A photo of two reporters interviewing Denver Broncos All-Pro tight end Shannon Sharpe. Sharpe has a somewhat menacing look on his face.
Shannon Sharpe during his Denver Broncos days. (Photo Credit: CC BY-SA/Daniel Spiess/Flickr)

Former NFL All-Pro tight end Shannon Sharpe has added another “former” to his list of credentials: former co-host of the Sunday CBS Sports program “NFL Today.” Sports by Brooks reports that Michele Bundy filed a petition and has been granted a temporary restraining order against Sharpe by Fulton County Superior court in Atlanta, on the grounds of “family violence.” Sharpe has yet to be charged with a crime or arrested. The legal action has reportedly prompted Shannon Sharpe to step down as co-host of the popular Sunday NFL television program.

Michele Bundy claims Shannon Sharpe sexually assaulted her

In Sharpe’s 10th case against him in Fulton County Superior Court records since 1994 (all involving previous partners), Michele Bundy claims the former Denver Broncos and Baltimore Ravens star threatened her life and forced her to submit to sexual intercourse. Neither Shannon Sharpe nor CBS have commented on the matter, aside from Sharpe’s statement that he will step away from “NFL Today” until “the matter is resolved.” Sharpe is currently involved in a child support dispute with a woman named Melinda Wilson. In 2004, Erika Evans – the mother of one of Sharpe’s children – filed a misdemeanor battery charge against him, but the court charge was dropped in favor of dispute mediation.

Hall of Fame on the field, less so off the field

Bleacher Report casts some light on the question of whether this incident with Michele Bundy will harm Shannon Sharpe’s chances of being enshrined in the National Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio. His accomplishments as a player are unquestioned, and he has come close to being elected in each of his first two years of eligibility. Kansas City Chiefs tight end Tony Gonzalez may have broken many of Shannon Sharpe’s individual statistical achievements since Sharpe’s retirement from the playing field, but Sharpe’s body of evidence remains strong.

Rejecting a morals clause

Should the NFL institute a “morals clause” into their Hall of Fame selection process? Current bylaws specifically state that only a player’s on-field accomplishments should be considered when the question of enshrinement is on the table. Bleacher Report rightly points out that former New York Giants linebacker Lawrence Taylor was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1999, and Taylor has had numerous ugly run-ins with the law based upon drug, violence and a recent accusation of raping an underage girl. All of these things inform us as to Taylor’s character, but his dominance on the football field was all that was necessary for the Hall of Fame.

On Feb. 5, 2011, the next class of inductees will be voted into the National Football Hall of Fame. Will Shannon Sharpe be a shoo-in for that list, or will the Michele Bundy incident push him toward borderline status?


Bleacher Report: http://bleacherreport.com/articles/463238-shannon-sharpe-leaves-cbs-where-now
Sports by Brooks: http://www.sportsbybrooks.com/restraining-order-issued-against-shannon-sharpe-28968

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