LOUDOUN COUNTY, Va., Oct. 14, 2021 -- During the Washington Football Team's October 17th matchup against the Kansas City Chiefs, the team will honor nearly 100 alumni at FedExField, while also paying a special tribute to Washington alumnus and football legend, Sean Taylor. Taylor's family will join the team on-field for a pre-game ceremony in which Taylor's contributions to the team will be remembered alongside the retirement of his jersey number, 21. This will mark only the third time in the team's 89-year history that a jersey number will be officially retired.
The team also will formally commemorate the renaming of the road leading to FedExField as Sean Taylor Road with family and friends of Taylor before the game. Sean Taylor's family will have the opportunity for a private visit at Taylor's locker on the Club Level, which has been perfectly preserved from his last game, and will enjoy the game from specially reserved suites. Co-owners Dan and Tanya Snyder were especially close with Taylor and view him as an important part of the team's legacy. They have remained supportive of his family over the years and will be helping to host the family during the game.
Taylor played for Washington during all four seasons of his NFL career. After being selected with the 5th overall and first Washington Football Team pick in the 2004 NFL Draft, Taylor established himself as one of the top young safeties in the league and a fan favorite. Following a successful rookie year, Taylor started 15 games and led Washington to its first playoff win in six years. By 2006, Taylor was one of the premier defenders in the NFL. Then, tragically on Nov. 27, 2007, Sean Taylor's life was cut short after being shot during a robbery attempt on his Florida home. Posthumously, Taylor was honored by the NFL and named a 2nd team All-Pro selection in 2007. The following year, Washington announced he would be inducted as only the 43rd member of the Washington Ring of Fame.
"I came into the NFL the same year as Sean Taylor and immediately his athletic ability, resilience, grit, and relentless work ethic set him apart. I and many others looked to him as a role model," said Jason Wright, Washington Football Team President. "The fact that he was tragically taken so early hurt our player community, but also our fans, coaches, and staff. We will continue to remember him and hold him up as an example of professionalism and excellence, and we will all strive to mirror his excellence in our own ways."
The first 10,000 fans to enter the stadium gates on Sunday will receive a limited-edition commemorative Sean Taylor rally towel fashioned after the original rally towel created following Taylor's untimely death. Players will wear helmet stickers that pay homage to Taylor and full-time staff with be wearing a #21 lapel pin on gameday in his honor. Additionally, the team's gameday magazine will feature Taylor on the cover and include an article highlighting four of the best plays from his career.
This game also will mark Alumni Homecoming, a celebration of all Washington alumni players over the history of the franchise. Alumni from across the team's 89-year history will begin their weekend by completing a community service project in Sean Taylor's memory at Burrville Elementary School in Washington, DC. At this event, attending Alumni will join the school to complete an OutTeach Garden Build, presented by Pepsi Stronger Together. The day will conclude with a special closed reception for all attending Alumni and special guests.
On Sunday, alumni players, including those recognized as part of the franchise's 80 Greatest and Hall of Fame and Ring of Fame inductees, will be honored with a special on-field halftime celebration, during which they will be introduced by decade.