The Washington Football Team is under fire for its jersey retirement ceremony honoring the late Sean Taylor.
In addition to retiring his No. 21 jersey, the WFT named a road to the stadium after Taylor during Sunday’s loss to the Chiefs — though it all seemed to be lacking.
“The road was re-dedicated in front of porta-potties,” reporter Chad Ryan noted on Twitter. “The sideline number tribute was in the area where VIPs stand. The half-time ceremony involved no speeches or recognition. The owner wore a hoodie to the pre-game meeting with family.”
In response to Ryan’s tweet, one WFT fan wrote, “The ‘ceremony’ was absolutely abysmal and your tweet just goes to show what could’ve been with proper planning. I feel embarrassed this season, really seems the lowest of the low being an WFT fan.”
Taylor, a former safety, died in November 2007 after being shot during a robbery attempt at his Florida home. He was 24.
An image accompanying Ryan’s tweet showed people standing on the No. 21 memorial logo in a roped-off section of FedEx Field, including Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes’ fiancee Brittany Matthews, his brother Jackson, and Travis Kelce’s girlfriend Kayla Nicole.
Jackson Mahomes apologized after he filmed a TikTok video while dancing on Taylor’s logo, which was sectioned off by white ropes, tweeting he was told to be in spot on the field.
“I want to sincerely apologize for accidentally being on the Sean Taylor #21 at FedEx Field,” the younger Mahomes wrote on Sunday. “We were directed to stand in that area and I meant absolutely no disrespect to him or his family.”
It was the latest embarrassing scene for the WFT, which was accused last week of using the Taylor ceremony to take attention away from its other imbroglios.
“This is totally on the @WashingtonNFL for 1,” one Twitter user wrote. “Diverting attention from the absolute disaster investigation into their organization using Sean Taylor as a PR distraction 2. Not announcing this before THREE days in advance and just throwing this together 3. No plan for anything.”
An NFL investigation into the franchise’s workplace culture showed the team’s former GM, Bruce Allen, swapped inappropriate pictures of cheerleaders via email with then-ESPN analyst Jon Gruden among others. Gruden resigned as Raiders coach last week.
Earlier this month, the team’s head trainer was placed on administrative leave for an “ongoing criminal investigation” unrelated to the club by federal law enforcement officials.
On Friday, team president Jason Wright, apologized for the poor handling of the Taylor ceremony announcement.
“We wanted to do something long overdue by retiring players’ numbers,” he wrote on Twitter. “Months ago we planned for Bobby Mitchell and Sean Taylor to be the first two. Seeing the reaction, I’m very sorry that the short notice does not properly reflect the impact Sean had.”
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