Joined: 22 Jun 2012
Location: Arlington, VA (Ballston)
|Posted: Sun Jan 06, 2013 8:13 am Post subject: Mike Wise on London Fletcher's Past
|Kecia,” Fletcher said Friday afternoon before he left the team’s locker room in Ashburn, making sure it is spelled correctly. “It’s K-E-C-I-A.”
When you see a 37-year-old man with gray whiskers protruding from his chin, the same man they call a mentor to 22-year-oldRobert Griffin III, the captain of the Redskins’ defense, the rock of this roster through good and bad times since 2007, you forget: London Fletcher was once an 11-year-old boy in one of the worst neighborhoods in Cleveland, trying to negotiate a world of drugs and guns the best he could.
That’s when he and his siblings heard the guttural scream of their mother, who learned her baby girl had been beaten, stabbed and raped, left to die by the railroad tracks.
“It definitely shocked us, she was 18,” London says of Kecia’s murder. “That had a lasting effect on everybody in the family. You still think about what her life could have been. I was just 11 years old, turning 12 later that year.”
London’s mother went to the worse place to deal with her despair: the corner, rock cocaine. He knows Kecia’s murder triggered the drug addiction, changed his only real support mechanism after his parents divorced into the mother he no longer knew.
Through college and into the NFL, he prayed for her sobriety. When she got clean, it was almost bittersweet; Linda Fletcher died six days before his wedding in 2006. “Heart attack,” his younger sister, Trina, said a few weeks ago in a makeshift tent for players’ families in Cleveland, where Fletcher had played in his home town for the first time in his career.