ASHBURN, Va. -- You might know the name "Miss BJ"; every one of us who has worked in the Washington Football Team facility does. And she's universally admired, respected and adored.
She also is no longer an employee of the Washington Football Team.
Sources have told us over the last few days that Miss B.J. has been performing her duties at home over the course of the pandemic but was recently informed that her job is being eliminated.
Obviously the economy and the effects of the pandemic have hit everyone hard, but … an organization worth what the WFT is worth … shouldn't have to cut budget in the same manner that others do.
Yet more than 15 employees were recently eliminated by the organization in a purge, ranging from budget cuts to 'moving in a different direction,' at least one former employee was told.
The moves seemed to impact most every department. Of course, nobody wants to see anyone lose their jobs. But here? Loyal employees and good workers who endured a lot of emotional torment from being in that building were let go.
I know many of them. I worked with many of them.
But no departure hits home quite like Miss BJ. … who provided a steady foundation of joy and class in a building that often lacked those attributes.
Every day she would occupy the front desk and doing whatever tasks were assigned to her and greeting everyone gleefully . … and more.
I had countless conversations with Miss BJ over my years. Many players often saluted BJ as the best part of working for the Washington organization.
Clinton Portis and several others have mentioned her by name in their retirement speeches, because she was much more than a receptionist to all of us.
She was a calming influence.
Madi Cooley, the wife of WFT great Chris Cooley, has set up a GoFundMe.com account to help Miss BJ and in less than one day, the account has already exceeded the $5,000 goal. It was more than $6,400 at 2:30 on Thursday with generous donations from the Cooley family, former Washington scouting executive Kyle Smith, Eric Schaffer, scouts who are working in other organizations and more.
We've heard from former coaches and executives who are all wondering why and what happened.
Suffice to say: that's not because a receptionist was lost. That's because a legend was sacrificed. … Someone who was so often a happy face in a sea of gloom and doom.
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Let's take care of Miss BJ.