Vikings Edmond Robinson recalls Charleston shooting


The Minnesota Vikings chose linebacker Edmond Robinson in the 7th round of the 2015 NFL Draft.  The young man grew up just outside Charleston, South Carolina in a place called Wadmalaw Island.  And while Robinson is an excellent athlete and is getting a big opportunity in the NFL, before that he was just a young man who went to school and followed his faith.

As a high school student, Robinson attended Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church on a regular basis.  His mother spoke there on a regular basis as a pastoral intern.  The reverend of the church, Clementa Pinckney, wished Edmond well before he left to pursue his education as well as a career in football.

"“He said, ‘I’m praying for you. Everything’s going to be all right,'” Edmond Robinson said of his conversation with Reverend Pinckney according to an interview on the ESPN website. “Those were the last words I heard from him.”"

May 27, 2015; Eden Prairie, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings linebacker Edmond Robinson (40) works on OTA drills at Winter Park. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

Those were the last words he ever heard from his reverend because of a tragedy that nobody saw coming.  Following a hard day of work during Vikings minicamp on July 17th, Robinson checked his Facebook account and saw his timeline flooded with messages such as “Praying for Charleston.”

After a little searching around, he discovered why those prayers were needed.  There had been a shooting at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church.  Immediately, he tried calling his mother, but there was no response.  Luckily, his mother was not one of the ones who lost their life on that day.  Instead, the shooting took place at a similarly named church in the area with the nickname “Mother Emanuel”.

"“I saw the pastor got shot, so I’m thinking, ‘My mom got shot,’ or, ‘Is everything OK?When I found out it was Mother Emanuel, it was like a sigh of relief, but still, I was thinking of Reverend Pinckney and the rest of the people that got shot. I started seeing the funerals on TV, and I started realizing like, ‘These people aren’t coming back.'”"

Although it wasn’t his family’s church, Edmond Robinson still knew three of the nine victims: Reverend Pinckney, Rev. Sharonda Coleman-Singleton and Tywanza Sanders.  Rev. Coleman-Singleton was a big blow to Robinson’s family, as she was a close friend of Edmond’s mother.

"“After speaking with my mom, she said it was definitely something hard, and she’s not sure what the judicial system’s going to do with this guy. But she just prayed for him, prayed for his family and just continued to pray for families that lost lives. I felt the same way.”"

Tragedy can strike at any time.  And when you see incidents like this on the news, sometimes it feels too far removed to make an impact on our own personal lives.  But we have to remember that each of these incidents involve real people and cause real damage.  Hopefully, Edmond can work through this and be able to make a good impression during his time with the Minnesota Vikings.

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