the Washington Commanders came under fire again over the weekend after receiving backlash over the team’s unveiling of a memorial dedicated to the safety of Sean Taylor on the 15th anniversary of his tragic death.
But at least one family member had a different reaction.
The two-time Pro Bowler’s half-brother Jamal Johnson told TMZ Sports Monday that he was honored by the majors’ gesture, which displayed Taylor’s No. 21 jersey and helmet on a mannequin in a glass enclosure in the concourse of FedEx Field.
“It was greatly appreciated and an honor to have his legacy live on in DC… It’s truly an honor,” Johnson told the outlet before adding, “I was at a loss for words.”
THE MEMORIAL OF THE COMMANDERS TO SEAN TAYLOR ATTRACTS NEGATIVE REVIEWS ON SOCIAL MEDIA
Social networks exploded after the unveiling on Sunday, with many arguing that Taylor deserved a statue. Johnson said that “everyone is entitled to an opinion.”
“The family is very grateful,” Johnson said. “It is an honor, as I said, once again it is an honor to receive that kind of love and respect from an organization…”
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Taylor’s daughter Jackie, who attended the opening, expressed a similar sentiment.
“It was something super special for him and something he chose to do,” he told WUSA9 of the soccer cleats on display that sparked controversy. “It was beautiful, honestly. They put everything he wore: soccer cleats, little things that were special to him and that he made as a player. That was really special.”
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Taylor tragically died of a gunshot wound at age 24 during a botched robbery attempt in 2007. He had 305 tackles, 12 interceptions and eight forced fumbles in 55 games.
Associated Press contributed to this report.