‘Sorry gang’: Followers fear Ravens super-fan may have killed himself after final online goodbye

A professional football team superfan’s apparent goodbye tweet stirred concerns about his wellbeing and prompted a discussion of suicide prevention as “RIP Chuck” trended on Twitter.

The dangers of social media were at the forefront of conversation as speculation ran rampant over a post from a Baltimore Ravens fan with the handle @PurpleReignEra. Saturday afternoon, the account with more than 13,000 followers that went by the name “Chuck” had written what many took to be a suicidal farewell.

“Sorry gang. I hope the Ravens do well but this will be my last tweet from me. Thanks for all the debates and laughs lol,” the message read.

Having been viewed more than 11 million times by Sunday morning, the post had many believing that the fan, known by members of online communities for sports talk debates, had tragically taken his own life leading “RIP Chuck” to trend.

A Ravens Nation fan account shared the profile image of @PurpleReignEra and commented, “An icon. RIP Chuck. Mental health is real. Prayers for his family tonight.”

The lacking details had led some to believe that former Ravens safety Chuck Clark had taken his own life after being traded to the New York Jets for a seventh-round pick in the 2024 NFL Draft. Meanwhile, others had come to the conclusion that the otherwise anonymous Chuck had an Instagram account with the handle @hotboychuckie where a lengthy message detailing the death of a friend and gambling problems had been outlined.

As the story picked up traction, another Ravens fan shared an image from that Instagram account with a message beside it that read, “He was found He shot himself He’s at shock trauma Please pray for healing and restoration.”

The one unifying message as apparent friends and strangers alike poured out messages of grief and condolences for family and loved ones for the unconfirmed loss was the importance of mental health awareness.

Concluding that Chuck had taken his own life, independent left-wing journalist Brian Krassenstein wrote of the situation, “Mental Health is so important. RIP Chuck! Last night a Baltimore Raven Superfan turned to social media in order tell the world goodbye. Only known publicly as Chuck, bot on Instagram and Twitter, it appears that he has taken his own life.”

“Approximately 1 in 5 adults in the United States experiences mental illness in a given year…Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the country…In 2019, the suicide rate in the United States was 13.9 suicides per 100,000 individuals. Males were 22.8 per 100,000, whereas females 6.2 per 100,000,” Krassentstein wrote.

“To you All,” he continued, “Stop comparing yourself to everyone else on social media. That will make you think that your life sucks. Social media skews towards a false idea of mass happiness. People show the best photos of themselves, the best moments they experience and usually ignore all the bad.”

“To Our Politicians,” Krassenstein noted, “Fund mental health initiatives. Make sure it’s easy for anyone to get help regardless of their income. Make mental health a priority, PLEASE!”

Kevin Haggerty

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