DATELINE: Celebrities Face Russian Roulette!
An assassination attempt on the life of Red Sox legend David Ortiz, known in the baseball world as Big Papi, is vaguely reminiscent of the attack on the life of John Lennon or Tupac Shakur.
Those two chilling actions of murder put a damper forever on how celebrities interacted with the public. Now, again, the fame or infamy of sports stars—and their relative accessibility to the general public may shut down appearances in informal settings.
David Ortiz has lived under a lucky star as athlete and pop hero. Next to Gronk, he is a New England fixture and dizzy icon.
Big Papi is enormously popular in Boston, and in fact was expected to attend a charity event in town this week. He keeps a high profile in the New England area, mainly owing to product endorsements and advertising, which likely provides income and attention.
However, Big Papi also put his local house up for sale this week in the Greater Boston suburbs. He was shot in the back in his native Dominican Republic, not Boston.
He became an American citizen a few years ago, and also defended Boston at a ceremony after the Boston Marathon bombing a few years back.
He was shot in the back by an assailant who clearly meant to kill him. The bullet went through his stomach. The shooter on a motorcycle, or someone presumed to be the gunman, was attacked by an incensed crowd at the night club where Ortiz had appeared.
Those familiar with the two countries sharing an island in the Caribbean call the DR a dangerous place. Americans have died there recently in mysterious hotel incidents.
What is clear is that the violence of the world and the social media attention celebrities receive internationally has made a new wrinkle for assaults or assassinations by deranged individuals with a sense of entitlement.
Big Papi may well survive this attack, but he will never be the same—nor will sports stars who may find themselves paying a heavy price for fame and bodyguards.