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The Washington Commanders unveiled a new tribute to Sean Taylor on Sunday. And make no mistake, it’s shameful.
Taylor, one of the greatest safeties to ever play, was tragically slain at 24 years old just three years after being drafted No. 5 overall in the 2004 NFL Draft. On November 26, 2007, the former Miami Hurricane was home with his fiancée and their 18-month-old daughter when a group of burglars broke in.
Taylor went to investigate the noises and was shot in the femoral artery, which caused extensive blood loss. He died the following day.
Sunday marked the 15th anniversary of Taylor’s passing. To honor his larger-than-life legacy, Washington planned a series of tributes.
The players wore ’21’ decals on their helmets, as the team does every season.
One of the other three tributes was extremely questionable.
First and foremost, the Commanders dropped “exclusive Sean Taylor merchandise,” which was designed by his daughter Jackie. All of the proceeds will go to gun violence prevention initiatives.
From there, the team was set to unveil a “permanent memorial installation” at the stadium in which he once dominated. While that may seem like a great thing, because it could have been, the execution was terrible.
The permanent tribute to Sean Taylor really couldn’t be worse and the Commanders organization should be ashamed.
Where most people assumed that “permanent memorial installation” meant a statue, that was not the case. In fact, it would appear as though Washington very carefully chose its words to not reflect that notion.
What the Commanders built to honor Taylor’s life looks more like a display at Macy’s or Kohl’s.
Here is another look— the “memorial installation” is just a mannequin, without a complete body, wearing a No. 21 jersey:
There are also glaring inaccuracies.
Taylor rarely wore gloves, he mostly taped his fingers. The “installation” is wearing gloves.
The uniform is also mismatched. It features a Nike jersey with Reebok pants.
The NFL did not wear Nike jerseys until 2012. Taylor passed away in 2007.
In addition, Taylor was known for wearing tape on his face mask. The “installation” does not include his signature look.
Washington’s new Sean Taylor memorial pic.twitter.com/Lh3K0BbJXc— Sam Fortier (@Sam4TR) November 27, 2022
Washington almost got it right. Having Jackie at the game to release the exclusive merchandise and serve as an honorary captain was awesome. Especially as the players wore No. 21 decals.
She also appreciated the soccer cleats.
But then the Commanders completely blew it with the rest of the “installation.” Sean Taylor deserves better.