Photo: Tim Shaffer/Reuters

The Last Vegas Raiders have had a pretty bad week from a PR perspective but you could make an argument that Washington Football Team’s week has been even worse. While Jon Gruden resigned as Raiders head coach, the emails in question that led to this decision came from his communications with WFT high-ups. That these emails included racist and homophobic language, as well as topless photos of WFT cheerleaders, shined a light on how similar those people inside the organization were to Gruden.

Perhaps hoping to mitigate the PR disaster, the team announced on Thursday that they would be retiring the jersey of Sean Taylor during Sunday’s game against the Kansas City Chiefs. While long overdue, the announcement was met with skepticism and derision, especially considering how many other times WFT has failed to properly read the room and only act when it was in their financial interest (i.e. the reason they’re called WFT now).

Team President Jason Wright wrote a post on the team website on Thursday night to explain why the decision was announced so late in the week and to apologize for the way it looked. He says that the team had always planned to do it this week but “screwed up the execution,” thinking that “saving the news for a game week reveal was the best way to focus the message on Sean and his legacy.”

It would also sound feasible enough until Wright included a bit about how the team underestimated how many fans would want to be at the stadium to honor Taylor, which, doesn’t make any sense.

“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,” said Wright.

That an NFL franchise wouldn’t think that its fans would want to be present at the stadium for the jersey retirement ceremony of one of their favorite players and the rededication of Sean Taylor Road seems impossible. Or at least inept. That is if you assume this is the truth.

To his credit, Wright profusely apologizes throughout the post and offers “my sincere apology to the fans for the unacceptably short notice of this momentous event.” The team also announced that proceeds from the rally towel will be committed to “a legacy project in Sean’s honor that will be led by his daughter, Jackie Taylor.”

But, like so many other things this week involving WFT, the damage is done and the trust is broken. How they and the NFL get it back after this week is hard to know.


About Sean Keeley

Along with writing for Awful Announcing and The Comeback, Sean is the Editorial Strategy Director for Comeback Media. Previously, he created the Syracuse blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician and wrote 'How To Grow An Orange: The Right Way to Brainwash Your Child Into Rooting for Syracuse.' He has also written non-Syracuse-related things for SB Nation, Curbed, and other outlets. He currently lives in Seattle where he is complaining about bagels. Send tips/comments/complaints to