Former Washington Football Team safety Sean Taylor will have his number retired by the team Sunday.
The club made the announcement Thursday, stating, "There will never be another 21."
There will never be another 21 💛
On Sunday, we will officially retire Sean Taylor's number
— Washington Football Team (@WashingtonNFL) October 14, 2021
Taylor, who was drafted with the fifth overall pick in the 2004 NFL draft, played four seasons with the team. He quickly emerged as a standout at his position, making the Pro Bowl in 2006 and 2007.
Taylor's NFL career ended prematurely after he was shot in the leg by men who broke into Taylor's house in 2007. The bullet severed Taylor's femoral artery. He died the following day.
Taylor's death occurred during the 2007 NFL season. NFL teams paid tribute to the safety following his death. Every NFL game held a moment of silence in honor of Taylor and every team wore No. 21 decals on its helmets. Washington opened its Week 13 game with 10 men on the field for their first defensive play as a tribute to Taylor.
Five men were charged in Taylor's death. The suspected gunman, Eric Rivera, received a 57-year prison sentence in 2014.
Taylor's legacy in the NFL can still be seen today. His style of play influenced a number of safeties, including Jamal Adams, Landon Collins and Ha Ha Clinton-Dix.
Washington apologizes for short notice on Sean Taylor jersey retirement
The Football Team apologized Thursday for not giving fans advance notice on the plan to retire Taylor's jersey. The club added it has other events planned in honor of Taylor "over the next month." It said Sunday's tribute to Taylor has been in the works "for months."
Statement from a Washington spokesperson: "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."
Team had been planning Taylor tribute for months, per spokesperson.
— Matthew Paras (@Matthew_Paras) October 14, 2021
The news comes as the Football Team is being investigated for workplace misconduct. A number of emails from that investigation leaked, leading to Las Vegas Raiders coach Jon Gruden resigning from his position after it was revealed he sent hateful messages to former Washington general manager Bruce Allen.
Gruden's emails were the only ones to leak. No correspondence from Washington owner Dan Snyder, or any other high-ranking NFL executives, has been revealed publicly.