When the Washington Football team announced last week it was retiring Sean Taylor’s jersey with four days’ notice, it felt like a hastily thrown up mess designed to divert attention from the team’s off-field problems that were Caused by an NFL investigation into sexual harassment.
The team officials swore there was no ulterior motive and the rollout was a messaging issue. Officials said the event had really been planned for months and the perception that this was a quick turnaround to serve as PR cover was incorrect. Now, after the team’s “ceremony” on Sunday (which I deliberately put in quotation marks to underline how lackluster it was), we can safely say that if the team had actually been planning this for months, the one who who oversaw this should never be asked to plan anything again.
Every single aspect of it felt rushed, lazy, and at times downright offensive.
The street was rededicated in front of Porta-Pöpfchen.
The tribute on the sidelines was in the area where the VIPs are standing.
The halftime ceremony did not include speeches or recognition.
The owner wore a hoodie to meet the family before the game. pic.twitter.com/HeroBghuK8
– Chad Ryan (@ChadwikoTWW) October 18, 2021
Let’s break these down:
Number 1: Let’s give the team the benefit of the doubt for a second and let’s assume they have no control over the Porta Potty placement. Who else thought it was a good idea to rename the street with toilets in the background? While not really offensive, it’s a terrible photo opportunity and a way for Taylor’s family to remember a street that was renamed in his honor, with toilets in the background.
No. 2: It’s just awful. They taped Taylor’s number on the field, right where VIPs have been walking around all day. This was completely under the control of the team and it showed absolutely no class. It prevented many fans from even seeing the number and did not honor Taylor at all.
No. 3: Taylor was only the third player in franchise history to have his number withdrawn, and it did so without words from his family or any team official on the field. It was given the same severity as a dog catching frisbees as part of a halftime show.
Number 4: Dan Snyder is just rubbish. Do you know it is difficult to find photos of men of Snyder at a game where he is not wearing a suit? I’m hardly the fashion police, but I have a bit of class. Your meeting with Taylor’s family and the presentation of a frame jersey, not going to a tailgate party in your hoodie and khaki. Show a little respect.
So yeah, forgive me if I don’t buy the whole “We’ve been planning this for months” line because based on the rollout of Taylor’s memorial, this looked exactly like something was planned on the short term.
I’m glad Sean Taylor’s family had a moment like this, but it wasn’t what they deserved.