This week Washington Redskins safety Ryan Clark carried on his tradition of wearing number 21 during practices to honor his friend and late teammate Sean Taylor, who died in 2007 at the age of 24 after suffering a gun shot wound to the leg.
Taylor’s number 21, which hasn’t been worn by a Redskin since his death, has joined the ranks of the team’s unofficially retired jersey numbers along with the likes of team legends such as John Riggins’ 44 and Art Monk’s 81.
It’s only fitting that this week also marked the debut of “Sean Taylor Field” at BankUnited Center on the University of Miami campus in Coral Gables, Fla.
Taylor’s father, Pete, was named the head coach of the Ultimate Indoor Football League’s Miami Inferno in January for their inaugural season. The Inferno play their home games at BankUnited Center. Pete, who has been chief of police of Florida City for the last 12 years, has won his first two games so far as the leader of the Inferno.
The team won its first game on the road against the Florida Tarpons 58-35 on May 16 and won its first home game convincingly 69-8 on Sunday over the Missouri Voodoo.
Featured prominently on both sides of midfield of the bright orange turf is “Sean Taylor Field” written above his three jersey numbers; the 1 he wore in high school at Gulliver Prep, the 21 he wore with the Redskins and the 26 he wore with the Miami Hurricanes.