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 Deadskins » Fri Nov 30, 2007 2:46 pm

jazzskins wrote:I read that article this morning, and sent him an e-mail congratulating him on a well written and though out article.
Let us in on the email address. I'd like to write him as well, and I'm sure others would too.
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Postby JansenFan » Fri Nov 30, 2007 2:48 pm

It's at the bottom of the article. :-"

I believe it's eugenerobinson@washpost.com. Of course you'll notice, it wasn't posted at washingtonpost.com, since the two main culprits both write there.
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Postby The Hogster » Fri Nov 30, 2007 4:00 pm

The media is retarded.
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Postby admin » Fri Nov 30, 2007 4:27 pm

JansenFan wrote:It's at the bottom of the article. :-"

I believe it's eugenerobinson@washpost.com. Of course you'll notice, it wasn't posted at washingtonpost.com, since the two main culprits both write there.


I emailed him earlier to thank him for the article... it's not something that I ever do. To be honest, I'm very rarely impressed or inspired enough to do so.

His article was a ray of sunshine. My 2 cents

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Postby CanesSkins26 » Fri Nov 30, 2007 10:22 pm

Another good article from Lebetard. More about the media coverage than Sean Taylor, but I'm glad that he is voicing what many of us here feel about the media's portrayal of Sean.

Media has failed with Taylor coverage

By DAN LE BATARD
dlebatard@MiamiHerald.com

I'm proud of this ridiculous thing I do for a living. It makes me happy. It is a lot of arrested-development fun. And it gives me the kind of power and platform I don't really deserve.

But there are times when being a journalist in today's climate embarrasses me. Makes me feel dirty and ashamed. I've always wondered why the reporters in the movies are so often portrayed as greasy, sneaky profiteers chasing the hero.

And then Sean Taylor dies in a terrible way, and it reminds me.

Journalism isn't very human sometimes. It isn't very compassionate or empathetic, either. Objectivity, the alleged bedrock of this profession, is both the excuse we hide under and a lie.
There are slants and shades in everything you read, hear and see as the line between Chris Wallace and Keith Olbermann and Bill O'Reilly and Katie Couric and Geraldo Rivera becomes blurred and smeared as entertainaournalism. Asking emotional humans, with all their embedded prejudices and experiences and baggage, to be without bias (conscious or subconscious) is like asking night not to be dark. All we can do is aspire to clinical objectivity as professionals and hope that too many people don't get trampled and harmed when we inevitably fail.

CRUEL AND UNFAIR

And we've done some failing on this Taylor story. What happened to him and his family is cruel and unfair. That's it. It isn't endemic of a people or a region or a school. It is just unspeakably cruel and unspeakably unfair. I don't know how anyone could lack so much compassion that they would somehow blame a city or school or culture to this awfulness, as if a city or school or culture could possibly deserve something that brings this kind of sobbing and wailing.

And yet that's what Time Magazine and MSNBC and FOX and CNN and ESPN have wanted to discuss in recent days because the machine must stay fed, and it matters less and less what kind of garbage we throw into its insatiable maw and try to pass off as nutrition. Why does this keep happening in Miami -- the city and the university? What's going on down there? As if Taylor somehow brought this grief upon himself, as if South Florida brought it upon itself. The late Darrent Williams, killed in a drive-by at 24, isn't representative of Oklahoma State's thug culture. But Taylor, killed in his home at 24, is representative of the University of Miami's?

TOO MUCH GOSSIP

I can't imagine how terrible it must be for Taylor's broken family to watch the television and see their late son/brother/boyfriend turned into a talk topic and one-dimensional stick figure because we, the media, didn't and couldn't have a complete picture of their beloved and didn't have the time to wait for one to develop. We didn't have very much information immediately after Taylor's death, but we had too much time to fill without new information, so too much of Taylor's televised eulogy became noise and speculation and gossip-cloaked-in-journalism about his troubled past.

A DUI and a gun-waving incident aren't irrelevant, but they weren't all Taylor was, either. Brett Favre, rest assured, won't be eulogized with excessive emphasis on his pain-killer addiction, especially not if he were to die this horrifically. How do you think your grieving family would like to see you defined on television by your one or two worst public moments?

God bless him, Taylor's brave and tranquil father, suffering the worst pain a human can, has been as strong as anyone I've ever seen in front of TV cameras.

There would be plenty of people applauding, and no one blaming him, if he lashed out angrily at all the people trying to do their job on his lawn.

I just wish sometimes that my profession had more of his grace.


http://www.miamiherald.com/1246/story/324931.html
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Postby Snout » Fri Nov 30, 2007 10:46 pm

What I am about to say will probably piss a lot of people off. So be it. Somebody needs to say it.

