Per reports, the Washington Redskins are working to remove George Preston Marshall, one of the team’s co-founders and the team’s first majority owner, from their Ring of Honor.
Last week, the statue of George Preston Marshall outside of RFK Stadium, the former home stadium of the Washington Redskins, was taken down. That decision was levied not by the Redskins themselves, but by the current owners of RFK Stadium, Events DC, and it was made in light of recent social turmoil.
Today, the Redskins themselves are taking a similar step. According to ESPN and Redskins beat reporter John Keim, Washington is working to remove George Preston Marshall’s name from their Ring of Honor. Additionally, Keim says that Washington will also remove Marshall’s likeness from the Redskins History Wall near the practice facility’s locker room, and Matthew Paras of the Washington Times adds that every instance of Marshall’s name has been removed from the team’s website.
This is a significant decision made by the Redskins franchise, as George Preston Marshall was one of the team’s co-founders and the team’s first majority owner. Marshall helped form the Washington Redskins franchise in 1932, when it was initially named the Boston Braves. The team was then renamed to the Redskins a year later, and later relocated to Washington D.C. ahead of the 1937 season.
Under Marshall’s oversight, Washington’s football team saw both highs and lows, in terms of on-field performance. Sammy Baugh helped lead the team to five championship appearances and two victories from 1937 to 1945, but after 1945, the burgundy and gold entered a playoff drought that wouldn’t end until 1971, two years after Marshall’s death at the age of 73.
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No amount of modification at this point can change the fact that Marshall was the team’s first owner, and was the ultimate facilitator of the franchise we see today. But Marshall’s practices against racial equality have long clouded his legacy; he was the last team owner to integrate in 1962, when forced by the federal government to do so. The team has now chosen to distance itself from that legacy.
In theory, this could be the first move toward a name change, as Marshall was the one to originally establish the Redskins mascot. But there are no indications as of now that the team is considering such an option, although public pressure is starting to rise, and may only keep rising.
This may not be the last dramatic change we see from the Washington franchise, amidst current societal conditions. Stick with us here at Riggo’s Rag for the latest updates. We’ll keep you in the loop.