Red Sox legend David "Big Papi" Ortiz was almost assassinated by a gunman. Now the gossip mongers are attempting to assassinate his reputation.

On Sunday evening, David Ortiz was shot in a nightclub while visiting his home country, the Dominican Republic. According to news reports, he was shot in the lower back the bullet exited out of his abdomen. He is likely to survive the attack.

Like all celebrity-related tragedies, the first reports were incorrect. The original story had him shot in the leg during a robbery attempt. It was later learned that his injuries were much more severe than a single round to the leg.

Like most New England sports fans I was watching the Bruins dominate the Blues in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup when the news broke of the shooting. A great night in Boston sports interrupted by terrible news.

Like a bomb going off at the Boston Marathon.

Now the rumor mongers and character assassins are looking for a grand slam off David Ortiz. They are telling stories that cast our Red Sox champion in a terrible light.

I won't repeat their charges or share their photos here.

David Ortiz is a great athlete and a hero within the realm of New England sports. He has done wonderful things to help charities in Red Sox Nation and in his home country. He helped galvanize America immediately after the terrorist bombings at the Boston Marathon.

He has a wife and children. He was nearly murdered by an assassin. Don't join the jackal pack as they try to do what a bullet couldn't.

Chris McCarthy is the host of The Chris McCarthy Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from 10 a.m. to noon. Contact him at chris.mccarthy@townsquaremedia.com and follow him on Twitter @Chris_topher_Mc. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.