Florida Gators QB Anthony Richardson walks away from ‘AR-15’ moniker, branding
Florida quarterback Anthony Richardson said in a statement on Sunday that he will no longer use the ‘AR-15’ moniker as part of his personal brand because he doesn’t want to be associated with the semi-automatic rifle of the same name. , which was used in mass shootings.
An AR-15 type rifle was used in the shooting deaths of 19 children and two adults at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas in May.
“While a nickname is just a nickname and ‘AR-15’ was just a representation of my initials combined with my jersey number, it is important to me that my name and brand are not more associated with the semi-automatic rifle that was used in the mass shootings, which I do not condone in any way,” Richardson said in a post on his official website. “My reps and I are currently working on the rebranding, which includes creating a new logo and transitioning to simply using ‘AR’ and my name, Anthony Richardson.”
Capitalizing on college athletes’ newfound ability to generate money through name, image and likeness deals, Richardson last year launched an apparel line that included jerseys, long-sleeved shirts, bracelets and temporary tattoos.
Richardson said he would also stop using the scope reticle logo.
Richardson became a fan favorite and gifted point guard as a rookie in Florida last season.
Despite supporting starting quarterback Emory Jones for most of the season and suffering a knee injury that kept him off the field at the end of the year, Richardson managed nine total touchdowns – six passing and three rushing.
Jones transferred to Arizona State in the spring, paving the way for Richardson to become the Gators’ favorite this season under new coach Billy Napier.
Richardson, with just one career start, debuted at No. 13 on ESPN NFL draft expert Mel Kiper Jr.’s Big Board of prospects in May.
Florida opens the season Sept. 3 against Utah.