Richard Prince's Journal-isms column today reviews concerns of NABJ sports journalists about AP coverage of the death of Washington Redskin Sean Taylor. Prince quotes a MLB.com writer who wrote: "To suggest that black men like Taylor aren't dealt with unfairly in the media is to embrace the idea of mermaids as real or that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction." Also taken to task was Leonard Shapiro's latest column, where he suggests that Taylor had it coming.
It's difficult to know if the same kind of coverage would have taken place had this been a white player with a similar background who had been shot. Ultimately, though, it seems that any review of Taylor's troubled past needs to be justified as clearly relevant and newsworthy -- and I'm not sure, at this point, it is.