Why Now? | WFT Announces Retirement Of The Late Sean Taylor’s Jersey Amidst Franchise Chaos

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Since Daniel Snyder purchased the Washington Football Team in 1999, it’s been embarrassing for WFT fans. Very difficult to support a delusional and culturally plus socially disconnected franchise.

Amid all the distractions stemming from allegations, scandals, the uncovering of racist and misogynistic emails between former owner Bruce Allen and former Raiders head coach Jon Gruden, an Oct. 14, announcement that the team is retiring former team great Sean Taylor’s jersey on Sunday, Oct. 17, is downright mind-boggling.

 

It’s a clear PR move. One that lacks some class and tact, especially at this delicate moment for the franchise. There’s not much to be prideful about if you’re a WFT fan these days.

A three-day notice though?

The controversy keeps piling up for Washington. The team’s athletic trainer Ryan Vermillion recently found himself in hot water with the Feds reportedly for pushing prescription drugs illegally. To announce the retiring of a former player’s jersey during what seems to be a never-ending black cloud is wrong and it shouldn’t be done this way.

WFT Trainer Facing DEA Investigation For Pill Pushin’| Another In The Long List of Allegations and Scandals Under Dan Snyder

The WFT is only doing this to redirect attention away from the constant scars on the integrity of the franchise. This includes horrible public relations massacres such as the team reaching a confidential settlement of $1.6 million with a former female employee following accusations of sexual misconduct in the workplace. 

 

This is once again major news in light of the over 650,000 emails that Demaurice Smith and the NFL Player’s Union want released to see if there is also a pattern of bias in hiring practices. This is a desperate act and without legendary PR guy Tony Wyllie there to clean up the organization’s mess, WFT fans are sure to feel that it was executed without class and at the wrong time.

Why now for Sean Taylor’s jersey retirement?

Taylor was the No. 5 overall by the team in the 2004 NFL Draft. Just as he began to blossom into the next great NFL safety, his life was tragically cut short in a 2007 home invasion. In November of that year, three intruders broke into Taylor’s home expecting it to be vacant with NFL season in full swing. Taylor was shot in his femoral artery in an attempt to thwart the criminals. He was a fan favorite and is celebrated yearly by the football community. 

 

The franchise has had 14 years to retire his jersey. 

This is nothing more than a smokescreen retirement ceremony to divert as much negativity as they can from this toxic franchise. What’s even sadder is this franchise has been in constant disarray with Snyder at the helm, so no time may ever be the right time to properly celebrate Taylor’s life, but one thing for sure and two things for certain, now’s not the time. 

Who’s Really Surprised? 

Fans of the franchise have endured 22 miserable years with Dan Snyder at the helm. It’s no surprise why former fans have found new teams to root for and Fed Ex Field constantly feels like a road game. Attendance is probably at an all-time low.

CBS analyst James Brown alluded to how sad it was that a franchise with that much history and prestige can’t even pack the house for a prime rival anymore. It’s time for the league to step in and force Snyder to sell this team, so this once proud franchise can bring back the respect and dignity of yesteryear.

To this day, you still have to wonder how former owner Jack Kent Cooke didn’t leave the team to his sons. That decision alone haunts WFT fans like Joe Theismann and RG3’s knee injuries that changed the upward trajectories of the franchise at those times. Taylor deserves better than to be used as a brand revitalization strategy. What’s next for the NFL team in the nation’s capital.