MIAMI — Retired Miami Dolphins player Jason Taylor received resounding applause in Miami-Dade Commission Chambers recently when county officials saluted his 15-year football career and service to the community.
Commission Chairman Joe A. Martinez presented Taylor with a proclamation declaring January 24, 2012, “Jason Taylor Day” in the county.
Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez also commended the former Dolphin superstar and gave him the key to the county. Commissioner Jose “Pepe” Diaz, chairman of the Miami-Dade Sports Commission, added his commendation, as well.
Taylor spent all but two years of his decade and a half NFL career in a Miami Dolphins uniform, playing for the home team in 1997-2007, 2009 and 2011. He played a season with the Washington Redskins in 2008 and with the New York Jets in 2010.
A stellar defensive player, he collected more sacks than any other player in Dolphins history and is a NFL record holder for career fumble-return touchdowns.
But Taylor is known for more than his prowess on the football field. In 2004, he established the Jason Taylor Foundation, a non-profit organization that supports and creates programs that facilitate the personal growth and empowerment of South Florida’s underprivileged children.
Since its inception, the foundation has donated more than $2 million towards programs and services to more than 40 organizations. It has awarded college scholarships to 35 middle school students and it annually takes 50 kids on $300 back-to-school shopping sprees.
“It was privilege to be able to honor Jason Taylor for everything he has contributed to our community,” Martinez said. “His dedication and hard work on and off the field are what makes him a role model. I am confident that whatever endeavor he takes on he will continue to do great things, especially for this community.”
The honor came around the same time the commission was congratulating the Miami Norland High School Vikings football team for winning the Class 5A State Championship. Taylor signed autographs for Vikings players.
Photo: ARMANDO RODRIGUEZ/MIAMI-DADE COUNTY
WELL DONE: Miami-Dade County Commission Chairman Joe A. Martinez shakes hands with newly retired Miami Dolphins lineman Jason Taylor as other commissioners join in presenting Taylor with a proclamation from the county.