The National Football League has another public relations problem with a thug player who has acted out criminally. Former Atlanta Falcons linebacker Prince Shembo, was waived by the team after he was charged with the murder of his ex-girlfriend’s beloved pet Yorkie named “Dior”. The deceased dog was no match for the chiseled mass of muscle belonging to the 6’ 2”, 258 pound Shembo who deserves to have the book thrown at him for his cowardly pet killing.

As reported by ESPN in the story “Prince Shembo charged in death of dog, then waived by Falcons”:

The Atlanta Falcons have waived linebacker Prince Shembo after the player was charged Friday with killing his former girlfriend’s dog.

Denicia Williams called police on April 19 to report that her ex-boyfriend had killed her dog, Gwinnett County Police in Georgia said in a news release Friday. Williams told police she had taken her Yorkie, named Dior, to Shembo’s apartment on April 15. At some point, she left Shembo alone with the dog, and, when she found the dog later, the dog was unresponsive.

The investigation was completed Thursday, police said. Shembo was charged with felony aggravated cruelty to an animal. The dog died from blunt force trauma.

“We are aware of the charges that have been filed against Prince Shembo,” the team said in a statement Friday. “We are extremely disappointed that one of our players is involved in something like this. Accordingly, we have decided to waive Prince Shembo.”

It is more than a bit ironic that the Falcons were the previous employer of an even more celebrated dog murderer in quarterback Michael Vick who went to prison over his Bad Newz Kennels dog-fighting club. Shembo is of course claiming that the killing was an accident. According to his attorney he kicked the Yorkie because it bit him and “He didn’t mean to kill the dog”. The Atlanta Journal Constitution reportsthat “the Yorkie’s injuries were extensive” which is what could be expected when a badass pro-football player would drop kick such a small breed. I mean how much damage could a bite from a freaking Yorkie do to a hulking monster like Prince Shembo?

More on the dog according to a story from sports website Deadspin:

The dog had a fractured rib, fractured liver, abdominal hemorrhage, thoracic hemorrhage, extensive bruising and hemorrhage in the muscles in her front leg and shoulders, head trauma, hemorrhage and edema in lungs, hemorrhage between the esophagus and trachea, and hemorrhage in the left eye with internal injuries, police said.

And get this, Shembo allegedly sexually assaulted a woman while he was in college at Notre Dame. He may not be out of work for very long because the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have pretty low standards and need help on defense. It’s a short drive from Atlanta too.

Shembo’s newfound infamy is just par for the course in an organization that could easily change it’s name to the National Felon League due to all of the ugly public problems of the last year or so. When your top quarterback is a cheater, the number one pick in the draft and future marquee player Jameis Winston is an accused rapist and rosters are filled with domestic abusers, dopers and assorted other violent goons then you just may have an image problem. Not that it matters to the league, which despite the dog and pony show of the symbolic gesture of giving up its tax exempt status is all about making lots of money and selling merchandise. You get the idea that some of these teams would suit up Charles Manson if he could play.

You know, there used to be a day when sports figures were often positive role models but that was one hell of a long time ago.