NFL fans have reacted to Florida quarterback Anthony Richardson's decision to stop using the nickname AR-15. The nickname is a combination of his initials and his jersey number, but it is also the name of a specific type of firearm.
With gun control being such a big issue in the US, it appears that the Florida quarterback is not comfortable with the nickname. The initials also happen to be the name of his new clothing line. The quarterback released a statement via Pro Football Talk explaining his decision.
“After discussions with my family and much thought, I have decided to no longer use the nickname ‘AR-15’ and the current apparel line logo, which features a scope reticle, as part of my branding. While a nickname is only a nickname and ‘AR-15’ was simply a representation of my initials combined with my jersey number, it is important to me that my name and brand are no longer associated with the assault rifle that has been used in mass shootings, which I do not condone in any way or form."
"My representatives and I are currently working on rebranding, which includes the creation of a new logo and transitioning to simply using ‘AR’ and my name, Anthony Richardson.”
This caught the attention of NFL fans and they were quick to give their thoughts on it. One fan commented and said that teams should stop using gun terms in their formations as well.
"Maybe football should stop using formation names such as "shotgun and pistol" too 🙄"
Twitter users' responses were naturally all related to the politics behind the young quarterback's move, with most unopposed to the decision.
NFL teams have supported communities affected by shootings
The Philadelphia Eagles have a gun buy-back program launched in collaboration with the Philadelphia Police Department. The program was launched earlier this year in response to several Memorial Day shootings across the US.
Then there was the mass shooting in Buffalo at a supermarket that claimed ten lives. Bills quarterback Josh Allen placed flowers at a vigil in honor of the victims.
Although the US still has a fair way to go with regards to overcoming these shootings, NFL teams continue to bring awareness to the issue.