Paul Adkins

Chris Cline's death last week was a tragedy.

Cline, 61, a billionaire coal magnate and major Marshall University donor, died last Thursday along with six others when the helicopter they were in went down in the waters off the coast of the Bahamas.

According to reports, Cline was lost in the crash along with his daughter, David Jude, Delaney Wykle, two unidentified friends and an unidentified helicopter mechanic from Florida.

Cline, widely known for his philanthropy, donated millions of dollars to Marshall, including $8.5 million for the project that led to the construction of Marshall's indoor athletic facility (his namesake), Sports Medicine Institute, Hall of Fame sand soccer complex.

Some people, really vile people, if you can even call them people or humans of any kind, were celebrating Cline's death.

Yes, celebrating.


Since Cline was a coal baron and a Trump donor, Cline was a target, even in death. As sick as it sounds, his passing was actually cheered on by some.

I try not to read people's comments on social media. It's gotten way too out of hand. This, however, literally made my stomach turn over.

A Washington Post-linked article on Twitter brought out the hatred from the left, many who hailed Cline's passing, made cruel off color remarks or even laughed about it.

"My God, that poor helicopter," wrote Kenneth Jimenez.

Said someone by the screen name of Trollercoaster, "May he rest in the cleanest of caskets."

Ron Shields, who says he's from Canada, Tweeted a video clip that said, "Let's celebrate."

"Cool," wrote Warpony7979.

Wrote Raven Arthur, who calls himself a "proud liberal," "I love coal owners, they taste like chicken."

"A big Trump financial supporter so he's no loss to the human race," says Mike.

Disgusting. So disgusting.

It goes on and on.

"Yesssss" says one person on Twitter.

"It's a start," says another.

"Are we supposed to feel bad? Because all I feel is joy," says Crypto Aye-Aye.

"Good riddance! - sincerely, Earth" Brownandblunt wrote.

"Every time a coal baron dies, hell gets another resident and the world gets a little cleaner," M.J. Miller says.

After reading all this vitriol I was deeply upset.

I'm also a firm believer of the First Amendment. So unlike a lot of liberals who want to curtail our right to free speech as drafted by our Founding Fathers and silence conservative voices and views on social media, I will support a person's First Amendment right to express themselves.

Finally, some voices of reason popped up after long scrolling.

"Condolences to his family, no matter what," Suzanne Ashe said on the same Twitter thread.

"Wow, the comments on here are just ridiculous. Like him or not, to be happy people are dead is just crazy!" Tweeted Mark Hatcher, the former basketball coach at Logan High School.

Wrote Robert Nutter Jr., "Wow, the comments on here. Why don't you all start saving the planet by getting off your phones and getting off the internet. Save us rationale (sic) humans from having to read your trash."

Wes Wilson, a local photographer and defacto Sports Information Director/Public Relations Coordinator for Mingo Central High School athletics, said it best.

Wrote Wilson, "Seeing how incredibly small minded the rest of America is toward a tragedy we have faced in southern West Virginia makes me even more proud to say I'm from Coal Country ... a place where you won't find more compassionate people on earth. #CoalBlooded."

It doesn't matter if you are an anti fossil fuels advocate or a chest-thumping coal supporter.

Lest we forget, a person's life ended here, along with six others in this tragedy and it makes no difference, whether you or conservative or socialist, Republican or Democrat, red state person or a blue state person.

We should all offer condolences to the Cline family, pray for them and hope they find peace in this trying time.

We should also pray for some of the lost souls in the above comments who found it necessary to cheer on the death of another human being.

May they hopefully find peace in their hearts someday as well.

NAMING THE FIELD: Logan High School already has Willie Akers Arena and Roger E. Gertz Field, honoring two of its legendary coaches.

There is no official name, however, for the softball field. None at least that I'm aware of.

Logan has two legends that could be honored.

One is former coach Randy Robinette, who led LHS to three state softball championships and hundreds of wins in his three decade career before retiring at the end of the 2017 season.

Logan was also home to the late Bea Orr, a Marshall University graduate, who began a pilot ASA softball team in the 1970s and pioneered the sport's growth in Logan County.

How about honoring both and naming the softball facility Robinette/Orr Field?

Both are deserving of this honor.

During their regular session on Monday, the five members of the Logan County Board of Education unanimously voted to change the name of the Logan High School football stadium to the Willis-Nisbet Stadium in honor of longtime coaches Todd Willis, Jimmy Joe Willis and George Nisbet.

The idea was originally brought to the table by alumni Doug McElwain at the June 10 meeting. McElwain, a graduate from Logan High School in 1965, played football under the three coaches.

So after many years of not having a name, the Logan High School football field will now have one and that's good.

NO MORE VIENNA?: It looks like this year's state softball tournament at Vienna will be the last one held there.

Vienna has played host to the state tournament for the last 15 years.

Jackson Memorial Park was the site of several state championships won by Chapmanville, Logan and Man.

Chapmanville won Class AA state titles in Vienna in 2004, 2007, 2009, 2010 and 2016.

Man took Single-A crowns there in 2008 and 2009 and barely missed winning a third straight in 2010.

Logan won the 2A state championship in Vienna in 2006.

I thought Vienna did a great job hosting the tournament, however, field conditions have been an issue the last couple of years.

Several places have been named as possible sites of the state tournament beginning in 2020, one of which is at Dunbar with the new Shawnee Sports Complex.

Stay tuned.

Paul Adkins is the sports editor of the Logan Banner. Follow him on Twitter @PAdkinsBanner or email him at