WFT to retire Sean Taylor’s number, is criticized for event’s timing
The Washington Football Team has announced it will retire the jersey number of late safety Sean Taylor on Sunday. The question many are asking is, why now?
The Washington Football Team has announced it will officially retire the jersey number of late defensive back Sean Taylor (21) in a ceremony before their home game against the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday.
There will never be another 21 💛— Washington Football Team (@WashingtonNFL) October 14, 2021
On Sunday, we will officially retire Sean Taylor's number
This makes Taylor only the third player in the team’s history to receive the honor, after Hall of Famers Sammy Baugh (33) and Bobby Mitchell (49).
WFT will also celebrate the renaming of the road up to FedEx Field to “Sean Taylor Road” as part of an alumni homecoming weekend.
Washington players will have a No. 21 decal in honor of Taylor on their helmets, while a limited number of fans will be given a commemorative towel.
Other NFL news:
Taylor's promising career cut short
Taylor, who played four seasons with the team, was only 24 when he was shot and killed at his home in November 2007 during a burglary. He was posthumously honored as a Pro Bowler and All-Pro and inducted into the team’s Ring of Fame in 2008.
"I came into the NFL the same year as Sean Taylor and immediately his athletic ability, resilience, grit, and relentless work ethic set him apart," said Washington Football Team President Jason Wright in a statement.
"We will continue to remember him and hold him up as an example of professionalism and excellence, and we will all strive to mirror his excellence in our own ways,” he added.
Timing of ceremony questioned
While there is no doubt that Taylor deserves the honor, those in the NFL world have been vocal in saying the timing of it is suspect. The club made the announcement only three days before the event.
The Washington Football Team retiring Sean Taylor's jersey now is a shameless PR stunt, and it's gross. https://t.co/QIhHA2DqLE— SB Nation (@SBNation) October 14, 2021
Washington has apologized for giving such short notice on the plan to honor Taylor. The club says the ceremony had been in the works for a while, and that they have other events planned to pay tribute to the star safety.
Just so I am clear, the plan all along was to announce retiring Bobby Mitchell's number and wait for almost two years only to suddenly couple it with Sean Taylor's this Sunday? And it has nothing to do with the emails that surfaced a few days ago? https://t.co/XzUl9oUiyM— Neil Greenberg (@ngreenberg) October 14, 2021
The announcement of the tribute comes as the WFT finds itself under close public scrutiny, after emails that formed part of an investigation into misconduct at the team’s workplace were leaked to the media.
They didn't retire it on the 10 year anniversary of his death in 2017.— Chad Ryan (@ChadwikoTWW) October 14, 2021
They aren't retiring it on the anniversary of his death this year.
They're retiring it, with 4 days notice, in the midst of an off-field scandal.
Sean Taylor is the GOAT.
Don't use him as a distraction. https://t.co/3kg4EbhEMy
I have no idea why they handled public roll out of Sean Taylor’s jersey retirement so poorly - really really poorly - but I do know the event has been planned for weeks. Something like this should be such a celebration and they announce it 3 days in advance. So so bad. And sad.— JP Finlay (@JPFinlayNBCS) October 14, 2021
Leaked emails were only a select few
The exposure of the email contents led to the resignation of Jon Gruden as Las Vegas Raiders coach, after offensive email exchanges between him and former Washington general manager Bruce Allen were made public.
The investigation involved the review of 650,000 emails, and so far only the ones involving Allen and journalists- Gruden was an ESPN analyst at the time the emails were sent- have been made public. None of the exchanges revealed by the press included those sent by Washington owner Dan Snyder.
Before the Jon Gruden scandal unfolded, the public wasn't aware of 650,000 emails stemming from Beth Wilkinson's investigation into the WFT. Now, the NFLPA wants those emails released. https://t.co/wV864EDcTh— 106.7 The Fan (@1067theFan) October 12, 2021
The NFL Players Association has called on the league to release the rest of the emails but the NFL has stated it will not do that, nor reopen the Washington Football Team investigation.
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