Aqib Talib was involved in a shooting early Sunday morning at or around the Dallas strip club V Live. Talib was shot in the leg, but it is unknown whether or not he shot himself, was the target of a shooter, or if the bullet that pierced his rear thigh struck him accidentally.
Police have reported that two other men who attended V Live that night were also shot. Glen Lumpkin and Vernon White were hospitalized and their condition is stable, but their status in relation to Talib's investigations is unknown. Police have not retrieved any guns, and no arrests have been made. Dallas authorities are currently interviewing witnesses about the shootings that occurred sometime between Saturday night and Sunday morning.
This story is newsworthy and bizarre. It's newsworthy because it involves the shooting of one of the NFL's feature players, Aqib Talib. Not to mention the fact that the spotlight is brighter on Talib than ever before, as the star corner back was part of the Denver Broncos Super Bowl winning season last year. The bizarre aspect has to do with the trajectory of the bullet that injured Talib. Sources believe Talib accidentally shot himself due to the fact that the bullet went through his rear thigh and out his calf, and the assumption is that the gun may have been tucked into the back of his pants or his pocket.Rebecca Lopez of WFAA has been following this bullet since the story broke. If Talib shot himself, does that mean he was carrying a gun? If not, who did and why? And is the gun that shot Talib in any way connected to the shooting of Lumpkin and White?
Lopez explained the statements Talib gave to police while hospitalized early Sunday morning.
"He was with a large group of people, at around 3:40 in the morning, at a park, and while he was at that park, he heard a gun shot, he fell to the ground and that's all he remembers, he says everything else was a blur, and that he was too intoxicated to remember what happened... Two other victims showed up at another hospital and when they began to interview them, police began to believe that in fact Talib may have been at the strip club."If Talib has a nefarious connection to the shootings that took place, his name will be tarnished and added to a long list of NFL players whose remarkably foolish behavior has jeopardized their life and the lives of others, not to mention the disregard and disrespect for their teammates, coaches, fans, and families.
Mike Klis of 9 News reported, "Talib has told people close to him he accidentally shot himself, but police are still investigating the matter."
If Talib was carrying a gun that night, the hope is that this article will be the last one ever written about an NFL player possessing a firearm during a night out on the town where alcohol-induced festivities could lead to violence. Enough is enough in the NFL. Whether it's educational, psychological, motivational, or a zero tolerance league banishment, the NFL needs to find a way to eliminate players potentially embarrassing their business and in doing so ruining their own lives.
NFL players are human beings, and they make mistakes just like anyone else. Given their level of success and the privilege that comes with playing in the NFL, a mistake should constitute staying up late before practice or having too much to drink at a party. Carrying a gun, doing drugs, or abusing your partner should not be considered a mistake, as it could result in the loss of human life.
Talib's fiasco (guilty or not), should serve as a warning to every player in professional sports. Like anyone with an important job, your reputation is almost as important as your work, and even the smallest mistake or unwise decision could be detrimental to your career and the people around you. If you act selfishly, chances are you'll end up alone and perhaps in jail. If anyone, be it a player or someone else, is going through tough times or is tempted by things that could lead to trouble, they need to act immediately and seek the help that could carry their legacy into the light and away from the pain and darkness that comes with poor decision making.
Regardless of whether or not Talib has anything to do with what happened on Saturday night at the now-infamous Dallas strip club V Live, the incident itself brings the history of poor player conduct in the NFL back into the spotlight. The league has poured millions of dollars into trying to eradicate incidents like these, but apparently there's more work to be done. A player figuratively shooting himself in the foot by allegedly shooting himself in the leg should not interfere with the league trying to grow the game abroad or maintain the success it worked so hard to achieve, not to mention the effort the league has made to keep all it's employees away from trouble.
Talib allowing himself to be nearly "black-out" drunk at a strip club almost resulted in the end of his career. If Talib does, in fact, have something to do with the incident, he might suffer the same fate as former New York Giant-turned-prison inmate Plaxico Burress. Plaxico's decision to carry a gun on a night out in New York wasn't a mistake – it was more than that. It destroyed his career and seriously impacted his life and the life of those around him. The poor decision Burress made was not a series of undiagnosed tirades like what Brandon Marshall went through in the early stages of his borderline personality disorder. Burress' and Talib's decisions were completely avoidable.
Talib is currently in Denver, and team doctors are assessing the damage to his body. Coach Kubiak has no timetable to offer as it pertains to the return of his Pro-Bowl corner back. Aqib is in the third year of his $57 million contract with the Denver Broncos. If Talib escapes this mess unscathed it will serve as a "warning shot" for the ages.
It's unknown what Roger Goodell will do in terms of disciplinary action. NFL officials are investigating the matter in correlation with the investigation of the Dallas police force. So far, the only repercussion Talib suffered outside of the injury and embarrassment suffered from the bullet wound was missing out on the opportunity to meet President Barack Obama when the Broncos traveled to the White House in honor of their Super Bowl win.[Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images]