The good news? The honoring of Sean Taylor.
The bad news? “We screwed up,” admitted Washington Football Team president Jason Wright.
On Sunday, the Washington Football Team will honor nearly 100 alumni at FedExField. The NFL Week 6 day will feature a meeting with the Kansas City Chiefs, but central to it all: A special tribute to the late Sean Taylor.
Taylor's family will join the team on-field for a pre-game ceremony during which Taylor's contributions to the team will be remembered - and his jersey No. 21 will be retired.
This will mark only the third time in the team's 89-year history that a jersey number will be officially retired.
The team also will formally commemorate the renaming of the street leading up to FedExField as "Sean Taylor Road.''
The Washington Football Team's announcement includes a mention that co-owners Dan and Tanya Snyder especially cherish their close relationship with Taylor and view him as a key part of the team's legacy.
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This is all grand. But in addition to the criticism from some circles that the “black cloud” of scandal is behind the timing of the feel-good Taylor memorial, there is the “screw-up” Wright concedes to.
“We planned to do this right,” Wright wrote in a public apology. “But we screwed up the execution and, as a result, we realize that we hurt many of our fans deeply. And for that I and we as an organization are sorry.
“We thought that saving the news for a game week reveal was the best way to focus the message on Sean and his legacy. We didn't realize that so many of you wanted to make a trip to FedExField to be present for this moment -- a true lack of understanding of what you, the lifeblood of this franchise, needed to mourn our collective loss and celebrate Sean's legacy.”
Taylor played for Washington during all four seasons of his NFL career. After being selected with the fifth-overall pick in the 2004 NFL Draft, Taylor established himself as a budding star in the league and a fan favorite.
Following his successful rookie year, in 2005 Taylor started 15 games and was a foundational reason Washington was able to advance to its first playoff win in six years.
Tragically on November 27, 2007, Taylor's life was cut short after being shot during a robbery attempt on his Florida home.
Wrote Wright: “As the guy who really wanted us to start honoring players better and differently -- in line with what they paid in the blood, sweat, and tears -- I'm angry and sad that we messed up your opportunity to honor Sean in person this weekend. I feel a pit in my stomach knowing how we have let so many of you down.”