Marvin Harrison with his son after wining Super Bowl 41. Image: photos.upi.com
The broken record continues to spin and spin and spin around the player. Of course, the subject is Marvin Harrison. And, of course, media are placing a guilty tag on his forehead even though the law and the justice system say otherwise.
When it's not hack ESPN writers penning a hit piece ripe with speculation, hearsay, and rumor rather than evidence and facts, it's now
Oh yeah, Andrew Sharp of SBNation.com likes the article as well. Please, try and contain your shock.
Jason Fagone at GQ has recently written a very lyrically entertaining but factually flawed indictment of Marvin Harrison, using colorful narration and story-telling to recreate the May 2008 shooting incident outside Marvin Harrison's Philadelphia neighborhood bar which resulted in an injury to convicted felon Dwight Dixon. Dixon was shot in the hand during the altercation and was afterward taken into police custody. Dixon was later convicted of lying to police officers during the investigation into shooting. In July of 2009, Dixon was attacked again in a separate incident, resulting in seven bullet wounds for Dixon. He died of his wounds in September 2009.
When news of the first shooting broke, "star" reporters like ESPN's Sal Poalantonio jumped all over it, making senseless and baseless accusations that never resulted in anything tangible. I remind you that this is the same ESPN that ignored the Ben Roethlisberger rape allegation story in 2009 even though the circumstances surrounding that issue (witness claims attack, no evidence to back up claim) were very similar to the shooting involving Harrison in 2008.
Ben Roethlisberger: White quarterback from Ohio
Marvin Harrison: Retired black receiver from Philadelphia.
Draw your own conclusions.
Back to GQ, even though Fagone's article is better written than anything Sal Pal could ever hope to pen, given his fourth grade IQ, the fact is Fagone's article provides nothing we didn't already read about.
- We know Robert Nixon allegedly saw Marvin Harrison shoot at Dixon.
- We know that police interviewed Nixon and after that interview did not consider him a credible witness.
- We know that despite Nixon's "eye witness" testimony, police never considered Marvin Harrison a suspect in Dixon's May 2008 shooting.
- We know that the Philly DA's office cited a lack of credible witnesses (Dear GQ, that's a dig at your article's "star," Robert Nixon) as a reason not to prosecute this case. In fact, in the press conference announcing the decision not to prosecute, the DA took a shot at ESPN and Sal Poalantonio.
As many of you may recall, I spoke to Philly-based journalists about this incident waaaaaaaay back in 2008, and they agreed that there was more media sensationalism regarding Harrison than actual facts that made him guilty of shooting a man.
Again, this story is old, tried, and the GQ article provides us with very little new evidence or facts that point a finger at Marvin Harrison. In fact, I suspect that the sole reason this article was printed in the first place is because the focus now is on guns and NBA players, and thus the flaky "sports journalists" at GQ thought that digging up the Dixon shooting was relevant.
Deep breath. Sigh.
Look, I personally don't know what the "real" facts are here. South Philly is a poor part of town that has gotten poorer since the economy tanked. Dwight Dixon had a shady past and likely a long list of enemies. His death was unfortunate. However, it is wrong for media outlets to point fingers and assess guilt on people like Marvin Harrison when they do not have evidence to back up that accusation. By every measure of "justice" we as a society hold dear, the reality of the 2008 shooting incident is as follows:
Marvin Harrison did not shoot anyone because there is no evidence that points to Marvin Harrison shooting anyone.
Obviously, this "revelation" is not as interesting or as entertaining as the thought of a mild-mannered, soft-spoken NFL superstar going Tony Montana on the streets of South Philly. But folks like me are more about facts and evidence. These "little details" trump the entertainment value of Marvin Harrison shooting a man. Maybe I'm just old-fashioned that way.
GQ, folks like Andrew Sharp, and ESPN all deal in entertainment; not journalism.
There is no evidence to back up their claim that Marvin Harrison is a thug who shoots people in broad daylight. No chargers have been filed against Harrison. No court decisions have been levied. Harrison was (I repeat again for the 5 billionth time) never even a suspect in the yes of the police. Again, he was a suspect in the media's eyes, not the police's.
I'm tired of writing about this dead story. It's up to you to believe whatever you want to believe. I'll stick with the facts, thank you. GQ and Andrew Sharp can enjoy the fantasy land of hearsay and rumor.