Defender Known As AR-15 Changes Nickname Due To Mass Shootings


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Anthony Richardson, a University of Florida quarterback known as “AR-15” because of his initials and uniform number, has announced that he prefers a less violent look as he moves into a season he is predicted to be one of the best. players. in student football.

Richardson, who also sells a clothing line, wrote on Twitter on Sunday that he no longer wants to be associated with the assault weapons used in the mass shootings that horrified the nation.

“It is important to me that my name and brand no longer be associated with an assault rifle that was used in mass shootings, which I do not approve of,” he wrote on Twitter. The post became the only content on the front page of his personal website.

He added that he is “moving” to using “AR” or no pseudonym at all.

Richardson’s other site,, which sold t-shirts and temporary reticle tattoos, reported Monday night that he was “no longer active.”

In an interview published yesterday by sports media group High Top Sports, Mr. Richardson explained his decision by “talking to my team” – “you know, my management team,” he explained – and adding: with the AR-15, shooting and stuff, and a lot of people have been calling me just talking about it, asking if I support it.”

He continued, “I don’t want people to think I’m that kind of person.”

There have been several mass shootings this summer alone, including at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, where a gunman killed 19 children and two teachers, and at a Tops supermarket in Buffalo, where a gunman killed 10 blacks in a racist attack. Both militants used AR-15 type rifles.

In Florida, a jury is currently considering whether to impose the death penalty on Nicholas Cruz, who pleaded guilty to killing 17 people and injuring 17 others at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School. He also used a pistol resembling an AR-15.

Representatives for Mr Richardson did not immediately respond to a request for comment Monday night about whether anything in particular was the reason for his decision.

The judges consider Richardson one of the top contenders for the Heisman Trophy this season, when he is a sophomore. With acrobatic agility and a 6-foot-4 and 232-pound weight, he is capable of electrifying plays on the field, such as an 80-yard touchdown against South Florida last season, in which he hit a safe.

Richardson, from Gainesville, home of the Florida Gators University, appeared last October in a video for the Gainesville Police Department promoting a gun buyback program. But in addition to promoting gun-themed merchandise, Richardson has also appeared in at least one commercial, striking a pose in which he aims a soccer ball like a pistol.

The fact that he has a brand and a management team is largely a consequence of the NCAA’s decision last June to allow college athletes to get promotional deals and find other opportunities to make money from their names, their images. and their similarities.

In October, Outback Steakhouse announced a sponsorship deal with Richardson. Around the same time, Richardson hosted a website that highlighted his AR-15 moniker on the landing page, according to the Wayback Machine, the website that hosts the Internet Archive.

“For us, being able to make money is a blessing,” Richardson told Forbes last October. “He teaches us how to manage money and understand the business side of things. It also allows us to help our families in ways we couldn’t before.”

Around January, Richardson’s site began offering weapons-themed clothing to visitors.

Earlier this month, the Dallas Cowboys drew criticism on social media when they announced a partnership with Black Rifle Coffee, a coffee company whose merchandising features names and images of guns and gun accessories.

Sheila McNeil contributed to research.

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