Yet another sad chapter in the life of a National Football League legend came to a close Tuesday morning when Lawrence Taylor was sentenced to six years probation on misdemeanor charges of sexual misconduct and patronizing an underage prostitute.
In addition, Taylor was registered as a sex offender in the state of New York. A hearing has been scheduled for April 12 to determine what level will be assigned to him.
The 52-year-old Taylor avoided jail time by pleading guilty to the aforementioned charges in January. The charges stemmed from an incident in May 2010, wherein the former New York Giants linebacker solicited a 16-year-old prostitute.
After the court proceedings, Taylor went on to conduct an ill-advised interview on Studio B with Shepard Smith, in which he virtually pointed the finger of blame at everyone but himself.
"That's not my M.O. I've been around kids and people all my life," Taylor said. "I'm not the cause of prostitution. And sometimes I make mistakes and I may go out there. And I didn't go pick her up on no playground. She wasn't hiding behind the school bus or getting off a school bus. This is a working girl that came to my room."
Taylor, a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, followed his opening statement by levying a startling accusation against the prostitution industry, blaming the illicit business for setting him up with a teenager.
"It's the world of prostitution," Taylor stated. "You never know what you're gonna get. Is it gonna be a pretty girl, an ugly girl or whatever it's gonna be."
"You can only ask," Taylor continued, when asked about the teenage girl. "I don't card them. I don't ask for a birth certificate."
Taylor’s unremorseful diatribe also included admissions of a prior history of soliciting prostitutes, especially between 1994 and 2001, when he wasn’t married, as well as the motivating factors that drove him to request their services, particularly last year.
"It happens sometimes," Taylor said. "I'd been on the road 10 or 11 days and I came into town. Actually, I made a phone call to a friend of mine, and he made a phone call."
"I'm not looking for a relationship. Hey, sometimes I look for some company," Taylor professed. "It's all clean. I don't have to worry about your feelings. It's all clean. I'm not saying it's right. It's the oldest profession in the world."
Unfortunately, it appears the only lesson Taylor, currently married to his third wife, has learned from his latest brush with the law is to be more vigilant about verifying the age of future women of ill repute he may proposition.
During his Hall of Fame induction speech in 1999, Taylor acknowledged his ex-wife, Linda, their three children and his parents by saying, “Thank you for putting up with me for all those years.” This was undoubtedly a personal tribute to all they had gone through with Taylor during his playing days, in which he abused alcohol, cocaine and crack.
Apparently though, Taylor still has some demons to exorcise in his life that continue to lead him down a dark and sordid path, ultimately leading to his destruction.
The encouraging part of Taylor’s story is that he still has an opportunity to become an inspiration to a generation of those who share his struggle, as opposed to another tragic figure in the sports landscape.
However, the road to redemption for Taylor must begin within before it can be manifested without, and the first step in the process is a hard look in the mirror at his life.
Taylor worked diligently, and passionately, to become one of the greatest players to ever step on a football field. Now he needs to apply that same diligence, and passion, in becoming the best man, husband and father he can possibly be.