The NFL is reeling today after the sudden, violent death of one of it's superstars, Washington safety Sean Taylor, who was shot over the weekend.
Taylor was an outstanding player on the field. Defensive Coordinator Gregg Williams called him the best natural athlete he'd ever coached. His physical style of play intimidated opposing receivers and he was having a Pro Bowl season.
His off the field behavior was far from exemplary. He had numerous brushes with the law including an arrest for driving under the influence and a felony assault and battery, the incident which many speculate the circumstances of death may have stemmed from.
Those close to Taylor claim that he was in the process of turning his life around. He recently became a father and many in the Redskins' organization saw a change in him that reflected a new found maturity.
Whatever the situation, the violent death of any 24 year old should be considered a tragic event. I cannot judge Sean Taylor or his previous actions because I don't know enough about the background of his life. If his death resulted from his criminal behavior, will this be a wake-up call to the rest of the NFL to clean up their acts, lest they suffer the same fate? Probably not. We will likely have to read about more young men cut down in the prime of their lives...individuals who, despite their riches and fame, could not leave their rough childhoods in the past and who continue to associate with those who secretly wish them harm. That is the real tragedy here.
My thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends.