And Still We Weep: The Death of Sean Taylor
Young and old, in burgundy and gold, they have gathered in
today, huddled around a parking spot adorned with the number 21. Players are trickling in. No one is saying a word because no one has to. All throughout Redskin Park there are signs of remembrance. At one high school, there are scores of people decked out in burgundy and gold. The sky couldn't be a more threatening shade of grey today, but no one hurries. Washington, D.C.
"I don't want to hear it. I just don't want to hear it," one man says. We all know what he doesn't want to hear. Sean Taylor is dead. That's the immutable, unshakable fact. A gunshot wound to the femoral artery claimed
Often we see football players as superheroes that magically appear on Sundays to entertain us. But these are people with families, friends, and communities that depend upon them. Sean Taylor had an 18-month-old daughter. Thirty members of his extended family were grouped outside of his hospital room when he was pronounced dead. Their loss should be foremost in our minds and prayers. Basic humanity should dictate that this is their tragedy first.
But the bizarre, irrational part of all of this is that it's unquestionably our tragedy too. This isn't a Peyton Manning or Reggie Bush; someone who has presented a highly buffed familiar face for us to cozy up to.
And yet, in front of
Over the last year, I have referenced
There will be time to discuss the modern phenomenon of athletes becoming attractive targets of violent crime. There will be time to wonder how we can feel this death so strongly while so many others pass unnoticed -- from the
This dynamic became all too clear on sports radio this morning. I heard a host speaking with a young man from
He's right. But today there is only grief. Grief that Sean Taylor will -- in the most obscene possible fashion -- be forever young.
[Dave Zirin is the author of the new book "Welcome to the Terrordome:" with an intro by Chuck D (Haymarket). You can receive his column Edge of Sports, every week by going to http://zirin.com/edgeofsports/?p=subscribe&id=1. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org]