It’s been a tough week for Washington Football Team fans.
First, they were connected to Jon Gruden’s resignation in a myriad of ways, the most damning of which, per the New York Times, included the former Las Vegas Raiders head coach sending emails of the racist, sexist, homophobic and transphobic variety to former team president Bruce Allen.
Other scathing details continued to trickle out from the report that painted Washington in an ever-growing repulsive light.
For instance, former head coach Jay Gruden came public and said he was never approached for questioning during the NFL’s months-long investigation into the franchise’s toxic workplace culture.
As if that wasn’t enough, the Washington Post reported on Wednesday that the organization offered hush money to former female team employees who had gone public with allegations of sexual harassment.
It pains us to say all this controversy came to an ugly head on Thursday morning, as Washington announced the jersey retirement ceremony for the late Sean Taylor. Why is that a bad thing, you ask? The ceremony will be this Sunday during halftime of the Week 6 matchup against Kansas City.
It never ends, does it?
The Washington Football Team fumbled its announcement of Sean Taylor’s overdue jersey retirement ceremony.
We don’t want to take away from the magnitude of this ceremony. For an untold number of reasons, Taylor is one of the most beloved players in Washington’s decorated history.
That, unfortunately, is exactly what’s wrong with this seemingly rushed announcement.
Imagine how much more special the ceremony would’ve been if Washington announced it a year ahead of time. They did so for the late Bobby Mitchell earlier this season. Why not do the same for Taylor, who, if we’re being honest, left a more lasting impact on fans? It’s just further affirmation that the franchise’s moral compass still isn’t functioning.
During his playing days, Taylor deserved better than this organization. Now, nearly 14 years after his tragic death, he still deserves better than this organization, which decided to give a three-days notice for his criminally-long overdue jersey retirement ceremony.
It’s tough to envision Washington botching this worse than they did. Dozens of reporters reached out to alumni and other sources to confirm that they didn’t just drop this as a PR stunt to distract from the unrest stemming from Gruden’s unceremonious resignation.
As it turns out, it’s been in the works for the last couple months, per Ben Standig of The Athletic. At least those fears weren’t realized, though you can’t help but wonder if they scheduled it so abruptly to serve as a deodorant. The fact we, in addition to reporters and fans, are even speculating on that is unsettling.
We were elated to hear about the No. 21’s jersey retirement. Overjoyed and thankful to the fullest extent possible. We even teared up watching a YouTube compilation of Taylor’s career highlights thinking about what could’ve been.
That’s the kind of impact Taylor had on the organization and continues to have on the fan base.
Instead of doing right by his career and life by announcing it during a regular, ordinary week and 12 months ahead of time, though, Washington announced it while its taking deserved slings and arrows from fans and the media and just three days in advance.
It really makes you sick to your stomach.