The Washington Football Team is set to retire the number 21 in honor of the late Sean Taylor whose life was cut short during a home invasion 2007.

The Washington Football Team will pay tribute to the late Taylor and will retire his number worn at a ceremony this Sunday when the team hosts the game for the Kansas City Chiefs at FedExField.

Taylor was an incredible safety, believed to be one of the greatest the team has ever seen, earning two Pro Bowl selections and a second-team All-Pro honor before his passing. Taylor was taking his first baby steps towards a career that was destined to become a Pro Football Hall of Famer. His life ended abruptly on November 26, 2007 when Taylor was shot in the leg by burglars during a home invasion. Taylor died the following day resulting from his injuries at the age of 24. Now 14 years later, the Washington Football Team will honor him by retiring his jersey number making him the third player to have their jersey number retired.

However, the timing for the retirement was met with criticism as the announcement came just a couple of days after the organization was again put in the spotlight due to the investigation into the club’s operations that included a series of emails sent by former Raiders coach Jon Gruden to former Washington President Bruce Allen. The emails sent by Gruden to Allen and others included racist, misogynistic and homophobic language. The publication of these emails led to Gruden’s resignation on Monday night.

The timing of the team’s announcement led to a lot of skepticism on social media, which prompted a team spokesperson to release a statement noting that the organization had been planning the ceremony before the season had even started.

The team statement read, in part:

“We have been planning this weekend’s tribute to Sean Taylor since before the start of the season in partnership with Sean Taylor’s family and as part of our Alumni weekend activities,” the team said. “We apologize to fans who would have liked more notice and will continue to share with fans ways we will be celebrating Sean Taylor’s legacy over the next month.”

Former ESPN analyst Ryan Clark and Washington Football Team president Jason Wright tweeted about the situation.

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