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Washington Football Team to retire Sean Taylor’s number in disgraceful PR move

And they’re doing it on three days’ notice.

They usually’re doing it on three days’ discover.
Illustration: Getty Pictures

The New York Giants announced in September that they may retire Michael Strahan’s quantity on November 28. Earlier this month, when Pau Gasol retired, Lakers proprietor Jeanie Buss immediately said that his No. 16 would go to the rafters. The Oakland A’s have been planning Dave Stewart’s jersey retirement ceremony since 2019, and it’ll lastly occur on Could 23 of subsequent 12 months.

The Washington Soccer Group is retiring No. 21 for Sean Taylor this Sunday, and the crew introduced it on Thursday.

Taylor was murdered in 2007 on the age of 24, simply as he was coming into the prime of a possible Corridor of Fame profession. His reminiscence is sacred to Washington fans, and his legacy is so robust that Clinton Portis said when the crew determined to take away Taylor’s locker, “my love for the sport disappeared,” main him to hold up his cleats.

No person has worn 21 for Washington since Taylor’s dying. The quantity retirement ought to have been made official way back.

They usually’re doing it on three days’ discover.

Taken alone, it is a stage of franchise incompetence that will make you query the decision-makers from Dan Snyder all the way in which down. That is an occasion that Washington followers will need to attend, that they’ve been ready to see for years, to have a good time the greatness and mourn the loss, collectively, that’s been a heavy weight on the center for greater than a decade.

They usually’re doing it on three days’ discover.

After all, the choice to retire Taylor’s quantity now isn’t taken alone. It’s taken amid 650,000 emails having been reviewed as a part of an investigation into how Snyder runs his franchise. And to this point, the one emails that the general public has seen from that investigation are those that value Jon Gruden his job — as coach of a wholly totally different crew.

Snyder and his entrance workplace henchmen clearly have been wanting round for some type of BREAK GLASS IN CASE OF EMERGENCY field to smash open, not solely due to the emails, however within the wake of getting their apply facility raided by federal authorities as a part of a prison probe of their head athletic coach.

They discovered Taylor’s No. 21 jersey in that emergency field.

It will have been lots cynical to make the announcement this week that the group was planning to retire Taylor’s quantity subsequent season. And even later this season, like, say, Dec. 12 when the Cowboys come to the nation’s capital. However that wasn’t past the pale sufficient for this rotten franchise.

They’re doing it on three days’ discover.

And the franchise definitely is rotten. They might have modified the crew’s nickname from a racial slur, however in addition they nonetheless are the crew that was the final within the NFL to combine, then held off on retiring Bobby Mitchell’s quantity until after he died — and even then, solely as a publicity stunt as a result of public strain pressured them to, renamed a stadium seating stage that beforehand honored George Preston Marshall, the crew proprietor who stored Washington’s soccer crew all-white till 1962, when the federal authorities offered an ultimatum to both combine or lose their D.C. lease.

Mitchell was inducted to the Corridor of Fame in 1983, that means that Washington may have given him his due at any level within the remaining 37 years of his life. They didn’t. Snyder didn’t. It solely occurred as a manner of attempting to alter the narrative from the crew’s continued racism — at that time, although they have been renaming the Marshall seating stage for Mitchell, they have been nonetheless attempting to maintain the outdated nickname.

This is identical playbook, utilizing Taylor to attempt to run away from the 650,000 emails. It clearly received’t work, as a result of after Sunday, these emails are nonetheless going to be round on Monday. So all that Snyder and his underlings are doing is to wield the legacy of a late and beloved Black man as an ineffective PR instrument.

It’s distasteful, disgraceful, and deeply emblematic of Snyder’s possession of the crew. Taylor’s reminiscence deserves higher, and, fortuitously, it’s not a capricious billionaire who will get to determine when and the way Taylor’s followers and former teammates honor him — as a result of they have already got for years, and can proceed to take action lengthy after the embarrassment of Snyder’s reign is gone.

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