Since yesterday was a travel day, I get to write about the terrible shooting of Sean Taylor a day later, and while this is probably less than a novel perspective at this point, I’m just not sure why the AP writer, Walt Sedensky, felt the need to include this about the shooting of the Redskins safety by a robber while in his own home:
Taylor had a troublesome first two years in the NFL after he was drafted No. 5 overall by the Redskins in 2004, but he had mostly behaved after his daughter was born in May 2006.
Taylor has been fined at least seven times during his professional career for late hits and other infractions. He was also fined $25,000 for skipping a mandatory rookie symposium shortly after he was drafted.
In 2005, Taylor was accused of brandishing a gun at a man during a fight over some all-terrain vehicles that had allegedly been stolen. Last year, he reached a deal in which he pleaded no contest to two misdemeanors and was sentenced to 18 months’ probation. The pleas prompted another fine from the NFL but kept his football career intact.
The man was on his deathbed for several hours this morning, and he essentially got his character questioned in a way that was completely irrelevant to the violent act that he had been the victim of — while trying to take care of his house after it had been robbed the week before.
Taylor’s rap sheet is of no consequence here and not even worth being part of the AP copy, yet it picked up — I heard ESPN commentators mention it during various shows, and from what I’m reading, Michael Wilbon damn near said Taylor brought it on himself during PTI. You get no breaks if you are a black athlete with any type of history — even if you are in danger of dying — and surprise, surprise; Taylor has had difficulty with the press. This is an illustrative demonstration of the Associated Press’ power in terms of wire copy — what its writers choose to include and exclude on items from anything, whether it be sports, politics, or what have you speaks volumes — because that wire copy forms the basis of most of the facts that national journalists will work from.
Other people who said this better:
- Monday Blizzard [PV’s Sports Toothache]
- Sean Taylor’s Past on Display as He Lies Dying [Sports on My Mind]
- Special Spot In Hell Reserved For Wilbon [Mr. Irrelevant]
Photo: AP/Nick Wass