On Thursday, the Washington Football Team announced that they will be retiring Sean Taylor’s #21 before Sunday’s game against the Kansas City Chiefs. Taylor spent his entire career in Washington and was one of the top defenders in the NFL until he was murdered in his home by intruders at the age of 24.

Nobody is disputing that this isn’t an honor and it’s an honor that is deserving for Taylor and his family. It’s just that given what has happened over the past week regarding the Football Team, it really looks like Washington is trying to take advantage of Taylor’s memory to hide the bad things about them.

For nearly a week, Jon Gruden has dominated NFL headlines after he made racist, homophobic, and misogynistic remarks in emails with former Washington team president Bruce Allen and others. Gruden resigned as head coach of the Las Vegas Raiders but while everyone is talking about Gruden, Allen hasn’t been forgotten as he’s a reason why these emails surfaced in the first place.

The NFL has been investigating Washington for nearly a year for workplace misconduct around the team. It’s been out for a while that Washington reportedly mistreating their cheerleaders. One report consisted of the team taking their passports while on a photo shoot in Costa Rica and having the cheerleaders do a topless photo shoot in front of a group of male sponsors and suite holders as well as escorting these men to clubs. Within the 650,000 emails the NFL reviewed in this investigation, Gruden and Allen had exchanged topless pics of Washington cheerleaders.

As many are demanding the NFL to disclose everything they found on the Washington Football Team, the team announced Taylor’s ceremony. Washington has said that they had been planning the ceremony for months and given they had rally towels and programs made ahead of time, they seem to be telling the truth that this was planned far in advance.

The problem is that we’re about to reach the 14th anniversary that Taylor was killed and Washington had all this time to retire his number. Not only did they wait until now, amid the fallout of a scandal they themselves were in the center of, they neglected to tell anyone else they were planning to do this until three days before the game. An actual competently run organization would’ve announced this months ago so fans could buy tickets to pay tribute in-person and media can prepare tributes so we can all properly honor a man who had his life cut short.

Needless to say, I don’t buy this BS from the Washington Football Team because not only have they proven countless times they cannot read the room, they don’t even know there’s a room to begin with. Many others had similar thoughts.

[Photo: Tim Shaffer/Reuters]

About Phillip Bupp

News editor for The Comeback and Awful Announcing, highlight consultant for Major League Soccer as well as a freelance writer for hire. Opinions are my own but feel free to agree with them.

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