Giants, Fans Draw Heat For Honoring Lawrence Taylor Despite Sex Offender Status
NEW YORK (WFAN) — There’s no doubt that Lawrence Taylor was one of the greatest Giants of all time.
But did Big Blue send a bad message by honoring LT on Monday night?
Taylor was in attendance at MetLife Stadium to receive adulation as a member of the 1986 Giants championship team.
“At some point, what the guy did 20 years ago on the football field gets trumped by the fact that he’s a (sex offender),” WFAN’s Craig Carton argued on Tuesday.
Taylor was ordered to register as a low-risk sex offender in April after pleading guilty to patronizing a 16-year-old prostitute in Rockland County.
Harry Carson, Joe Morris, Carl Banks and Phil Simms were also recognized at halftime of the Giants’ 28-16 win over the St. Louis Rams — though it was Taylor that drew the loudest cheers.
“So 80,000 people stand up and say, ‘Let’s cheer the sex offender!'” Carton said. “I’m sorry, at some point, you’ve gotta stop.”
The Twittersphere exploded with mixed comments on Taylor during the game. “Regardless of his extra curricular activities, Lawrence Taylor is the most dominant defensive player of all time,” tweeted one fan.
Someone else asked: “Did Giants fans just give Lawrence Taylor a standing ovation?”
“What a disgrace put on by the NFL tonight,” added another. “Lawrence Taylor was cheered by a stadium full of enablers.”
Taylor admitted to having intercourse with the girl, who turned out to be an underage Bronx runaway. He said he paid her $300 — and she told him she was 19.
“This was a working girl who came into my room. She told me she was 19. It is what it is,” Taylor told Fox News’ Shepard Smith in March. “I don’t card them. I don’t ask them for a birth certificate.”
“There’s your guy, that’s the guy you’re cheering last night,” Carton said after playing an excerpt from the infamous interview.
Then again, this is New York. It’s hard to forget any player — star or not — who was able to parade down the Canyon of Heroes.
“He was the symbol of a tremendous defense,” said Boomer Esiason, Carton’s morning show co-host. “I think they’re cheering the player of 20 years ago, maybe not the man of today.”
Were the Giants right for honoring Taylor? Would you stand up and cheer for him? Be heard in the comments below…