Who Was Sean Taylor?
Sean Taylor was a football star in high school and at the University of Miami. In 2004, he was the NFL's No. 5 draft pick, joining the Washington Redskins. While playing professionally, Taylor was repeatedly punished by the league for his rebellious streak, having spit in the face of another football player during a playoff game. He was later murdered in his Miami home in 2007.
Sean Michael Taylor was born on April 1, 1983, in Miami, Florida. He was the son of Pedro Taylor, chief of police in Florida City, and Donna Junor. At the age of 3, his parents divorced. He was primarily raised by his father and stepmother, Josephine Taylor, in the Richmond Heights area of Miami-Dade County. Taylor played high school football at Gulliver Preparatory School, playing running back on offense and defensive back and linebacker on defense. He helped Gulliver win the Florida Class 2A State Championship in 2000. He also played college football at the University of Miami, where he was an All-American in 2003.
NFL Career and Legal Issues
Since he was drafted as the No. 5 overall pick in 2004, Taylor found himself in various trouble, both on and off the field. Straight away, Taylor was fined $25,000 for skipping a mandatory rookie symposium shortly after he was drafted.
In 2005, Taylor was accused of brandishing a gun at a man and repeatedly hitting him during a fight that broke out after Taylor and some friends went looking for the people who had allegedly stolen his all-terrain vehicles. Taylor pleaded no contest to two misdemeanors and was sentenced to 18 months probation. He was also fined by the NFL. In January 2006, he suffered a $17,000 penalty for spitting in the face of Tampa Bay running back Michael Pittman during a playoff game.
Known as one of the NFL's hardest hitters, Taylor died on November 27, 2007, one day after being shot inside his Miami-area home by intruders.
Four young men, aged 17 to 20, were accused of killing Taylor. Jason Mitchell, Eric Rivera, Charles Wardlow and Venjah Hunte were charged with unpremeditated murder, home invasion with a firearm or another deadly weapon and armed burglary. Taylor, his girlfriend, Jackie Garcia, and their 18-month-old daughter were in their master bedroom early on November 26 when they heard a noise in the living room, Taylor's attorney and long-time friend, Richard Sharpstein said. Taylor grabbed what Sharpstein described as "a machete or something of that sort" and was heading toward the bedroom door when someone burst through and opened fire with a pistol. The baby, who was in a crib, and Taylor 's girlfriend, who was hiding under the bedsheets, were not harmed.
Among those who paid their respects at his funeral were Jesse Jackson, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and former football star O.J. Simpson, who said Taylor "was just a great athlete." His Washington Redskins teammates wore patches on their jerseys and stickers on their helmets with Taylor 's number, 21.
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