Article: Stop Blaming Sean for His Own Murder

In memory of Sean Taylor. Please post all thoughts, well-wishes and prayers here.
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Postby SkinsJock » Sat Dec 01, 2007 11:23 am

Snout wrote:
LOSTHOG wrote:I'm with you Chris. All I heard was the streets of Miami had people who hated him. Big difference from where his house was. I grew up in Anacostia, but I bet our crime numbers are quite different from Georgetown even though it's all considered DC.

The suburb has only 25,000 residents. Per capita income is $26,000. The community had 112 violent crime incidents reported in 2005. The village is only 16 miles from Miami -- a short drive for anyone with a grudge and a gun.

One more thought: If someone had told you at the beginning of the season that a Washington Redskins player would be murdered in his own home this year, which person would you guess it to be from the following list (chosen somewhat randomly -- I picked players with serious injuries this year):

Randy Thomas
Jon Jansen
Shawn Springs
Marcus Washington
Sean Taylor

I'll bet at least 90% would have chosen Sean Taylor (I guarantee the poll results would not be 20-20-20-20-20).

I am sorry but this is just not relative - what sort of poll is that? This is blatant profiling IMO - and also does not take into account all the "facts" that we have recently learned about Taylor let alone all the other players here - this is a ridiculous scenario to speculate about anyway - why don't we have a poll about who will be the next NFL player to die from a gunshot? that is just plain stupid IMO :shock:

We'll have to wait and see how the investigation progresses. But in the meantime it is not wrong for journalists, detectives and fans to speculate about what might have happened.

the "speculation", in many cases, seems to me to be very biased and not based on facts but on reports.
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Postby LOSTHOG » Sat Dec 01, 2007 11:34 am

it's absolutely insane that even in death the media craps on him. Sean Taylor died a hero period. He should be remembered as such. Most of us here who can think independently should have no problem with that. Those who need others to form an opinion for them will continue to speak nonsense. Sean Taylor died a hero period.

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Postby Snout » Sat Dec 01, 2007 11:37 am

SkinsJock wrote:the "speculation", in many cases, seems to me to be very biased and not based on facts but on reports.

If the latest reports are true, then it's far worse than anyone could have imagined. Not a random burglary and act of violence that could have happened to any of us, not boyz from da hood that came back for revenge, but friends of family who had been to the house before and broke in for the basest of all motives: to steal money. With family like that, who needs friends from the hood? Lord have mercy on us all.

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Postby Bob 0119 » Sat Dec 01, 2007 11:49 am

I've never been one for fantastic speculation. The simplest explaination seems to fit here.

Sean Taylor WAS NOT a target of a gang hit, or a revenge hit. He was killed by some no-account punks, for no other reason than that he was home when they decided to rob his house.

I know it's hard to accept for some people, and I think there are many who truly want to believe that someone as special as ST could only be taken down by some sort of deeper conspiracy, but the facts just don't fit.

One of them heard him (ST) close and lock the bedroom door, probably assumed that he did that because he was unarmed, burst into his room expecting to be able to shake him down for more money (or access to any hidden valuables, or safes), saw Taylor holding a machete, and in a panic fired two shots as he fled from the room.

Stupid kid probably didn't even realize he had hit Taylor until later when he saw it on the news.

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Postby LOSTHOG » Sat Dec 01, 2007 1:00 pm

We know that this was at least a 4 on 1 situation. What kind of punk has to shoot someone with those odds? I don't think life will be pleasant for these punks for the next 30 years or so. I hope they video these guys getting the business behind bars and post it on youtube for the world to see.

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Postby ChrisHanburger » Sat Dec 01, 2007 3:38 pm

Here's another one. Its from Jason Cole at yahoo sports. I think we'll see more and more of these as the facts come out. ... &type=lgns

"The question didn't leave me speechless, but it certainly made me queasy.

Around 9 a.m. Tuesday, shortly after I read that Sean Taylor was dead, a Washington, D.C., radio station called and wanted to discuss what I knew about the Taylor story. Since I had lived in Miami for 15 years, the station figured I would have some perspective.

