As discussed during the first round of reports on the cause of Jon “Brodie Lee” Huber’s death at the age of 41, wanting an explanation for this tragedy is natural. We want there to be a reason this talented and by all account wonderful man is gone. We’re scared, and sad, and having something to blame beyond just the capricious nature of life could be reassuring.
Seeing as we’re in the midst of a historic pandemic, COVID-19 was the scapegoat many looked to. Because one of the people who looked to it was a prominent voice for a respected wrestling publication (Bruce Mitchell of PWTorch, in a column that has since been pulled; Wade Keller also announced that Mitchell is “no longer a staff member of Pro Wrestling Torch”), some pressure was put on Huber’s employers at AEW - and most egregiously on his widow Amanda - to provide answers.
Brodie Lee was a public figure, and his profile has been raised considerably by his passing. Official and journalistic inquiry into his death will happen, as it does for all stars and athletes. It is not, however, anything that’s immediately owed to reporters, analysts, or fans.
It’s horrible that while trying to navigate her own loss and the prospect of raising two sons without their father, Amanda Huber had to take time to post this on social media:
Imagine being 17 and spending a night chatting with a mutual friend. Then realizing that they were “the one.”
You spend 7 years in an on-again/ off-again relationship only to break up. Then you give it one last shot. One last try. You start therapy and really push each other to become better people.
You date some more. Navigate some crazy life curveballs. You find out you’re having a baby boy the day he is downsized. Then an injury in the sport they love. But you fight thru that. You get married and have the most beautiful little boy. That day you find out they got their dream job. The job they never in a million years thought they’d get.
You give up everything to watch them chase that dream. It pays off and that world becomes everything. It gives you both everything you’ve ever dreamed of. You go on to build your dream life with another perfect little boy, 2 crazy dogs, and 5 cats. They get an opportunity to really bet on themselves and you watch them shine like never before.
Life is SO good.
Then suddenly one day that person gets sick. Each day they get sicker and sicker. You know how much they value their privacy so you ask those helping you to keep it quiet out of respect for them. You watch helplessly as they get worst a worst. COVID test, after COVID test, after COVID test, come back negative. You almost pray for a positive one because it would be some kind of answer. You never get one.
Suddenly they are gone.
You have to try to figure out how to imagine your future now.
Then you read a “journalist” demanding “transparency” and insinuates you’re hiding something. That it’s some type of cover-up. Something more so sinister. That you aren’t serving his memory best by not offering up information you’re still trying to process. As if his death was a public health hazard. It wasn’t. It was a tragedy.
There’s no cover-up. There’s no conspiracy. There was just a series of unfortunate events that ended in your world being crushed.
What kind of position does that put you in? When you’re trying grieve and people practically expect you to post medical records because since they were a public figure, they are entitled to all the knowledge of what happened.
It wasn’t COVID. There’s no shame in dying from COVID but it’s not what it was.
You have no answers and you’re just left there.
Can you just fuckin imagine that?
If in someone’s mind the word of Amanda Huber isn’t enough, on Wrestling Observer Radio Dave Meltzer also reported that multiple COVID tests were administered during Brodie Lee’s hospitalization at the Mayo Clinic. All were negative.
We’ll see if we get answers about why Jon Huber is gone, and if those answers are somehow helpful to wrestlers or humanity in general. But we may not, and we’ll deal with that.
It will be nothing compared to what Amanda, Brodie & Nolan Huber will be dealing with. Everything the wrestling community does from this point forward should be designed to lessen, not add to, their burden.