The Washington Commanders paid tribute to former star safety Sean Taylor on Sunday, but the glass-enclosed memorial unveiled at FedExField sparked an unexpected storm of controversy for a player so universally beloved by the team’s fanbase.
The primary ctiticism from fans and many media members was the memorial’s impersonal display of mismatched uniform components on a simple wire frame representing Taylor.
Taylor, the fifth overall pick in the 2004 draft, was in his fourth NFL season when he was shot and killed in November 2007 during a robbery attempt at his home in Florida.
Former Washington quarterback Robert Griffin III, who’s now an analyst for ESPN, says the most important people — Taylor’s family members — were happy with the results, but there was much more the team could have done to make it better.
“As a fan of Sean Taylor,” Griffin tells USA TODAY Sports, “you gotta go get a bronze statue of him done. That almost looked like, and I know a lot of people have said this, it almost looked like they had a group project and they remembered that it was due the next day.”
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Commanders officials explained that the memorial was never supposed to be anything permanent, so it could be more easily moved when the team builds a new stadium.
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