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It's Time for Michael Wilbon and Colin Cowherd to Apologize

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Sean Taylor's death is no less painful today than it was in 2007. Two journalists slandered his name before the coffin was cold. It is time for them to step up and admit they were wrong for the sake of Taylor's family and all that cared about him.

Jerry Lai-US PRESSWIRE

We all makes mistakes.

Everyone has been guilty at some time or another of rushing to judgement.  We've all placed blame on a person or entity at times of our lives, before we learned all of the facts.

No matter how many times we are taught as children that was should never judge a book by its' cover, we do it anyway.

The key is to learn from these errors, apologize, and move on.

Last night's episode of "Sean Taylor: A Football Life" was a wonderful retrospect and look back at the life and career of one of the greatest players to ever suit em up in Coral Gables.

It was also an examination of how he lived his life and his untimely death.

The show did not paint Taylor as a saint, it fairly and objectively looked back at the good and the bad in the man through the eyes of friends, family, teammates, and the journalists who covered him.

Two men who fall into the the last of those categories, Michael Wilbon Of ESPN/The Washington Post, and ESPN Radio personality Colin Cowherd, were not a part of the special.

Why you ask???

Because these two cowards decided to use Taylor's checkered past to blame him for his own murder.

The following quotes were borrowed Deadspin's excellent article on the subject, you should definitely check it out.

Wilbon 11/26/2007:

Sean Taylor isn't the only guy I know who fits his general profile. I've known guys like Taylor all my life, grew up with some. They still have shades of gray and shouldn't be painted in black and white...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.

The ones who do have a hard time leaving the "streets" struggle because it's leaving home.

[...]

Some, increasingly, romanticize it, or are addicted to it, or find it irresistible. ... Some take awhile to divorce themselves from it ... think Allen Iverson, who after years of living dangerously, seems pretty far removed from that life now. Everybody's circumstance is different. But it always seemed to me that Sean Taylor loves his life and the way he's living and has no instinct to change...

Again, I'm not the least bit surprised about the Taylor episode...why would I be considering his history, even since he joined the Redskins?

Wilbon: 11/28/2007

I wasn't surprised in the least when I heard the news Monday morning that Sean Taylor had been shot in his home by an intruder. Angry? Yes. Surprised? Not even a little. It was only in June 2006 that Taylor, originally charged with a felony, pleaded no contest to assault and battery charges after brandishing a gun during a battle over who took his all-terrain vehicles in Florida. After that, an angry crew pulled up on Taylor and his boys and pumped at least 15 bullets into his sport-utility vehicle. So why would anybody be surprised? Had it been Shawn Springs, I would have been stunned. But not Sean Taylor.

[...]

Coincidence? We have no idea, not yet anyway. Could have been a random act, a break-in, something that happens every day in America, something that could happen to any one of us no matter how safe we think our neighborhood is. Could have been just that. But would it surprise me if it was more than that, if there was a distinct reason Taylor was sleeping with a machete under his bed? A machete. Even though his attorney and friend Richard Sharpstein says his instincts tell him "this was not a murder or a hit," would it stun me if Taylor was specifically targeted? Not one bit.

Cowherd 11/28/2007

Sean Taylor, great player has a history of really really bad judgment, really really bad judgment. Cops, assault, spitting, DUI. I'm supposed to believe his judgment got significantly better in two years, from horrible to fantastic? "But Colin, he cleaned up his act." Well yeah, just because you clean the rug doesn't mean you got everything out. Sometimes you've got stains, stuff so deep it never ever leaves.

My gut feeling with this story, and we said yesterday, yesterday was not really a day to go out, yesterday was sort of a day, you know, grieving, but we're past the memorial part. It's grown-up time, ask yourself realistic questions....Just because somebody cleans the rugs doesn't mean there aren't stains. No matter what those commercials, OxiClean, tell you on cable TV, some stains you can't get out. And if you have bad judgment for 23 years of your life, even if you clean it up, your judgment doesn't get great over night.

Cowherd 11/29/2007

No, all the information's not in [on whether Taylor's murder was random]. But I feel pretty confident that my gut feeling, like any of yours, by the way, is right and was right.

Despite the fact the Taylor's killers have been convicted and the facts have come out that robbery and not revenge or anything pertaining to any conflict led to his death, Cowherd and Wilbon have yet to recant the statements above, nor apologize to Taylor's family.

According to Erik Powers of NFL Network, who produced the episode, he requested interviews with 28 people. 41 ended up speaking. Only two declined.   I bet you can guess who they were.

Wilbon and Cowherd are two of the most opinionated personalities in all of sports. I will spare you quotes, video, or audio, but rest assured both have indicted no shortage of key figures for not only making mistakes, but not knowing when to admit they were wrong (see Roger Goodell most recently).

It's time for these two to practice what they preach.

A man who many cared deeply for was laid to rest nearly seven years ago.  He remains in the thoughts of so many, especially those of us in the UM Community.

It's time to close the chapter on these false indictments.  Time for Wilbon and Cowherd to publicly apologize.

Until then they will not have my attention, and I encourage all of you to do the same.