Whereas they proceed to cope with the fallout from an NFL investigation into office tradition, the Washington Soccer Group introduced they may retire late security Sean Taylor’s No. 21 jersey Sunday.
Taylor, a premier defender within the league, died in November 2007 after being shot throughout a theft try at his Florida house. He was 24.
The WFT will play host to the Chiefs in Week 6, the place Taylor’s household will be a part of the group on-field for a pregame ceremony earlier than his jersey retirement. Sunday can be Alumni Homecoming for the group, which is able to honor almost 100 members of the franchise at FedExField.
“There’ll by no means be one other 21,” the WFT group tweeted Thursday.
The information got here amid leaked emails from the NFL’s investigation into Washington, which led to the resignation of Raiders head coach Jon Gruden.
On Monday, the New York Instances printed emails, from 2011 by 2018, that uncovered Gruden’s use of racist, homophobic and misogynistic language. Most of the emails have been despatched to Bruce Allen, then the GM for Washington. Gruden stepped down from his place later that day.
Different emails reportedly present inappropriate pictures of former WFT cheerleaders that have been secretly distributed by coaches by way of electronic mail. Former Washington cheerleader Melanie Coburn created a petition Friday, calling on the NFL and the franchise to “do the proper factor for girls” and “make Washington’s sexual misconduct investigation public.”
In wake of the e-mail scenario, some followers took challenge with the group’s timing of the announcement and that followers have been solely given a couple of days discover in the event that they wished to attend.
Jason Wright, Washington Soccer Group President, apologized in a tweet after seeing the backlash.
“We wished to do one thing lengthy overdue by retiring gamers’ numbers. Months in the past we deliberate for Bobby Mitchell and Sean Taylor to be the primary two,” he wrote. “Seeing the response, I’m very sorry that the quick discover doesn’t correctly replicate the impression Sean had. President’s Transient to return…”
One individual on Twitter consumer the phrases “PR stunt” in response to Sunday’s recreation. One other tweeted, “Retiring Sean Taylor’s jersey whereas the group is making an attempt to experience out a scandal is simply subsequent degree disgusting.”
ESPN anchor Randy Scott added, “Sean Taylor deserves higher than getting used as a PR protect.”
Throughout Sunday’s house recreation, WFT gamers will put on helmet stickers tp pay homage to Taylor, and full-time workers will put on a #21 lapel pin in his honor.
Taylor is the third WFT participant to have a jersey quantity retired within the group’s 89-year historical past.
The 2-time Professional Bowler spent all 4 seasons of his profession with Washington, after he was chosen fifth general by the group within the 2004 NFL Draft.
Taylor was posthumously honored by the NFL and named a 2nd group All-Professional choice in 2007. The following yr, the WFT introduced the late security can be inducted because the forty third member of the Washington Ring of Fame.