Then came the first question.

"How close is Taylor's house where he was killed to the 'hood?" the host asked.

That question is about far more than geography; it's flat-out racist. Implicit is that Taylor, who by most accounts grew up in a mostly middle-class neighborhood, was killed by someone poor, someone angry.

Someone black.

On Friday, The Miami Herald reported that three men, including two teenagers, were being questioned in Fort Myers, Fla., in connection with the murder. There was no other information about the men in the report, other than they may have inadvertently found out about Taylor from someone else.

For geography's sake, Fort Myers is about 100 miles from Taylor's house in Palmetto Bay, a suburb of Miami. It could also mean that Taylor was killed for a color more powerful in this country than black or white – green.

All of that has yet to be determined. It would be nice if the media could be patient as the police investigation unfolds.

The coverage of the tragedy has produced some other, more subtle forms of racist discussion. Columnists have written that Taylor was unable to escape his upbringing, ignoring the fact that his father is a police chief and he attended an elite prep school in South Miami.

There has been regurgitation of Taylor's run-ins with the law and his seven fines during his NFL career, trying to create a connection between his moments as an angry young man and his violent death. While Taylor's history is part of his life story, connecting it directly to his death is speculative.

Before the conversation gets too loud – the shrill anger of accusation drowning out the chance for constructive thought – the implicit and explicit is coming from both white and black voices. It's coming from the media and from the general public simultaneously.

Take the column from Jason Whitlock on

"The Black KKK claimed another victim, a high-profile professional football player with a checkered past this time," Whitlock wrote, suggesting that Taylor was killed by another black man, after adding a minimal disclaimer that he could be wrong. As of Friday morning, Miami police still had no strong sense of who killed Taylor, other than to say they believed it was a random crime.

While I like a lot of what Whitlock, a black man who also works for the Kansas City Star, has written and said in recent years, I winced when I read the beginning of his column. It's powerful, it's strong, it makes you think. But if it's wrong, it's dangerous.

Likewise, there is the opinion expressed by Arizona Cardinals cornerback Antrel Rolle, a friend of Taylor from childhood and a former teammate at the University of Miami. Rolle told The Associated Press he believes Taylor's death was a planned attack.

"This was not the first incident," Rolle said. "They've been targeting him for three years now…. He didn't really say too much, but I know he lived his life pretty much scared every day of his life when he was down in Miami because those people were targeting him. At least he's got peace now."

While Rolle clearly has a unique insight, one he should share with police, I have two words that should put perspective on what being wrong can mean: Duke lacrosse.

When that story broke, speculation and presumption were even stronger. The Duke athletes accused of rape were convicted in the court of public opinion. TV host Nancy Grace referred to the athletes as the "Duke rapists."

Ultimately, it was all wrong. The case led to the self-destruction of the prosecutor and an eroding of trust in the judicial system. All the speculation in the reports led to a further erosion of trust in the media.

Taylor's killing has the potential to be the same. Media speculation will create more blame on a group already profiled as violent and fearsome, further feeding the frenzy that divides our culture more than binding it.

Some people in the University of Miami football fraternity have cast suspicion upon Taylor's girlfriend, Jackie Garcia, who has a daughter with Taylor and had dated him since high school.

For now, however, it's best if the speculation ceases because guessing can be too damaging on too many levels. "

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Postby BeeGee » Sat Dec 01, 2007 4:31 pm

Snout wrote:Beegee, I think you are reading things into media reports and my message that simply aren't there. I am referring to print media, not broadcast media (I am too far away to pick up any broadcast media about this). If you go back and look at the print media, I think you will find that nobody "blamed Sean Taylor for his own murder" as the article suggests. Nobody said that he had it coming. Nobody said he deserved it. Nobody said that "lifestyle made it probable for him to be murdered" to use your words. Did they really imply that? I think you are reading way way way too much into what they said. What a lot of people said is that they were not surprised by what happened. To you there may not be any difference, but to me there is a world of difference.
Okay, I'll play this game. Sure, nobody actually said the words "Sean Taylor's death is his own fault", but yes, they really did imply exactly that and they did it in print, radio, and television. And now we'll probably see a few of them backpedalling, if they haven't started doing so already.

