An Unnecessary Tragedy

By Bill Neri-Amadeo
Updated: November 27, 2007

LANSING, Mich. — By now, the world knows that Sean Taylor did not make it out of surgery and is another in a long list of NFL casualties. Many different people will have many different opinions on what exactly happened to Sean Taylor and why it happened.

Today, I’d like to raise some questions and give some thoughts on a life that was taken from us way too early. My first memory of Sean Taylor was him playing at the University of Miami.

He was one of the hardest hitting defensive backs I have ever seen. Anyone who watched Taylor back then could clearly see he was destined to be a star. After leaving school early to enter the NFL draft, Taylor was selected by the Washington Redskins and would make headlines on and off of the field.

No one could ever question Taylor’s athletic ability. He was one of the best pure athletes of his generation. Sometimes, he would miss assignments on the field and make up for it with his pure athletic prowess.

Taylor would eventually become known as the hardest hitter in the NFL and became a feared defender. Sadly, that’s not where the story ends. Taylor led a troubled existence during his younger days.

He was once arrested for driving under the influence, a charge that was eventually dropped. He had an altercation where he brandished a gun on someone who supposedly stole from him. As good as he was on the field, he WAS troubled off of it.

Eventually, things changed for the better. Taylor had a child and this gave him a new lease on life. Taylor’s problems off of the field became a thing of the past and he became a dedicated father and a hard working NFL player.

Everything looked up for Taylor until November 25, 2007. On that day, Taylor would meet his untimely demise. Someone broke into Taylor’s home and shot him in the leg.

Taylor lost an enormous amount of blood and would die at the hospital he was flown too. We are told it was a burglary attempt but it does not appear anything was stolen from his home.

To make matters more convoluted, Taylor had his home broken into eight days earlier and nothing was taken. A knife was left on the kitchen table and that is all we are told about that incident.

We are left with questions. While Taylor did make changes for the better, was it enough? Was this murder something that stemmed from his past? How could this guarded community of suburban Florida have someone just approach the Taylor home with a gun?

Did this tragedy have any connection to the incident eight days ago?

We may never know these answers. We are left with nothing more than questions and tragedy. A team lost their star, a child lost her father and the world lost Sean Taylor.

We have to wonder what will the police do with this situation? Are there suspects? Was this an inside job? Why would someone want Sean Taylor dead? There are other matters that also need to be addressed.

It will interesting to see how NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell handles this situation? While Goodell always wants to take a harsh stance against everyone, will he show any compassion to the Taylor family?

Will he and NFLPA President Gene Upshaw be there to help the Taylor’s and assist in the financial future of his daughter or is Taylor just another casualty no one will care about?

Today, all we can do is mourn and have questions. Questions about the investigation, questions about the future of the Taylor family and questions about tragedy in general.

Hopefully someone will provide us with answers, but I wouldn’t hold my breath.