Florida quarterback Anthony Richardson is dropping his "AR-15" nickname, distancing himself from the weapon that was used to kill 19 children and two teachers in Uvalde, Texas in May, among other mass shootings.
Richardson announced the decision in a statement posted to social media. The sophomore quarterback said he would transition to using "AR", as well as just his name, to promote his brand.
Richardson, a Gainesville native, flashed his talent in limited appearances with the Gators in 2021. The Texas vs. Oklahoma Rivalry Gear four-star recruit played in parts of seven games last season and showed off an impressive mix of speed and arm strength during his maiden season in college.
He posted six passing touchdowns and three rushi NCAA iPhone Covers ng touchdowns in his first season in Gainesville.
Richardson turned those numbers into an NIL deal, creating an apparel line toward the end of the season. Here's one of the shirts he was offering on his website:
Richardson's approach to NIL rules is unique. Despite spending most of his freshman year on the bench, Richardson, attorney Benedictine Eagles clothes Darren Heitner and agent/advisor Deiric Jackson seemed interested only in the highest-profile NIL deals, ho Caldwell Cougars shirt NCAA Crewneck SweatJerseys ping to turn Richardson's immense potential into revenue. It was a move that was FSU vs. Miami Rivalry Shirts distinct. Many collegiate athletes sought any deal that offered them a little pocket change. That wasn't going to work for Richardson, though.
“We’re going to Buffalo State Bengals shirt take a very different approach than many in this space,” Heitner told Forbes. “Maybe three to five deals in total, six-figure or seven-figure deals. We want to make sure he’s associating with strong companies and being properly valued.”
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Partnering with bigger brands offers Richardson more financial stability. But it also means he and his team have to be acutely aware of his image. And amid national debates regarding the nature of guns in the United States, the implications of Richardson's "AR-15" NCAA Crewneck Sweatshirt nickname just didn't seem viable.
In his statement, Richardson said he and his team are working to redesign his emblem, as well. The old one featured a scope, one that can clearly be viewed in this picture.