It goes without saying that if you abuse animals, you're a bad person. If you kill animals, outside of sanctioned hunting and fishing trips, you' re a deplorable person. And if you kill a dog as a member of the Atlanta Falcons, then you're just a goddamn idiot.
Prince Shembo is a goddamn idiot.
A year ago, Shembo was a rookie linebacker for the Atlanta Falcons. He was one of a handful of Falcons whom the producers of Hard Knocks focused in on, and he wound up having a productive rookie season with 32 tackles, having played in all 16 games. For a kid who had controversy tailing him from his time playing college football at Notre Dame, his first year in the NFL went about as well as one could expect.
Unfortunately, it all unraveled on Shembo about a week ago, and the poor victim in the whole thing is a Yorkshire terrier named Dior. Dior was the pet of Shembo's former girlfriend, Denicia Williams. About a week ago, Shembo was tasked with watching the dog while Williams was gone. When Williams came back, the dog was dead. The necropsy revealed that it was due to blunt force trauma, which Shembo admitted he had dealt to the dog.
Predictably, after news broke of Shembo's arrest, the Falcons swiftly released him, not at all surprising considering that the most-high profile player in the history of their franchise (Michael Vick) went to jail eight years ago on racketeering charges stemming from a dogfighting ring of which he was the kingpin. Shembo's misery from unemployment is now compounded with Williams's decision to file a lawsuit against him.
“This is really a matter of principle,” Williams's attorney, William Cromwell, said. “We’ve sued for attorney’s fees, punitive damages and we talked about the money going to a foundation.”
Williams also contends that she sensed Shembo had planned to hurt Dior when she left the dog with him, and get this — she contends his disdain for the dog was a result of jealousy over the attention Williams heaped on the canine compared to the amount she gave Shembo. “He said you were spending too much time with him and I felt second to him,” Williams said. “If he did bite him, why didn’t he tell me that when he confessed?"
Shembo's contention is indeed that the dog bit him and the blow he delivered was a reaction to the bite. Of course, this begs two questions — first, what exactly happened for the dog to decide to bite Shembo, and second, even if the dog did bite Shembo, is the natural reaction to deliver a blow with enough force to kill the dog?
The Falcons weren't going to wait around to find out the answers to these questions. They've had enough dog-centric drama in their history. And now all they have to show for Prince Shembo is three points in the Fantasy Crime League.
FANTASY CRIME LEAGUE STANDINGS
INDIANAPOLIS COLTS ... 12 points
* 2/3/15: Colts LB D'Qwell Jackson is arrested for assault.
* 2/5/15: Colts RB Ahmad Bradshaw is charged with marijuana possession.
* 4/17/15: Lions OL Rodney Austin is arrested for assault on a female, assault on a child under 12, interference with emergency communications, and misdemeanor larceny (assuming three felonies and one misdemeanor here)
BALTIMORE RAVENS .. 6 points
* 3/1/15: Ravens DB Victor Hampton is arrested for DWI.
* 3/18/15: Ravens RB Bernard Pierce is arrested for DUI.
GREEN BAY PACKERS .. 6 points
* 2/3/15: Packers DT Letroy Guion is arrested for felony possession of marijuana and felony possession of a firearm.
ATLANTA FALCONS .. 3 points
* 5/29/15: Falcons LB Prince Shembo is arrested for felony animal cruelty.
CHICAGO BEARS .. 3 points
* 5/25/15: Bears DL Ray McDonald reportedly is arrested on charges of domestic violence.
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
SAN FRANCISCO 49ers .. 3 points
* 3/5/15: 49ers FB Bruce Miller is arrested for spousal battery.
DALLAS COWBOYS ... 1 point
* 2/3/15: Cowboys RB Joseph Randle is cited for marijuana (unclear if it's a misdemeanor or just a citation, so FCL scoring is pending)
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS .. 1 point
* 3/29/15: Saints CB Brian Dixon is arrested for resisting arrest without violence.
Listen to Sean Pendergast on SportsRadio 610 from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays. Also, follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/SeanTPendergast.