College football star Anthony Richardson will no longer go by the nickname "AR-15." The 21-year-old University of Florida quarterback said Sunday that he didn't wish to be associated with assault rifles used in mass shootings. Though "'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," wrote the Gators star, per CNN. "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."
AR-style weapons have been used in some of the deadliest mass shootings in US history, including the May attack on an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, where 19 children and two adults were killed. Afterward, President Biden called for a ban on assault rifles, which he said were "designed as weapons of war, to take out an enemy." "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," wrote the quarterback, who is considered among the top 15 NFL prospects in college football. He's expected to compete for the starting quarterback role this season after last year's starter Emory Jones transferred to Arizona State, per the Guardian and ESPN. (Read more AR-15 rifle stories.)