Kicking A Man While He’s Down.

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.

[snip]
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:

Photo: AP/Nick Wass

5 Responses

  1. As much as I agree with you on this, that’s the way it is these days, and I have become accustomed to it, unfortunately. When someone of Taylor’s notoriety passes, his past will be the thing that is most written about, not the fact that he had evidently turned his life around. Sex, and less than desirable backgrounds, for lack of a better phrase, sell. Is it right? No, not really, but it’s not a surprise, either.

  2. Sorry Bruce, this is inexcusable. There is no reason for this. None. fuck that “that’s the way it is”. Wilbon ain’t a little wrong he is a lot wrong!!! Inexcusably wrong.

  3. I loathe me some Wilbon. That was really just plain ridiculous.

  4. I agree I seriously doubt Wibon would EVER do this if it were a story about Bill Romanowski[no angel],Jeff Reardon,Barrett Robbins,Patrick Roy,Darryl Sutter,Tommy Morrison or any white athlete. Matter of fact I certainly don’t remember Chris Benoit’s past being mentioned even after he killed his son and wife nor was there this big kick about getting rid of steroids in wrestling. But this is a typical media tactic just DAYS after the deaths of Hank Gathers and Sal Aneuse Chicago Sun-Times columnist Rick[I call him prick]Telander was making snide,hateful comments about their past like the fact Aneuse got the coach’s daughter pregnant. What the F$$K does that have to do with the price of hot chocolate in Alaska?!! Or the stupid,obnxoious pissants in most of the Chicago local news who felt some incessant need to bring up the blood alcohol level of Micheal Jordan’s father after he was murdered by 2 lowlife thugs for his car.

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