Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Wilbon and Shapiro Are Scum

I have read what the Washington Post's Michael Wilbon and Len Shapiro have had to say about the tragic murder of Sean Taylor and I have to say, they are the lowest human beings known to mankind for their callous words about his death.

Michael Wilbon has already gone on record as twisting facts about Sean Taylor by saying:

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.

But Len Shapiro for the Washington Post took the cake by comparing Sean Taylor to Pacman Jones and Tank Johnson:

At the moment, it is far too soon to draw any conclusions as to how or why this tragedy occurred, why another young black man is now dead from a gunshot wound in his own home, why another athlete, Michael Vick, Pacman Jones, Tank Johnson, and now Sean Taylor becomes headline news for all the wrong reasons... Still, could anyone honestly say they never saw this coming? You'd have to be blind not to consider Taylor's checkered past.

I need to know how because he missed league meetings and conversations with his head coach is that a checkered past? I want to know how because Sean Taylor never was convicted of any crime, is Sean Taylor suddenly running with gangs and embracing a thug life? He once plead down to a no contest plea, that is not convicted or considered guilty, for supposedly chasing down people who stole his ATV with a gun. In other words, getting his property back. There is no mention of the prosecutor who was using this case as advertising for his evening DJ'ing gig. There is no mention that the ONLY other time that Sean Taylor had a run in with the law was a DUI which the judge himself threw out of court due to no basis for him being arrested. I need to know why if Sean Taylor hasn't divorced himself from his past, has every one he knew, to a man, said that in the past 2 years, he has become a different and even better man than he was before.

Len Shapiro and Michael Wilbon do not know Sean Taylor any more than us fans here in Washington do. The reason for this is, he never talked to them, us, or any of the media, and the media as a whole does not like anyone who doesn't talk to them. It has happened time and time again that if someone spurns the media, they turn on him and make that person into a bad guy, a rebel, because they do not fall in line and do what the others do.

Being a young black male, missing meetings and being charged but never being convicted of any crime is enough for the old school press to label him a gang banger or at the very least, running with the wrong crowd. Michael Wilbon does not know what crowd Sean Taylor ran with, he never spoke to him. His own coach said that he enjoyed Sean Taylor's friends just yesterday in a public address, if nearly 70 year old Joe Gibbs likes his friends, then what kind of crowd must Sean Taylor run with? People say his past caught up with him and they are not surprised, but that is a faulty assumption based off of what they think his personal life entailed. The truth is, they have no idea.

The truth is, no one knows except himself, his family, close friends and a select few teammates that hung with him...and no one, not Michael Wilbon, not Len Shapiro, NO ONE, has ANY right to say anything disparaging about Sean Taylor personal life because anyone who does say anything bad has no idea what Sean Taylor was doing aside from football.

To label him a gangbanger, a thug, a guy who ran in the wrong circles, a guy who "ran in a violent world, embraced it, claimed it" is a fallacy based off of what you assume he did because he was a young black man who did not always follow the establishment's rules. Anyone who labels him any of this must be as threatened by him as wide-receivers who would not cross the middle of the field while he was around.

To the fans, he signed every autograph, he talked and smiled to them. To his friends, he was a happy, friendly guy they wanted to hang around. To his teammates he was a leader and a player who's work ethic was to be admired. To his family, he was a loving father, son, brother, and partner. Not a single person has had anything bad to say about him besides the media, as indicative of Michael Wilbon and Len Shapiro of the Post. What does that say more for the media and the establishment/corporate America than Sean Taylor?

It is a sad indictment indeed. I once was a great fan of the writings of both those Washington Post scribes, but I fear both have lost a great level of respect with me for their words against a great Washington Redskin that was portrayed by the media as a bad guy, but was really a quiet misunderstood man who never cared enough about the media to change their view of him. Their view of him didn't matter, the fans knew, and he was just a man who just wanted to play football the right way and raise his child as best he could.

His former teammate and friend Ryan Clark said it best in the Redskins Insider yesterday:

"Every time they show something about [t]his they show his legalities and things like that, but that's not who he was," Clark said. "it paints a picture like he lived a certain way, so he deserved to go a certain way. But he was a good man and good talent who had become a great man, and I'm said all the people want to focus on is the negative. He was a 24-year-old kid, a brother and a father who passed away.

Shame on you Michael Wilbon, Len Shapiro and anyone else in the media that is using this tragic event to help your career and to get on television more while misconstruing facts to further stereotypes, assumptions and generalizations about a man you knew nothing about. Shame on you all for murdering Sean Taylor again in the media. I am not a praying man, but I pray for your souls.


Skin Patrol said...

Agreed. Completely. Publish it in a fucking journal.

It will be talked about at length soon in a lot of places, about how Sean Taylor went into the legal system, faced his accusers, and successfully defended and acquitted himself of felony aggravated assault, a DUI, and a refusal to take a breathalizer charge. Michael Wilbon's suggestion that the reason Taylor's actual history differs so from the one in his head will struggle mightily; the judges and the opposing district attorneys weren't on the Redskins payroll and did not exist exclusively to run damage control for Sean Taylor. Quite the opposite...

