Home Historical art Sean Taylor to become third player in Washington soccer franchise history to withdraw shirt number

Sean Taylor to become third player in Washington soccer franchise history to withdraw shirt number


ASHBURN, Virginia – The Washington soccer team will belatedly retire Safety Sean Taylor’s No.21 jersey, making him the third player in franchise history to receive such an honor.

Taylor’s jersey number will be retired in a ceremony ahead of Sunday’s home game against the Kansas City Chiefs. The team also announced Thursday that a road leading to the stadium will be renamed “Sean Taylor Road”.

Washington players will also wear a No.21 decal on their helmets on Sunday.

Taylor will join Sammy Baugh (No.33) and Bobby Mitchell (No.49) as the only Washington players to have their jersey numbers removed. Other numbers such as Darrell Green’s No.28, Art Monk’s No.81 and John Riggins’ No.44 have not been worn since these players retired. All three are in the Hall of Fame.

“I entered the NFL the same year as Sean Taylor and immediately his athleticism, resilience, courage and hard work ethic set him apart,” said the president of the Washington football team. , Jason Wright, in a statement. “I and many others saw him as a role model. The fact that he was tragically caught so early hurt our playing community, but also our fans, coaches and staff. We will continue to remember him and to see it as an example of professionalism and excellence, and we will all strive to reflect its excellence in our own way. “

The jersey withdrawal comes amid renewed attention to the Washington franchise investigation following the publication of several emails dating back to when Bruce Allen was the team president, leading to Jon’s resignation Gruden of the Las Vegas Raiders. These emails were part of court documents filed in June.

The NFL Players Association has announced that it will ask the league to disclose the 650,000 emails collected from the franchise as part of the investigation. The NFL said it did not disclose any emails and would not reopen the investigation or post any of the emails.

Amid skepticism Thursday morning about when Taylor would be announced, a spokesperson for the team said in a statement that the organization had started planning for the ceremony before the start of the season and wanted it be part of the franchise alumni weekend. Another former player, ESPN analyst Ryan Clark, said he was contacted in September to attend.

The team statement said, in part, “We have been planning this weekend’s tribute to Sean Taylor since before the start of the season in partnership with Sean Taylor’s family and as part of our weekend activities. -end of the alumni.… We apologize to fans who would have liked more reviews and will continue to share with fans how we will celebrate Sean Taylor’s legacy over the next month or so. “

Wright also apologized to fans for the way the ad was handled. Many fans on social media felt it was a distraction from current issues, from negative emails implicating Allen or a Drug Enforcement Agency investigation into trainer Ryan Vermillion.

But others didn’t like hearing about it just three days before the game. Wright said the franchise targeted Sunday because it coincided with Alumni Weekend. Wright said they wanted to remove more numbers in the future.

“But we messed up the execution and as a result we realize that we have deeply hurt a lot of our fans,” Wright wrote on the team’s website. “And for that, me and we as an organization are sorry.

“As a guy who really wanted us to start honoring players better and differently – based on what they paid in blood, sweat and tears – I’m angry and sad that we missed it. your opportunity to honor Sean in person this weekend. I have a pang in my stomach knowing how we have let so many of you down. “

Taylor was shot dead on November 27, 2007 in an attempted burglary at his Florida home and later died. According to his teammates and coaches, he was in the midst of his best NFL season at the time of his death, despite an injury at the time, and he was named to the Second All-Pro Team in 2007.

Washington drafted Taylor with the No.5 pick in 2004. He wore No.36 in his rookie season, then rose to No.21 the following year.

Taylor’s combination of size and physical skills made him a unique talent in Washington high school, and his popularity led to a number of later safeties wearing the number 21. Washington’s current safety Landon Collins, who wore the number 21 when he was with the New York Giants, said he hoped Washington would draft it because that’s where Taylor played.