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Washington Football Team to retire Taylor's No. 21 jersey Sunday

Sean Taylor, George Foster
Posted at 1:19 PM, Oct 14, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-14 13:24:35-04

The Washington Football Team says they will retire late Pro Bowl safety Sean Taylor's No. 21 jersey on Sunday.

Taylor's jersey is the third player to have his jersey retired by the team, joining Hall of Famers Sammy Baugh and Bobby Mitchell.

The team announced the news on Wednesday, adding that the road leading to FedEx Field will be renamed Sean Taylor Road.

Players will also wear a No. 21 decal on their helmets Sunday against the Kansas City Chiefs.

"I came into the NFL the same year as Sean Taylor, and immediately his athletic ability, resilience, grit, and relentless work ethic set him apart. I and many others looked to him as a role model," Washington Football Team president Jason Wright said in a statement. "The fact that he was tragically taken so early hurt our player community, but also our fans, coaches, and staff. We will continue to remember him and hold him up as an example of professionalism and excellence, and we will all strive to mirror his excellence in our own ways."

Taylor's family will be on hand, along with nearly 100 team alumni who will be honored at the field on Sunday, with Taylor's tribute headlining the day.

But the timing of the jersey retirement has raised some eyebrows.

ESPN reported that some critics are alleging that news of Taylor's jersey retirement is on short notice to cover up the information about former executive Bruce Allen's emails that emerged during the workplace investigation into the Washington football team.

Those emails were reported on by The New York Times, which led to the resignation of Las Vegas Raiders head coach Jon Gruden on Monday.

But ESPN reported that a team spokesperson said in a statement that the team began planning the ceremony before the season started and had scheduled it to occur during the franchise's alumni weekend.

ESPN analyst Ryan Clark, who played for the Washington Football Team, said in a tweet the team contacted him last month about attending.

The team also issued an apology for the short notice, ESPN reported.

The 24-year-old was shot during a botched robbery on Nov. 27, 2007, at his home in Palmetto Bay, Fla. He died the next day at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami.