I briefly mentioned my distaste for the mainstream media’s handling of the Sean Taylor tragedy in my MMCNY post (its at the very bottom). Before I ever got a chance to follow up my comment, Will at Deadspin beat me to the punch. He’s right on with the argument. Read and learn.
I’m absolutely sick over the way the MSM is constantly bringing up every past wrong in Taylor’s life, as if all his problems contributed to his death. Do we really need to be talking about his prior DUI, or his legal battles?
Here’s an excerpt from ESPN’s report about Taylor’s passing:
[Taylor] had a drunken driving charge that was later dismissed. He skipped part of the NFL’s mandatory rookie symposium. He fired two agents. He didn’t like his contract. He refused to return Gibbs’ calls during the offseason. And he was fined at least seven times for late hits, uniform violations and other on-field infractions.
In 2005, he was accused of pointing a gun during a fight over all-terrain vehicles near his Miami home, a legal battle that ended a year later when he pleaded no contest to two misdemeanors and was sentenced to probation.
Why the need to mention this? If something tragic happened to anyone of us, I’m sure our families would be devastated if the local newspapers peppered our obituaries with a bulleted list of every traffic ticket, college-party infraction or minor squabbles with the law. This is a time to reflect on Taylor’s life, not a vehicle to point out that he wasn’t perfect.
However, kudos to Jeff Chadiha for only briefly mentioning Taylor’s early immaturity as a way to show how much he grew in the past few years. Articles like this show that you can mention Taylor’s problems without reading off a laundry list of offenses and altercations.
And I’m not just picking at ESPN. Every news source felt the need to mention every run-in with the law or questionable decision.
Taylor wasn’t perfect. I challenge anyone to prove that they are.
The MSM handled this poorly. To say the very least.
R.I.P. to Sean Taylor, the human.