After Washington Football Team president Jason Wright admitted the team “royally F’d up” its jersey retirement ceremony for former safety Sean Taylor by not giving fans enough notice, the organization announced Saturday that it plans to honor the late franchise great with a memorial at FedEx Field that will be unveiled in 2022.
“Like the heart he showed on the field each and every day, Sean Taylor left a large and enduring imprint on our franchise,” the team said in a statement. “To celebrate Sean’s legacy, we are excited to announce that we are partnering with the Taylor family to honor Sean with a physical memorial at FedExField, to be unveiled with a ceremony during the 2022 season… But we need you, too.
“Please mark your calendars for April 1, 2022 — Sean’s birthday. On this day, we will officially launch the Sean Taylor Memorial Project and share the many ways you can get involved in the project and in the dedication ceremony. We look forward to partnering with you to forever cement Sean’s legacy.”
Washington drafted Taylor out of Miami with the No. 5 overall pick in 2004. He quickly established a reputation as one of the hardest-hitting safeties in the NFL, earning two Pro Bowl invitations over his first four seasons. Midway through the 2007 campaign, however, Taylor was shot during a burglary attempt at his home and died one day later on Nov. 27.
Fourteen years after his death, Taylor remains an icon in D.C. The team attempted to honor his legacy this season by retiring his No. 21 jersey during halftime of its Oct. 17 home game against the Kansas City Chiefs. Though Taylor’s family was in attendance, fans weren’t informed of the ceremony until just four days prior.
The announcement also followed the reveal of leaked emails from the NFL’s investigation into Washington’s “toxic” office culture, which resulted in the resignation of Las Vegas Raiders head coach Jon Gruden. The NFL refused to release a formal written report on its findings.
With the memorial ceremony in 2022, Washington now hopes to get fan involvement as it takes another shot at honoring Taylor’s lasting impact.