Last Wednesday there was a “flare up” at Hallas Hall (the Bears practice facility) in Lake Forest, IL. It involved defensive end Jeremiah Ratliff and general manager Ryan Pace. The situation got heated and eventually the police were called. The Bears released a statement saying simply, Ratliff was unfit to practice and was sent home. He was later cut. That is about all we knew until today.
Today we find out Ratliff was furious. Angry to the point of calling himself “the devil” and expressing he wanted to, “kill everyone in the building”. Now, Ratliff is a big dude. At 6’4″ and 287 pounds of solid muscle, he seems more than capable of doing some damage with his bare hands. Football players are among those who are quite often known to carry firearms.
While the police were called, everyone was not notified to exactly what was going on, at least none of the reporters who were there. Ratliff was there at least twice before police were called.
John Fox spoke briefly today and continued to try and sweep the incident under the rug, repeatedly saying he was, “at practice” and “is not a psychologist”. Fox’s act is wearing increasingly thin. In this instance, information he withheld, information the Bears withheld could have lead to someone dying. Multiple people.
The Bears handled the situation to minimal standards, they dodged a bullet–perhaps literally. Going forward, I hope they are not as slow to react. Letting someone come back 2-3 times after they are visibly and verbally upset is putting hundreds of people in danger. Not to mention others outside the building. Who is to say what Ratliff might do? He is a danger to himself and probably anyone and everyone he is around. The Bears are at least partially liable for this.
Hopefully someone is keeping an eye on Ratliff and he is getting the medical care he clearly needs. This is a situation where the Bears have fumbled, but recovered the ball. Nobody got hurt, so far, and the Bears are damn lucky for that.