As I’m sure you’ve heard by now, Washington Redskins’ safety Sean Taylor was gunned down in his Miami home earlier this week.
(Thoughts and prayers are with Taylor’s family, especially his fiancee and his young child.)
I’ve thought about this for a couple days, and not to be overly dramatic, but the coverage of Taylor’s death was borderline infuriating.
I can’t even imagine a teammate – let alone a family member – of Taylor’s watching what I watched.
Originally, there were no details about what went down. All we knew was that Taylor was shot and was in critical condition. But ESPN – perhaps still with a bit of a Vick hard-on – decided it was necessary to read off Taylor’s arrest record.
The Leader also must not have found the shooting of an NFL star very sexy, because they opened SportsCenter with a Celtics highlight before informing of Taylor’s condition. Thinking that someone was actually hired to make news-related decisions in Bristol makes me shudder.
Now, Taylor’s past is a factor in the story, don’t get me wrong, but it shouldn’t have been used to BLAME him for what happened.
And if ESPN hinted that Taylor’s lifestyle was the reason for his death, Washington Post columnist Michael Wilbon, just straight out said it:
I know how I feel about Taylor, and this latest news isn’t surprising in the least, not to me. Whether this incident is or isn’t random, Taylor grew up in a violent world, embraced it, claimed it, loved to run in it and refused to divorce himself from it. He ain’t the first and won’t be the last. We have no idea what happened, or if what we know now will be revised later. It’s sad, yes, but hardly surprising.
Now, Wilbon wouldn’t stoop to speculating about Taylor’s life, as he pointed out earlier in his chat:
we obviously will start with Redskins safety Sean Taylor, shot after midnight this morning at his home in South Florida, now reported in critical condition. … There’s a ton of speculation about the details of his condition and the details of the incident, but this isn’t a blog and we’re not going to get into wild guessing and speculating here…
Obviously, only a blog would suggest to know things (like someone’s personality or intentions) without actually knowing or talking to that person.
Interestingly enough, three days later, Taylor’s childhood friend (and fellow NFL player) Antrel Rolle, said the former Redskin was truly trying to change his life for the better, stop running with the wrong crew.
So here’s a guy, about the same age as me, trying to turn his life around before it’s too late. He gets taken down in a terrible tragedy, and all we hear about from ESPN and Mike Wilbon (which are really one in the same) is what a horrible troublemaker he was.
What was it you said about Taylor and the gang life, Mike? Oh yea, he “embraced it, claimed it, loved to run in it and refused to divorce himself from it.”
Because you would know.