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#pounditFriday, December 3, 2021

Sean Taylor’s brother fuels skepticism over Washington ceremony timing

Sean Taylor in uniform

The Washington Football Team is still facing questions about the timing of its announcement of Sean Taylor’s jersey retirement.

Washington abruptly announced on Thursday that the team would be retiring Taylor’s No. 21 in a ceremony at Sunday’s game. While few criticized the decision to honor the late safety, there was some uproar over the timing. The short notice meant many fans could not make plans to attend the special ceremony. There were also some who wondered if the announcement was meant be a diversion.

The Jon Gruden situation has led to renewed negative attention for Washington over their workplace investigation. Gruden’s departure came about because of his leaked emails to former Washington president Bruce Allen.

Taylor’s younger brother, Gabe, appeared on 106.7 The Fan in DC for an interview with “Grant and Danny.” Gabe, who plays collegiately at Rice, did suggest the team has been planning to retire Taylor’s jersey for a while. However, the younger Taylor admitted he had heard nothing about the ceremony being this week until very recently.

The outcry over the timing of the Taylor announcement was significant enough that Washington president Jason Wright wrote a public apology. Wright said the game had been chosen because it was the team’s alumni weekend, and the late announcement had been meant to “focus the message on Sean and his legacy.” Wright said the organization had underestimated how many people would want to pay tribute to Taylor.

It’s entirely plausible that Wright is being honest and had the best of intentions. However, an organization like Washington that has burned so much goodwill with fans and had so many PR crises recently is not going to get the benefit of the doubt. It doesn’t help that Taylor’s own sibling only learned of the ceremony days before it was to happen, suggesting some very chaotic planning took place.

Photo: Nov 26, 2006; Landover, MD, USA; Washington Redskins safety Sean Taylor (21) reacts during the game against the Carolina Panthers at FedEx Field in Landover, MD. Mandatory Credit: James Lang-USA TODAY Sports Copyright © James Lang


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