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?"

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?

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?

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 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.

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.

We miss Sean. We grieve for him and his family. We remember the good memories he gave us. We know that he had flaws -- so do we all -- it does not take anything away from him to acknowledge the truth. We pray that his memory will be eternal. If it turns out that this was preventable, then fans and other players can honor him even more to learn from what happened.

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.

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Postby Chris Luva Luva » Fri Nov 30, 2007 10:55 pm

Snout wrote:This article is way off the mark. Nobody "blamed Sean for his own murder." People merely asked the question "Was this preventable?

Any death is preventable in hindsight...

Snout wrote:Or was it just a random act of violence?"

In hindsight, it appears to have been.

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?

Gibbs knew about it. He's not a close friend but it's not like he was keeping it a secret.

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.

:lol: Thats 100% incorrect. The community is it's own city... I don't know too many hoods here in Baltimore that are rich enough to petition to become it's own city. Mine surely isn't.
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Postby LOSTHOG » Fri Nov 30, 2007 11:41 pm

Chris Luva Luva wrote:
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.

:lol: Thats 100% incorrect. The community is it's own city... I don't know too many hoods here in Baltimore that are rich enough to petition to become it's own city. Mine surely isn't.


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.

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Postby Snout » Sat Dec 01, 2007 12:49 am

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).

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.

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Postby HEROHAMO » Sat Dec 01, 2007 4:19 am

This was certainly preventable. That is why it is so hard for me to take.

I say it could have been prevented just on a security level. The fact is that his house was robbed a week earlier.

Could have hired a security guard to monitor his property? Could have bought a couple watch dogs to patrol his property? Had the option to move out of this house. The security of his property was compromised and I think little was done to address the issue.

My thought when I first heard the newz was NOOOO!!! Then why!!!!

Once I settled down and heard the details of the house being robbed and that it had been robbed a week earlier, I said to myself man why didnt he just move out or hire an armed security guard or something.

Hey, it is what it is. He saved his family in the process and he is in heaven now.
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Postby BeeGee » Sat Dec 01, 2007 6:27 am

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.
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Postby BossHog » Sat Dec 01, 2007 7:24 am

Thanks for saving me a lot of typing... i agree 100%.

Apparently Snout came to the same conclusions that the media did, and doesn't sem to have any concept of the fact that the media's where all his 'impressions' came from in the first place.

... and as we can see in this instance - many of those notions and assumptions are just flat out incorrect.

Not only that, they're based on PREVIOUS bad reporting by the press.

But hey.... the press count on people being lazy and not actually thinking for themselves.

My 2 cents
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Postby GSPODS » Sat Dec 01, 2007 7:42 am

Believing everything on television or in print is the first sign of mental disease or defect, which may come in useful in a criminal proceeding, but does nothing for expanding one's mind.
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Postby Snout » Sat Dec 01, 2007 10:41 am

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.

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).

Beegee, I feel like you are slinging mud, and I don't like it.

Boss Hog, you are wrong. I have not come to any conclusions. All I have said is that I am not surprised by what has happened, and I do not blame the media for trying to connect the dots based on available facts. You are wrong when you say that I only have "impressions" from the media. I have the facts that have been reported, and I made my comments based on the facts. And I disagree with you that the notions and assumptions have been "proven" incorrect. The truth is we just do not have enough information at this time to draw any conclusions.

If Randy Thomas, Jon Jansen, Shawn Springs or Marcus Washington were the victim, I would be truly shocked and surprised. If it were any other "young black athlete" like Carlos Rogers, Rocky McIntosh, Anthony Montgomery, or Kedric Golston I would be shocked and surprised. In this case, even though I do not know what happened, who the culprits are, or what their motives were, I am not shocked or surprised. And that is NOT because I get all my impressions from the media, NOT because I "blame the victim", not because I buy into racial sterortypes, and not because I believe "gangsta rap" made 'em do it.

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Postby GSPODS » Sat Dec 01, 2007 11:10 am

Yes, the printed media almost exclusively has attempted to use Sean Taylor's past as an explanation of some sort, and furthermore approached issue from that angle without any knowledge or basis in fact. There were no suspects, no motive, and no public information from the police at the time of most of the articles in question.

One idiot even went so far as to state that there were "200 Sean Taylor's" in his city this year. This particular writer was referring to the total number of black men murdered in his city this year.
It doesn't require much research to find that most of those 200 murders were gang and drug related.

Trying to convince anyone that the media at large has handled any aspect of reporting this issue factually, without passion or prejudice is a waste of time because it just isn't so.

My 2 cents

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