Tuesday, November 27, 2007

More on Sean Taylor, Michael Wilbon, & The Media

As some of you may know, I live in the Washington-Baltimore area, am a Redskins' fan, and I whipped up a post about on the death of Sean Taylor this morning. I have also have been covering the tragic news of Mr. Taylor online and in my car on sports talk radio.

Well, in the hours since his death, I have seen the best and worst of the media in the coverage of this event. It seems within the last 12 or so hours I have heard every opinion, thought, speech said and read just about every word.

I'm not shocked by much in life anymore, and I'd like to think I'd not get too emotional about someone I didn't know.

In this instance, I have.

Seriously, how does one judge a person's life?

Do we just honor and pontificate the good guys, or do we just attack, nibble and go through everything with a fine tooth comb of people who may be so-called less than honorable.

Today, I never thought I'd be disgusted with an columnist who I respect no matter he what says, but I am. I'm pretty irate with Mr. Michael Wilbon, whom I thought would be above the fray; however, it seems that he might be quick to assume or judge.

This is what he said via a column from the Washington Post's Leonard Shapiro: My colleague, Post columnist and ESPN broadcaster Michael Wilbon was asked about Taylor during his weekly internet web site discussion Monday and said, "I've known guys like Taylor all my life, grew up with some. They still have shades of gray and shouldn't be painted in black and white.

"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."

I usually do not go into my personal life on this blog, but I know a little bit about crime, and the so-called 'life' that Mr. Wilbon illustrates. My brother spent almost a year in jail for a drug problem, nearly drove my family in debt, caused many of us to have sleepness nights, and we all worried for his future.

Yes, my brother could have been six feet under, or spent 10-20 in a 6 by 8 cell; however, he decided to look himself in the mirror, change, and put family and God above everything.

I used to think like Mr. Wilbon; alas, considering the situation my brother got himself involved in and how it affected my family - I had to step back, think, show understanding and compassion as to why things happened the way they did.

What Mr. Wilbon fails to realize in his comments is this: In life, it does not matter how you start, it's how you finish.

Yes, Sean Taylor might have been classified as a "thug", "troublemaker", "spoiled athlete", "menace to society", or whatever adjective you want to use; however, from the owner of the team to his teammates to his family, there's no doubt in anyone's mind that Taylor was trying to change his life.

He wanted to change because he had a potentially bright career; however, needed to do so because he had a family, and a life to live.

That's been snuffed away because of a sick, evil sin.

Yes, may have had trouble in his life, done things wrong and perhaps lacked proper judgment at times; alas, he was someone's son, nephew, friend and the media perhaps in this instance, has forgotten that from some of stuff I have read.

Some people wonder if his death is a racial issue or not, it should not be; however, the way are talking about it, we cannot discount it.

I will save that argument for another day. As a cynical person by nature, I'll look into that discussion down the road, but as a football fan and someone invested in some emotional aspect with the Redskins, this is reminiscent of those who remember Len Bias dying. This has shocked me and people, fans and non-fans alike in the region in a way that I have not seen in my lifetime.

We may or may not ever get the details or uncover the circumstances of Mr. Taylor's death, but this much is certain - a man with a bright future and a family has lost his life and he deserves to rest in peace.

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