Colin Cowherd is a controversial figure, but he’s good at what he does: riling up his listeners with strong opinions. The issue is that the sports media personality is often wrong. Most of the time, this results in Cowherd appearing foolish. In some cases, however, it can be downright offensive. Cowherd’s statements on the late former NFL player Sean Taylor’s death were in poor taste. Many fans won’t forget them.
Colin Cowherd’s broadcast career
Cowherd made his bones as a radio host at ESPN, where his simulcast show grew him quite a large following. He took that following to FS1 after establishing himself as a sports media force at the Worldwide Leader. Cowherd continues to host a midday sports talk program that airs on radio and on FS1.
Cowherd often makes controversial statements intended to spark debate. He’s had several opportunities over the years to cause plenty of uproar on the airwaves. Much like provocateurs like Skip Bayless and Stephen A. Smith, Cowherd provokes his audience with strongly worded takes that are anything but mild.
The tragic death of Sean Taylor
In 2007, Taylor was tragically murdered after a botched home invasion and robbery. He did have a somewhat checkered past with several run-ins with the law, but he’d turned a corner at the time of his death. More importantly, his death was in no way his fault. That didn’t stop some in the media from blaming him. According to State of the U, Washington Post columnist Michael Wilbon was one of those people, writing:
“I wasn’t surprised in the least when I heard the news Monday morning that Sean Taylor had been shot in his home by an intruder. Angry? Yes. Surprised? Not even a little. It was only in June 2006 that Taylor, originally charged with a felony, pleaded no contest to assault and battery charges after brandishing a gun during a battle over who took his all-terrain vehicles in Florida.”
Wilbon wasn’t the only person who took such an unfortunate stance on Taylor.
Colin Cowherd’s comments about Taylor’s death
Not to be outdone by Wilbon, Cowherd also jumped on the pile, citing Taylor’s “bad judgment” despite no evidence of it leading to his death, according to The Spun. “Sometimes you’ve got stains, stuff so deep it never ever leaves … And if you have bad judgment for 23 years of your life, even if you clean it up, your judgment doesn’t get great overnight,” the sports personality said.
To Cowherd’s credit, he expressed remorse for his remark, though one could argue his non-apology makes things even worse:
“I just ad-libbed it. I think I was just too harsh…That’s one of those, ‘Dammit, you know, I wish I could really take that back’ … I wish I could do that over again, and I feel bad. But in my life, I can’t. It’s there. It’s somewhere archived. It’s just part of my biography, part of my archive. But I look at it now, I wish I could reel it back in ….
“I probably should’ve scaled it back. I didn’t, and I paid a price. It made people very angry.”
Cowherd at least owned up to making a bad decision with the comments. But he didn’t go far enough. He states that he was “harsh” despite the fact that Taylor had no culpability in his own death. The mistakes of Taylor’s past had no impact on his situation.
Cowherd’s problem wasn’t that his comments were too harsh; it was that he made them at all. He totally missed the mark. It’s no wonder some NFL fans still hold these remarks against Cowherd.