Last week Hall of Fame wide receiver Terrell Owens got into an argument with a white woman neighbor in Florida and police were called to the scene. The situation was deescalated by the police and both parties went on their way. But it could’ve turned out differently and Owens is continuing to talk about it.
“If the wrong type of cops came out, if they got the wrong type of information. Her, you saw the video, she started crying, you never know how that situation could’ve turned,” Owens told TMZ over the weekend. “I could’ve died. Honestly, I could have died and the storyline would be totally different.”
Owens began recording the entire incident when he was accused by the woman of driving recklessly in their neighborhood, and nearly hitting her with his car. She was on a bicycle.
Both Owens and the woman are responding to each other, but Owens keeps his cool while the woman continues to get aggravated and more aggressive. At one point she’s heard saying “You’re a Black man approaching a white woman!”
When the cops arrived she told the responding officers that Owens was trying to intimidate her and began crying.
This could have easily gone sideways for Owens as he stated. If he used even a little more bass in his voice, or if the incident occurred in a more secluded part of the neighborhood, or if officers that were not calm and emotionally intelligent approached the scene.
Owens said that he’d been reading the comments people have been posting under the video of the incident and more than a few people referenced Emmett Till.
Till was a 14-year-old Black boy who was abducted, tortured, and lynched in Mississippi in 1955, after being accused of whistling at a white woman who is now known as Carolyn Bryant Donham. The brutality of the lynching, the fact that Bryant’s then husband and brother-in-law were subsequently acquitted, all turned Till into an icon of the civil rights movement.
The Till situation and Owens’ is not quite a direct parallel. But the sentiment he said were raised by individuals in the comment section and Owens is fair.
There is a history of Black boys and men in this country being arrested, beaten and killed on the word of a so-called offense by a white woman. It’s baked into the fabric of America. It’s why Owens’ neighbor said “You’re a Black man approaching a white woman!”
Owens wants his neighbor to face repercussions for her actions.
I’m hoping the people here in Florida, they’re monitoring what has transpired,” Owens said. “I’m hoping that maybe the attorney general [Ashley Moody] can get on this and see what can be done because like I said this could’ve turned really, really bad and like I said, this could’ve been a situation where you guys may not have been talking to me live here today, but been talking about me in another way.”
Moody, the attorney general for the state of Florida is a Republican and a Donald Trump supporter. It’s unlikely she seeks to prosecute.