Sean Taylor’s brother fuels skepticism over Washington ceremony timing
Sean Taylor is having his jersey retired this weekend. Randy Litzinger/Icon Sportswire

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 will retire 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, and there were also some who wondered if the announcement was meant to distract from the team’s workplace conduct investigation in light of Jon Gruden’s ouster in Las Vegas. Gruden’s departure came about because of his leaked emails to former Washington president Bruce Allen, which had originally been collected as part of the Washington investigation.

Taylor’s younger brother Gabe, who plays collegiately at Rice, did suggest the Washington Football 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 here. However, an organization such as 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 here. It doesn’t help that Taylor’s own sibling learned of the ceremony only days before it was to happen, suggesting some very chaotic planning took place here.

This article first appeared on Larry Brown Sports and was syndicated with permission.

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