First came word that Prince Shembo, who was a rookie linebacker last year for the Falcons, was facing felony charges for animal cruelty. Then the Falcons did the right thing. Within hours of the news, the team waived Shembo.
We still remember the scandal that hit in 2007 with quarterback Michael Vick. The Falcons had to deal with a star player who was accused and then convicted of dog fighting. And now this.
The Falcons had no choice but to let Shembo go. Sure, he has potential. But it’s not like the Falcons are losing a star here. They have just brought in four new linebackers – free agents Justin Durant, Brooks Reed and O’Brien Schofield, along with first round pick Vic Beasley.
That made him expendable. That created a situation where a second-year player almost had to not give the Falcons reason to send him packing. Killing a girlfriend’s dog, one that weighed only five pounds, was quite enough for the team to cut ties.
Shembo’s ex-girlfriend, Denicia Williams, told police she left her Yorkie, named Dior, with Shembo in mid-April. When she returned, Dior was unresponsive. She took the dog to an animal hospital in Duluth, but Dior died shortly after.
When Williams asked Shembo about what happened, he allegedly admitted killing the dog.
Tests on the dog revealed it suffered significant internal injuries and veterinarians determined the official cause of deal was blunt force trauma.
This is not the first negative incident involving Shembo. At Notre Dame, he was investigated for allegedly sexually assaulting a student at St. Mary’s College in his dorm. The 19-year-old woman killed herself soon after the incident by overdosing on pills.
Shembo was not charged in the incident, but it followed him and perhaps hurt his draft stock last year. Now, after being released following another criminal matter, Shembo’s NFL career is in serious jeopardy.
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