
Her impact even stretched to pro football. New York Jets running back Breece Hall, a Northwest graduate, urged Facebook followers for prayers when he heard of the injury.
“These are the most genuine, polite, kind giving, whole hearted people,” Hill wrote.
The Wichita Eagle noted Linda operated a photography business and took many photos of the city.
Inside the gridiron, critics of U.S. football say it is too dangerous a game to play, or even watch.
“The reality is that American tackle football is evil–the players get harmed,” writes Dr. Robert Thiel, founder of the Continuing Church of God. “Nearly everyone who plays tackle football long enough ends up with brain injury.”
Thiel adds that opposing sports violence is “consistent with the gospel of peace and love…”
The post Death on the Sidelines: Football Photographer Hit by Players Killed After Crashing onto Concrete appeared first on Knewz.
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Author: Richard Burkard
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