Almost every mistake starts off with the best of intentions…
What we wanted to do was make good on something we know was long overdue. Of all the football traditions, retiring numbers is especially symbolic and deeply reverential. So, prior to the season, we put a plan in place to retire the jerseys of some of the great men who helped build this historic franchise. Bobby Mitchell and Sean Taylor are the start of what we hope will become an honored tradition here as it is in many other places.
We knew alumni weekend was the right moment for us to retire #21 so that we could have several generations of legends there to honor their Burgundy & Gold brother. The plan included inviting a wide array of alumni, hosting Sean's family, including his daughter Jackie Taylor, his fiancé Jackie Garcia, his father Pedro, and his siblings; a community service event at a local school during which our alumni will build an outdoor learning lab in Sean's honor; and the rededication of Sean Taylor Road. We planned to do this right…
…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.
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.
My hope is that you can meaningfully celebrate Sean as his jersey is retired this weekend and every time you travel down Sean Taylor Road -- this weekend and in the future. I hope those who make it to the game and watch on television will be able to joyously remember him with pride and bear witness to our planned tributes at pregame and halftime. And to make sure no one misses these events, am pleased to share that we will post the pregame tribute video and make the halftime ceremony available to all through a livestream that will be hosted on our social pages. More to come on this.
Additionally, because many of you have expressed interest in the rally towels, we are making these available for fans to purchase and are committing all proceeds to a legacy project in Sean's honor that will be led by his daughter, Jackie Taylor.
In all of this, I hope that as we host Pedro, Jackie and the family over the next few days that they will feel the intense love this organization has for them.
Whenever I can, I will keep it 100 with you all and this is one of the moments where I need to do that. I again offer my sincere apology to the fans for the unacceptably short notice of this momentous event. I hope that each of you finds a moment of deep connection with Sean's legacy whether or not you can join us in the stadium on Sunday.