Gabe Taylor says he wasn't made aware that his older brother, the late Sean Taylor, would be honored by having his number retired by the Washington Football Team at FedEx Field on Sunday until probably "like four days ago."
This flies somewhat in the face of the narrative that Washington has put forth since its announcement of Sean Taylor's jersey number retirement caused an uproar among Washington faithful because of the short notice. The organization only announced to fans that it would honor its former safety on Thursday, three days before the team's game against the Kansas City Chiefs. That outraged a large swath of fans who say they would have loved to attend the game but were unable to on such short notice.
"They wanted my family to go out and represent Sean and his honoring of his number retired," Gabe Taylor told Grant Paulsen and Danny Rouhier on 106.7 The Fan, "And I heard about all of the stuff on the side, social media, but I don't really want to be in that place right now about the short timing of it. So that's what I heard."
"But you've known about it for a while, I'm guessing," Paulsen said.
"No, I have NOT heard about it for a while," Taylor said. "I did not know either."
"So when did you find out," Paulsen asked.
"I found out, probably, I'll say like four days ago," Taylor said. "Four days ago."
"And who told you about it," Paulsen asked.
"My dad," Taylor said.
"Pete?" Paulsen asked.
"Correct," Taylor confirmed.
"Okay, and so Pete found out from the team, I guess," Paulsen wondered. "Or did he know before that and he didn't tell you?"
"I really don't know," Taylor said. "He just told me that they would be holding Sean's number retirement, and that's all I really know right there."
Gabe Taylor was born 18 years after his big brother, who was tragically murdered at the age of 24 in 2007. Gabe is now a freshman defensive back at Rice University and recently made his first interception against Texas in September. He also registered a career-best seven tackles in the game.
He says that he wears No. 26, in honor of his big brother, who wore 26 during his two seasons at Miami (2002-03). "That's his number," the young Taylor said.
Taylor's college schedule makes the logistics of getting to D.C. for Sunday's game particularly challenging. The Rice Owls play UTSA at 6 p.m. ET on Saturday in San Antonio. After the game, he'll have to travel with his parents to Austin — approximately 80 miles away — to catch a flight back to Washington out of Austin-Bergstrom International Airport.
"I play. The game ends. I go with my parents. We drive to Austin," he explained. "And if I'm not mistaken, we fly to Washington the same day or I'll wait until Sunday morning and fly, but I will be there."
Regardless, Taylor says he'll definitely be at FedEx Field on Sunday and is looking forward to the experience.
"It means a lot," he said. "Washington is like a second home. I'm excited. I'm proud. And I can say that my brother's number is retired in the NFL."