Monday the world was shocked with the news of a bombing at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester England in which 22 people have been confirmed killed — many of whom were under the age of 16 — and 59 wounded.
It’s a horrific event that touches us all in some fashion. The range of emotion when reading reports and watching footage is a mixture of anger and sadness.
This literally hits close to home for former Raiders round two pick, and current Broncos offensive tackle Menelik Watson. Watson is a native of Manchester and was stunned when he heard the news, and scrambled to find out if any of his friends and family were hurt in the blasts.
“The family’s fine, which is a blessing because there’s a lot of people right now that aren’t,” Watson told TMZ.
Terrorism is nothing new to Manchester. Watson recalled when he was young, the ‘Irish Republican Army’ (IRA) terrorist attacks that would occur in the city.
“We’re tough,” said Watson. “Growing up in Manchester, you got to be tough. It’s one of those type of cities. I would say it’s similar to a Pittsburgh. Very workman like. I remember growing up as a kid we had the IRA bombings. At the time I was really young, I couldn’t really comprehend the magnitude of the situation, but I just remember the city banding together and about 2-3 years later you really don’t remember because we’ve moved past it.”
Those like Watson and others in England have seen terrorism close up more than most. They have gone through the hardships and bounced back.
“Scumbags want to impose their will on people through terror and it doesn’t work. It never works. And the city of Manchester will only get stronger from this.”
Watson had a message for those he emphasized as “Absolute scumbags” and he didn’t hold back.
“If something’s not going right in your life or you want to fight for something that you think strongly enough, then address your situation. To go out and attack people that are just trying to enjoy themselves? Just cowards. Absolute cowards. And I hope all of them rot. Absolutely every single one of them.”