Florida Gators quarterback Anthony Richardson, who is being mentioned as a Heisman Trophy contender for the upcoming college football season, has taken sides in the debate over so-called “assault” weapons.
He’s not at all for them.
So he’s decided that he is going to change his nickname as a means of taking a stand against the country’s most popular sporting rifle owned by tens of millions of Americans.
The Daily Wire reports:
Richardson said that he made the decision to change his “AR-15” nickname, which combines his initials with his jersey number, and his scope reticle logo after speaking to those closest to him.
“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,” Richardson said in a statement.
“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,” he added.
“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,” Richardson’s statement concluded.
The Daily Wire adds that the term ‘assault rifle’ is nefarious and arbitrary, at best:
In his tweet, Richardson referenced the term “assault rifle,” which many on the Left erroneously believe the “AR” in “AR-15” stands for. In fact, the “AR” in AR-15 stands for “ArmaLite Rifle,” the company that designed the gun in 1956. There is no official definition for what is considered an “assault rifle” or an “assault weapon,” as those descriptors have virtually nothing to do with the functionality of the weapon and instead are attached to weapons that Left-wing activists deem to be scary looking.
Virtue signaling game 💯
— Libertarian Party of Tennessee
According to ESPN, Richardson’s decision was most likely linked to the NCAA’s new rule allowing athletes to earn money from their name, likeness, and image.
Richardson, who comes into the current year as a sophomore, had already launched a clothing line selling jerseys and other gear.
Richardson only played in seven games last season as a freshman, where he amassed 529 passing yards with six touchdowns and five interceptions. But he also had 401 yards rushing with three touchdowns.
Despite only seeing limited action last season and with just a single career start, Richardson “debuted at No. 13 on ESPN NFL draft expert Mel Kiper Jr.’s Big Board of prospects in May,” ESPN added.
At 6′ 4″ and 236 pounds, he is not guaranteed to be the team’s starting quarterback this upcoming season; he will have to beat out Ohio State transfer Jack Miller for the job.