Charles Tillman

Former Bear Charles Tillman Pens Heartfelt Open Letter on Chicago's Violence

Former Bears cornerback Charles Tillman may not patrol the field in Chicago anymore, but the explosion of gun violence in the city has certainly caught his attention.

In an open letter posted to Twitter over the weekend, Tillman discussed his emotions following the funeral of NFL coach Bruce DeHaven, and what it means to him to help try to curb the violence in Chicago:

“Dear Chicago,

Yesterday I was in Orchard Park, New York celebrating the life of NFL special teams pioneer, Bruce DeHaven. As I sat there in the church pew, I marveled as I listened to all these amazing people talk about the life and legacy of a great man. There’s only one thing in life that is certain and it’s death; and how you live your life will determine your legacy.

When it’s all said and done, what do you want your legacy to be? What’s that dash going to represent on your tombstone? In our current state, the legacy of Chicago isn’t looking too good. Our city is great and I’m proud to call it home, but I’m saddened and hurt that we are only nine days into the New Year and we already have well over 50 shootings.

You have no idea how your influence affects others around you. People are always watching, especially our youth. So I challenge each of us to have a more peaceful and unified 2017. It starts at home by loving each other a little more and teaching respect for one another despite our differences. Let’s get Chicago’s legacy back to what it use to be.”

This isn’t Tillman’s first comment on the gun violence issue, as he also had a lengthy discussion with Chicago Bulls star Dwyane Wade about the epidemic late last year.

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