We don’t yet know whether Sean Taylor’s killing was a random act or some devious, pre-planned attack. One of his close friends insists that there is simply no way that this was a burglary, that there were many in Miami who were “jealous” of Taylor and he was frequently “scared” to be in South Florida.
His family discounts that theory.
But one thing that is hard to dispute: Sean Taylor saw more than his share of being on the wrong side of the law. His prior criminal actions are no secret. And while it’s wonderful to hear how he finally seemed to be turning his life around, one can’t help but wonder if he was involved in relationships or associations or previous behavior that would have made him a target of such a brutal, vicious act of violence.
This aspect of his death should be a part of the media's saturated coverage. We’ve heard just about every aspect of his shooting death so far, but no one seems to want to explore his prior dangerous and reckless behavior.
Perhaps that’s out of sympathy and compassion for his family and friends, and if so, I understand the reluctance.
But perhaps now is the perfect time to tell the story of his life and violent death to young people who might have wanted to grow up just like #21 of the Redskins.
Maybe his loss will serve as an important lesson to kids who want to embrace “gangsta rap” or the “thug life” like the stars they watch on TV or hear on radio.
If it’s true that Sean Taylor was turning into a fine young man after the birth of his child, maybe he, too, would have wanted children to learn from his tragedy and make good choices with their life, choices that would not involve assault or DUI.
Football players, like football games, matter to Americans. These stars are larger than life. And these days, we’re desperate for heroes.
Let’s hope Sean Taylor’s death will be a wake-up call to both the players and the fans who want to be players, if only in fantasy football leagues.
Let’s live life the right way. Do the right thing. Make the correct decisions. Play hard but play fair. And above all, let integrity be our guide.
There are a lot more ways to winning than just scoring more points than your opponent.