Javon Walker is still recovering after his June 16 Vegas assault & robbery, but the Oakland Raiders say their receiver should be fine & ready to go by training camp.
However, Walker may have avoided his Sin City beatdown had he attended a fundraiser for a fallen former teammate instead.
ESPN’s Bill Williamson reports that on the same weekend Javon was in Vegas, organizers held the first fundraising gala & parade for the Darrent Williams Foundation. The foundation was started in the memory of Williams, the Denver Broncos cornerback who was shot & killed in a drive-by shooting on New Year’s Day 2007.
Darrent’s mother Rosalind had personally asked Walker, her son’s former friend & teammate, to attend the fundraiser. But Javon said he was busy. And it’s not the first time Walker has stayed away from a Williams event.
When a memorial service was held for Darrent a few days after his death in his hometown of Fort Worth, TX, most of the Broncos organization was in attendance - except for Javon, who was reportedly spotted in Vegas during the weekend of the funeral.
But Rosalind can understand Javon’s reluctance to attend any services honoring Darrent. It can be a sad reminder for someone who saw their friend die in their arms:
Walker was sitting next to popular Denver right cornerback Darrent Williams in a limousine when Williams was shot and killed in a still unsolved drive-by shooting. Walker said in an August, 2008 interview with HBO — the only documented time Walker has spoken about the tragedy — that Williams died in his arms. Walker showed up at Denver’s facility 12 hours after the shooting with Williams’ blood covering his white shirt.
Rosalind Williams believes that Walker still hasn’t come to grips with the death of her son, and that his trips to Vegas are a way to cope with the memory:
“He hasn’t dealt with it, he just tried to move on, and believe me, you can’t,” she said. “I think he is just trying to be strong for everyone. Some men are like that. But he hasn’t allowed himself to grieve.”
That could help explain Walker’s strange explanation of the assault.