WASHINGTON — The Washington Post editorial board is calling on Washington Redskins owner Daniel Snyder to change his football club's name.
Under the headline, “Change the name of the Washington NFL team. Now,” the newspaper says in an editorial posted online Friday that if Snyder won’t switch the nickname, the professional football league itself ought to do so.
“This should be an easy call. Mr. Snyder — or, if Mr. Snyder refuses to back down from his declaration of “NEVER,” the NFL — should take advantage of this singular moment in history to get on the right side of history,” the Post says. “Change the name. NOW.”
Snyder has owned the team since 1999 and steadfastly vowed to keep the name, despite calls to reconsider, a push that has resurfaced during the ongoing national reckoning over racism.
Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser last week called the name “an obstacle” to the team building a new stadium and headquarters in the nation's capital, where a project likely would be on land leased by the federal government. The club currently has its stadium in Maryland, and its practice facility in Virginia.
“I think it’s past time for the team to deal with what offends so many people,” Bowser told the Team 980 radio station. “This is a great franchise with a great history that’s beloved in Washington, and it deserves a name that reflects the affection that we’ve built for the team.”
On Friday, at the site of the team’s former home, RFK Stadium in Washington, the agency that manages that arena removed a statue of former franchise owner George Preston Marshall, who moved the team from Boston to Washington. Marshall resisted integrating the team with Black players until “forced to do so” in 1962, according to his biography on the Pro Football Hall of Fame website.
Marshall was inducted into the Hall in 1963; he died in 1969.
Events DC officials called the removal “a small and overdue step on the road to lasting equality and justice.”
The Redskins did not immediately comment on the statue's removal.
Their current stadium has a section named in honour of Marshall and he is also in the team’s Ring of Fame.
Since the death of George Floyd in Minnesota, protests have erupted around the world, with much of the conversation centred on systematic racism and police brutality against Black people in the U.S.
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