They measured the man with as scrutinizing eyes as any have ever leveled, and found him innocent of any felonious behavior.

Anonymous said...

You are completely missing the point of Wilbon's article. If you want to downplay his past, then you are doing Taylor a dis-service. He would probably admit to you HIMSELF if he could he used to run with a bad crowd. In fact, apparently, he was advised to move out of Miami. If you want to bury your head in the sand and try to claim that he didn't have some issues in the past, you are delusional.

I love Sean Taylor, and I was excited to see him come into his own this year, become a team leader, and grow up as a man to take care of his daughter and leave that lifestyle. Whether his past was the cause or it was a completely random act of violence, Wilbon's point is this - young, black men dying in violent crimes is an epidemic in this country. Call Wilbon all the names you want, it's the truth.

Chimpanzee Rage said...

All athletes are advised to get out of their home towns and do away with their old friends, its part of the NFL symposium.

That being said, there is zero evidence out there that any of that was a problem in his life.

He didn't have possies like Vick, or Pac-Man, or Tank Johnson, or even Carmelo Anthony or Allen Iverson.

There hasn't been any real proof that his supposedly sorted past was as sorted as anyone but the media is making it out to be, we only know about the 2 non-convictions that he had. How can you hold 2 crimes he wasn't convicted of against a man?

There is no proof that he ever ran with a bad crowd either? Where are the articles about his friends getting in trouble or his friends getting him in trouble?

Find these for me and I might find a shred of validity in yours and Wilbon's remarks.

Anonymous said...

You guys are totally correct. But I would like to add OJ to the list of people unjustifiably colored by the media. He to was completely misunderstood as "They measured the man with as scrutinizing eyes as any have ever leveled, and found him innocent of any felonious behavior."

Chimpanzee Rage said...

3 points to anon 1:44am's statement:
1) OJ was on trial for murder, Sean Taylor wasn't.
2) OJ wasn't murdered, Sean Taylor was.
3) Using OJ Simpson as an analogy in a sports argument is the sports equivalent of using the Nazis in a non sports argument. See Goodwin's Law: "As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches one."

Rae Carruth's Trunk said...

Well, if nothing else it sure is interesting to hear Wilbon throw out race in the opposite direction. "I know black kids, and unless they become blowhard columnist, they'll always sink back into crime"

What a douche.

Jarrett Carter said...

I agree that none of us knew Taylor well enough to label this crime as his involvement in something bad, but you simply cannot discount it. If this were Donovan McNabb or someone who had no history of any brushes with the law, then it would be 100 percent correct.

Still, as tenured professional journalists, I think Wilbon and Shapiro could've scripted their words much more carefully and tactfully. But let's not forget, they are people and fans just like us, with emotions, frustrations, and confusing thoughts running very high because of this tragic time.

StegoSaurus said...

I think the thing with media we all forget about is how easily they can become immune to real world violence.

I worked as a police reporter at a shitty small newspaper and even then was making jokes and characterizing the victims in crimes. I think the same is for Wilbon and Shapiro. They've written about so much tragedy that they can easily lump it into other stories while the rest of us look at Taylor as an individual.

I thought what they wrote was incredibly disconnected from the situation and from the emotions every fan of the team felt.

Skin Patrol said...

"But I would like to add OJ to the list of people unjustifiably colored by the media. He to was completely misunderstood as "They measured the man with as scrutinizing eyes as any have ever leveled, and found him innocent of any felonious behavior."

No trier of fact ever even had the option to accuse Sean Taylor of wrongdoing. He was never presented to a jury or judge for sentencing. The felony charge against Sean Taylor was DROPPED. As of this moment, the Miami-Dade county prosecutors office doesn't think Sean Taylor committed a felony. The same is not true of OJ and the LA prosecutor's office.

Kyle said...

Wilbon reacted to the news of Sean being shot on a Monday afternoon chat by saying that he was not surprised by Taylor's shooting. I thought it was in poor taste to say this at a time that a young man was fighting for his life. I also think that he has repeated himself in a hard-headed fashion on radio talk shows, PTI and in his column. Almost as if to say "That's right. I said it. And, I'll say it again."

Lester Wall said...

Wilbon and Shapiro voiced untactful and untimely expressions of the frustration so many of us "old school" folks feel. Professional athletes are paid millions to play games. Why are they such beacons of boorish behavior?

Disrespect, insubordination and misogyny are the norm, with the sports pages filled with tales of drugs, gun fights, rapes, dog fighting, and all manner of crime.

From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; -Luke 12:48

I notice a large number of athlete’s pointing to the sky after a great play or thanking God for a good win. While an acknowledgement of the Father in their words is welcome, it would also be nice to see more of a Christian walk in their deeds.

Anonymous said...

His childhood friend JUST commented, to which I'll paraphrase:

Sean Taylor said he was scared everytime he went back to Miami b/c of the crowd he used to run with. It was amazing to see him get out of it all and start a new life.

Also, we all know that having the charges dropped for a famous person doesn't mean he/she were innocent of ANYTHING.

Anonymous said...

To clarify, his high school friend is Antrel Rolle.