Chris Singleton is a strong young man. This is Singleton, 19 years old, less than 24 hours removed from losing his mother to a hate crime, speaking to reporters on the Charleston Southern baseball field on Thursday night. It’s remarkable that he was both able to be so understanding and hold himself together under these circumstances.
There was no wrong way for Singleton to handle this moment – including not being able to face it. If he had been visibly distraught or angry or had stayed home to cry, it would have made sense. Instead, there he was. Telling the world that Love is stronger than Hate.
Eight other people died in Emanuel AME Church on Wednesday night – Clementa Pinckney, Cynthia Hurd, Tywanza Sanders, Ethel Lance, Susie Jackson, Depayne Middleton Doctor, Daniel Simmons, and Myra Thompson – but Chris Singleton’s mother is the sports world’s connection to this story.
Sharonda Coleman-Singleton was an athlete who raised an athlete. And based on our first impression of her son, she did a real damn good job. I hope the families of the other victims of this stupid hate crime find the same peace as Chris Singleton, but if they don’t – or can’t – well, that’s understandable too.