HONOLULU – There’s one player missing from the Pro Bowl everyone keeps mentioning.
The slain Washington Redskins safety, voted an NFC starter for today’s all-star game, will have a presence at Aloha Stadium.
All three Redskins on hand – tackle Chris Samuels, tight end Chris Cooley and long snapper Ethan Albright – will wear Taylor’s No. 21. Those jerseys will be auctioned after the game on nfl.com, with proceeds going to the Sean Taylor Memorial Trust Fund, which was set up to benefit his daughter, Jackie.
The league also paid for many of Taylor’s family members, including father, Pedro, to come to Hawaii. In all, Pedro Taylor said, there will be “12 or 13” on hand.
“It’s all about respect,” Pedro Taylor said. “You come here, you just enjoy what you do and you ensure that you’re going to recognize your teammate. The guys are doing that … it’s an honor.”
Taylor died Nov. 27 after being shot at his home during a botched robbery attempt. Teams have worn a No. 21 decal on their helmets since, which Pedro Taylor called “a special honor. It’s great that the Redskins organization and the NFL allowed them to do this.”
Teammates and opponents have paid tribute to the free safety throughout the week.
“He’s always close to my heart,” Samuels said. “I think about Sean every day. He’s definitely supposed to be here with us. It’s going to be big (today) for us to honor Sean.”