The Washington Redskins are removing former owner George Preston Marshall from their Ring of Fame and are getting rid of everything related to him from their website.
The reason the franchise is cutting ties with its racist founder is because it refused to join by signing black players until the league forced it to do so in 1962, more than a decade after the rest of the NFL.
Marshall’s name has already been removed from the history wall at the team’s training facility in Ashburn, Virginia. Now, the Ring of Fame will remove its name from its stadium in Landover, Maryland, on Wednesday, and the process to change the website has officially begun as well.
Last week, the Redskins renamed the bottom of FedEx Field that was named after the late Hall of Famer Bobby Mitchell, who was the team’s first black player. A statue was recently removed from the former Redskins home at RFK Stadium in Washington.
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“I have no feeling against that,” Marshall’s granddaughter Jordan Wright told The Associated Press in a phone interview. “My sense has always been if someone is offended by these things, then that’s fine with me. They should take him down.
Wright said he has tried for years to remove the statue from the RFK stadium grounds, but was not notified when it happened last week.
“Although it was a big surprise, it was nothing I hadn’t tried to get moving anymore,” he said.
Marshall owned the franchise from its inception in 1932 and moved the team from Boston to Washington several years later. He was inducted into the Professional Soccer Hall of Fame in 1963 and died in 1969.
“His contributions are well noted in many books and statistics, and his part-time shows and the rules of the game and the things he instituted, and he is still in the Professional Soccer Hall of Fame in Canton,” Wright said. “It’s fine. That’s where it belongs, in the story, and if they change it, it’s fine. I really don’t care. I’m not offended.”
The Hall of Fame last week said that nothing in its statutes allows for the removal of a member once elected, adding that the consecration “is based on achievement on the field for players and coaches and, in the case of taxpayers, to grow and promote the game. “
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The recent national debate on racism has renewed calls for current owner Dan Snyder to rename the team. A spokesman last week said the team had no comment and that the NFL did not respond to questions about the name’s future.
Wright said changing the name is something that “has to be done.” It’s okay for Marshall’s name to be removed from the Ring of Fame in large part because he hopes the team will move from FedEx Field to a new stadium in the near future.
With that could come a return to the District of Columbia and potentially a new nickname for the team named Marshall.
“It is a new era,” said Wright. “It has been. But there have been many people living in a bubble that, say, their consciousness has not risen, even though there is all kinds of evidence that it should already be.”
Associated Press contributed to this report.