Richard Collier is recovering from surgery after being shot outside a club waiting to meet up with some women he saw in a club. That’s it. And yet, the AP copy appearing on ESPN is doing the same goddamn thing ti and everyone else did when Sean Taylor got killed trying to defend his girlfriend and daughter — for some reason it feels compelled ot put his past transgressions on display while he lies in critical condition. There are the versions on ESPN and on Yahoo, I haven’t been able to locate the mentions on the AP Yahoo copy. But it has fuck all to do with whatever Collier has done in the past or what other Jaguars are accused of.
The shooting also was the latest in a long list of off-the-field troubles for the Jaguars. [Fred] Taylor was charged with disorderly conduct over the weekend. Receiver Matt Jones is facing a felony drug charge in Arkansas. In all, the team has had 11 players arrested in the last two years.
But Del Rio said he disagreed with anyone wanting to lump Collier’s shooting in with some of the team’s other recent troubles.
“He was out last night, enjoying himself, having a good time, being responsible,” the coach said. “I take offense to people that insinuate and call that a lack of discipline or a lack of responsibility. There are no rules about being out on a Monday night before your day off the following day.
The 6-foot-7, 345-pound linemen was arrested Nov. 3 after officers found him asleep behind the wheel at a McDonald’s drive-thru window. Collier failed field sobriety tests and had a blood-alcohol level of .096, according to police. In Florida, it is illegal to drive with a blood-alcohol level of .08 or higher.
Collier was suspended two games and fined.
Why, when an athlete, or anyone, is on his deathbed, is there a need to sum up all the supposed errata of his life? Sports on My Mind and Sportaphile are all over this — it’s insensitive and more than just a little bit racist, as if black men, particularly black athletes, do not get to be victims of crimes without any incidents they have had brought back against them while they lie in hospital beds. The fact that Mike Florio at PFT is writing this in the context of the Jaguars having to clean up their house is absolutely disgusting. Collier getting shot has no business being the jumping off point for an analysis of a team’s collective yellow sheets.
Florio and crew usually dig up pretty good stuff most of the time, but the “Turd Watch” is a loathsome feature — and now it’s really gone beyond the pale.
We went through this with Sean Taylor — everyone jumped to conclusions about where he was, what he was doing, the kind of life he led — and judged him a thug, looked foolish doing so, and yet no one decided that it was even worth an apology to his family after he died trying to protect his home.
I don’t think we should hold our breath asking for apologies from anyone stupid enough to write about Collier’s off-field troubles or to use his lying in a hospital bed for an examination of his teammates. It would be nice if there was at least a bit of respect for an innocent victim.