Murder at a Little League Game

There Was Violence on August 17th just outside of Dallas, Texas at a little league football game.

Former NFL and Super Bowl champion Aqib Talib allegedly got upset with the game’s officiating, walked across the field, and started a fight with Michael Hickmon, one of the team’s coaches.

Cell phone video shows a group of men chasing after Hickmon who was defending himself against the group with a first down marker just seconds before Talib’s brother — Yaqub allegedly shot that man several times killing him.

Let’s take this in for a bit.

Grown men went to a little league football game where children and parents were in attendance — families.

One of these grown men — Aqib Talib got so upset with the officiating that he and others went after Hickmon — a single man to assault him.

Then for some reason, Aqib’s brother Yaqub who based on the video footage appeared to be a part of the angry group Hickmon is fearfully retreating from, allegedly pulls out a pistol and shoots the man several times, which killed him.

Let me break this down even further.

Children had front row seats to an assassination. At least half of those children played for Hickmon.

Sometime later, Yaqub Talib turned himself into the police and my understanding is that the murder investigation is still underway.

Since then, Yaqub’s brother Aqib who had retired from the NFL was working as an NFL analyst for Amazon during televised games.

He has “stepped away” from his duties at Amazon given his involvement in this murder case.

I played little league baseball, little league football, and park league basketball all before the age of thirteen. Imagining my young brain witnessing one of my coaches being executed evokes a single word in describing how I think I would feel. That word is DEVASTATION.

I doubt if any of these kids have gone through puberty, cooked their meals, or have been introduced to Algebra. And there they were — blindsided by the stupidity of grown men and thrust into the darkness of adulthood by witnessing a murder.

I have questions: What was so egregious with the game officiating that these people needed to confront others?

Why were these so-called men unable to maintain their composure in the presence of children and families not just because the optics are horrible, but because that is best for the safety of the community?

I have a two-part question for Yaqub Talib.

Part One — for anyone that is not a law enforcement officer, what is happening at little league games where regular citizens need to bring guns?

Part two — Based on the video, it appears that there are anywhere from five to seven grown men chasing Mike Hickmon who again, is armed with a first down marker. Not a bazooka. Not a machine gun. Not a trident, sword, battle axe, or flamethrower. A first down marker.

If you are the man who had the pistol, sir, why did you feel the need to pull the gun out and repeatedly squeeze the trigger on a man who was outnumbered?

With all of those involved, we can swap out ethnicities, political affiliations, and even ages with those involved — this man was chased down and executed. I’m fairly certain he didn’t expect to be shot. I think he was afraid of being beaten.

Excluding the part where a man is executed, I’ve seen this very scene played out many times in my early life here in LA. You have a group of cowards jump one guy who is either overmatched, too frightened, or too exhausted to get away. And this is all over a little league game.

A lot about this burns me up, but chief among these reasons is that a black man died at the hands of other black people.

So, is this something we must add to the list of existential threats to black men? Heart disease, high blood pressure, police killings, and now little league executions?

This is not the first nor second time the Talib brothers have been in this kind of trouble. Both brothers had been investigated for multiple shootings starting in 2016 when Aqib and two other people were shot at a strip club.

There was surveillance footage of him limping into a hospital, photos of the interior of his Rolls Royce smeared with what I’m guessing was either his blood or Donald Trump angrily threw another plate of french fries soaked with ketchup inside.

There was allegedly an incident in 2015 where a shooting took place in a hotel the Talib brothers were in attendance, but investigators could not identify any evidence pointing to them being culpable.

Here’s the thing: There were three shootings we know about where the

Talib brothers were present. One of those shootings resulted in Aqib being shot. In another, he and his brother were persons of interest, maybe suspects. And now, the cherry on top of this stupid sundae has left a man dead just a couple of weeks ago.

This is what the world refers to as the “common denominator”. I don’t think I’m so smart that I’m the only one who sees that. The common denominator in all of this f***ery is the Talib brothers.

For the life of me, I don’t understand why any man with average intelligence would allow himself to be anywhere near these guys.

The question I beg is this: What are these guys doing with their lives? Aqib was a super bowl champion. He had a great career and played on some great teams in Denver, New England, and the L.A. Rams.

Why would Aqib both make these types of decisions and put himself anywhere around people making the same lapse of judgment?

Where was his moment of clarity in saying, “I gotta clean my act up. I can’t hang around guys making stupid, reckless decisions.”

This is why when some entertainers “make it”, they move out of their old neighborhoods and swap out friends so they can stay away from people that are going to jeopardize their well-being and the success they’ve worked so hard for. And to that, I say good for them.

For anybody reading this, I have one thing to say about guns. If you are going somewhere where you think or even suspect that you need a gun, isn’t it better that you just don’t go at all?

Doesn’t it feel good to not have the police questioning you about your whereabouts or waiting in some jail cell while your future is hanging in the balance?

Does anyone have any regard whatsoever for what those kids experienced?

I know if I was a parent, that would be a wrap for my son — at least at that park and in that league around those people. Take it from this guy that was raised in South Central L.A. — errant bullets kill innocent bystanders all the time.

Yaqub is a black man living in largely a GOP state. GOP members constantly demonstrate that they are not very fond of black people. You’re gonna do some serious time for this murder in hot-ass Texas. All over a little league game.

I bet walking away from the bad officiating vs. a physical confrontation sounds good right about now.

Imani Kaliid is a Los Angeles native, host of “Survivor Stories: From Pain to Power” (Roku TV, Amazon Fire), author of “There Was Violence” and advocate for victims of violent trauma. Follow him on Twitter: @SurvivorImaniK

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Imani Kaliid

Imani Kaliid

Author of “There Was Violence”, Host of “Survivor Stories: From Pain to Power”, survivor and advocate for victims of violent trauma.