Snout wrote:I was not surprised either. Does that mean that I blame Sean? Not at all. Does it mean that I think he deserved his fate? Not at all. Does it mean that I harbor a racial sterortype of "a young black athlete dead and automatically jam all the negative puzzle pieces together"? Not at all. Why sink to a level where you have to play the race card? This is cross cultural. Haven't you seen an Asian gangster movie? So many follow a similar theme. A guy has a violent past. He tries to get a clean start. His past comes back to haunt him, and it usually ends in his tragic death. Is it his fault? No. Is it because he is a racial minority? No--race has nothing to do with it. The theme is about how hard it can be to break free from our past. Why is that such a common theme in gangster movies? Because it rings true. Because no matter how complex the character, the reality is that sometimes the choices we make put us in a deep hole, and we cannot escape the consequences of that (at least not on this side of the grave). It is such a universal theme -- without racial boundaries -- that it was even part of Season 3 of Battlestar Gallactica (Episode 8 or 9 about Kat).
Sorry, but rather than refer to the way things normally happen in ganster movies, I prefer not to speculate because like the Duke Lacrosse example given, speculation and assumption can completely ruin lives. Like I said before, some media personalities don't bother with tedious things like waiting for facts to be revealed PRIOR to finalizing their thoughts in print. Sean Taylor's death is a solid example of this. And as far as your implication that the race card is being played, you again have stumbled right over the point, snout. The card being played is the ganster card. Think about that. The story (of the retired gangster that dies just when we all thought he'd outrun his past) doesn't apply in Sean Taylor's case, but the gangster card was slammed down onto the table anyways.

Snout wrote:BeeGee, I feel like you are slinging mud, and I don't like it..
Actually, the mud-slinging already took place. I'm simply commenting on it.
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Postby welch » Sat Dec 01, 2007 6:05 pm

It strikes me that two reporters for the Post suggested that Taylor, in some way they wouldn't quite specify, lived a life that brought on his murder.

I won't link to the articles or mention their names, nor will I read anything they write. Never.

Instead, I'll ask, "How would Shirley Povich have covered this?"

And suggest an answer: "Differently".

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Postby HEROHAMO » Sat Dec 01, 2007 6:30 pm

BeeGee wrote:
Snout wrote:This article is way off the mark. Nobody "blamed Sean for his own murder." People merely asked the question "Was this preventable? Or was it just a random act of violence?"
First of all, people did not merely ask questions. Some merely implied that this man's lifestyle made it probable for him to be murdered. Some merely stated that his death was not surprising, and listed a trail of incidents in his life that, in their minds, ends with being murdered in your home in the middle of the night. Some got the news and went right into "know-it-all" mode.

Snout wrote:For a fact, Sean's house was burglarized a week before, and his closest friends on the team didn't even know about it. Does that sound strange to anyone?
No. Not when you consider that the man was known to everybody as someone who kept to himself.

Snout wrote:For a fact, Sean has been involved in gun-related incidents before, and the terms of his parole precluded him from possessing a gun.

For a fact, Sean still had enemies.

For a fact, he had a machete under the bed. Does anyone really think "garden implement" when they hear that? Does anyone really think Sean possessed a machete to cut down tropical vegetation? How many NFL players do their own gardening?
I guess this is worth noting, but it's not the smoking gun you seem to want to make it out to be. And as far as the machete goes, I keep a loaded gun under my bed, as well as butcher knife. I work with a man that keeps a meat cleaver within arms reach of his bed. What is the relevance of the type of weapon he kept under his bed?

Snout wrote:For a fact, other NFL players who are familiar with the neighborhood have said that it was dangerous, and believe that Sean put himself at risk by staying there. The author tries to paint the neighborhood with white picket fences, but that just aint the truth.
What NFL players are you talking about? All of a sudden, he was living in a $900,000 home in the middle of hell? Laughable.

