Friends and members of the community of Oceanside, San Diego gathered on Sunday to honor the NFL star, Junior Seau during a surfing ceremony. According to Reuters, approximately 400 surfers gathered beyond the beachfront home where the football player was found dead after committing suicide last week.
Junior Seau was not only a great football player, but he was also a passionate surfer. Given his hobby, his friends and neighbors decided to pay tribute to the late NFL star by organizing a “paddle-out” ceremony in the Pacific. They have chosen to ride the waves in front of his beachfront house because Seau used to practice surfing there all the time.
Hundreds of people showed up at the event, even though some of them never knew Seau, personally. They wanted to be present at the ceremony because the late San Diego linebacker was highly appreciated by the residents of the city. He was considered to be a successful person who contributed generously to his community; therefore, his death was a shock for the entire town.
The Sunday commemoration was all the more impressive as the majority of the surfers chose to wear Chargers jerseys. Moreover, the narrow beach front road was covered with flowers, candles and supportive messages for the family. Quarterback Drew Brees did not miss the opportunity to pay tribute to his former colleague, so he joined the group of surfers, too.
Seau family friend, Jay Michael, was the only one who was not satisfied with the evolution of the procession. The surfers and the Hawaiian outriggers had already gathered their boards and canoes in a circle, but Michael thought the ceremony was not correctly performed without the departed surfer’s board. As a consequence, he found Seau’s keys to the garage, he grabbed one of the football player’s boards and brought it in the water.
Paddle-out ceremonies are frequently organized by surfers in Southern California and Hawaii for deceased wave riders. Although Junior Seau was a tide lover, himself, nobody expected the San Diego linebacker to receive such commemoration on behalf of Oceanside surfers.