Snout wrote:What do all those facts point to? Add it up. Think like a police detective, not a grieving fan. It is far more likely than not that the murderer knew who Sean was. Thank God Washington Redskins fans are not Miami police detectives.
We now know that the killers knew who Sean was, but the "facts" you listed above are very general and really point to nothing certain.

Snout wrote:The real story here is not that journalists are messed up when they try to connect the dots and speculate about what might have happened. The real story is that people do not deal with death very well, especially in a murder case, and especially when the victim is a football star. People get a misplaced notion that to honor the victim as a hero, we must not ask difficult questions about the truth of what likely happened. People have a wrongheaded notion that we "spit on his grave" if we second guess anything that he did or did not do that might have changed the tragic result. That's all a bunch of nonsense.
No way. The REAL story is people were not ALLOWED to deal with death because the minute he was pronounced dead journalists bombarded us with stereotype-laced opinions of how and why he was killed. You had know-it-alls claiming they didn't know Sean (because he didn't deal with the media much) but in the very same article, telling us all about this life he supposedly led. Think about that for a second. You're wrong to imply that people didn't ask tough questions while grieving for Sean. The problem was the media personalities who jumped to conclusions about a man they admitted to now little about. Truly idiotic.

Snout wrote:And as far as the author's attempt to casually dismiss gangsta rap music -- don't even get me started. A tragedy like this should get people to meditate long and hard about the artistic merits of a genre of music that celebrates and glorifies guns and killing. The lyrics make me want to throw up.
I don't think he attempted to casually dismiss it at all. He was dismissing the whole stereotype, which usually includes gangsta rap music, and is usually shallow in its application. Music is influental, no doubt, but is many times not much more than a cop out used by adults searching for the reason young adults committ heinous crime. If a White kid murders somebody, we look to place part of the blame on metal... if a black kid murders someone we automatically look to place part of the blame on rap music, usually gangsta rap. I'm not saying that there is no relevance, but it's become a scapegoat.

The theory implied is "It takes a village to raise a child, and a couple of songs to kill him/her." It's quite ridiculous and I don't buy it.

I don't think the writer misses the mark at all. The writer is speaking to those out there that see a young black athlete dead and automatically jam all the negative puzzle pieces together(whether they fit or not) and present it to the population so that they can get their story out first.

At the very least, I think it's fair to say that some of the media committed and injustice against Sean Taylor, his loved ones, AND the public by trying to tell us all about a player (how and why he was killed) that they admittedly knew very little about.

Very well written. You bring up some very good points. Kudos.

I just have to say to the journalists who claim to know little about Sean Taylor and then comment on his lifestyle. Morons.

Folks there is a big difference between a thug lifestyle and that of an NFL athlete.

The life of a thug include: smoking pot, robbing and stealing, drinking forties, hanging with the homies, partying late at night , chasing down ladies etc..

So you see that leaves little time for football practice. Braids and listening to rap music does not make you a thug. Actions are what defines a persons character.

You cannot be a thug and have a successful NFL career at the same time. For journalists who dont know about Sean Taylor commenting on his lifestyle just piss me off.

Sean Taylor was a football player, father, boyfriend , son and he excelled at what he did. He dedicated his time to being a very good football player, father and boyfriend.

What time did he have to be this thug? Simply ridiculous these journalists.

Then again a journalist is just trying to garner attention to his organization,paper or channel. So are we really surprised about the articles some of them write?

R.I.Paradise Sean Taylor.
Last edited by HEROHAMO on Sat Dec 01, 2007 6:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby SKINFAN » Sat Dec 01, 2007 6:36 pm

Great Read.

A father of an 18month Old was shot dead in his home while protecting his family, and the haters and writers can only see the negative of what he has done. This is disturbing to me, they judge him before knowing who he is.... They even ignore the very FACT THAT HE WAS PROTECTING HIS FAMILY. I'm glad not all writers are the same. Kudos to this guy and thank you very much for posting it.
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