A Washington Redskins name change, while not currently a "deal-breaker," could very well be one in the future. Mayor Vincent Gray said that if the NFL football team is serious about coming back to Washington, a discussion about the team's name must take place. The Mayor and others believe a new name for the Redskins is needed, given the history and hints of a racial slur.
In a MyFox8 report on Jan. 9, Washington D.C. mayor Vincent Gray hinted at the possibility that current owners of the team, Jack Kent Cooke and Daniel M. Snyder, may hit a brick wall if they continue resisting a Redskins name change.
The original Redskins have a long history of promoting racism within its franchise. Before getting deep into why Mayor Gray believes a Redskins name change is necessary, it's important to understand the history of integration in the National Football League.
In 1933, the NFL enforced its rule on banning Blacks from playing with any franchise. However, the practice was all but abolished in 1946 when the Los Angeles Rams began recruiting players of color. However, the original founder of the Washington Redskins, George Preston Marshall, went against the establishment and refused to hire or recruit African American football players.
What's more, Marshall, who maintained the the "Skins" were "Dixie's team," even refused to hire qualified whites if they did not hail from a Southern state, according to the Washington Post.
Finally, in 1962, Marshall relented after Interior Secretary Stewart Udall threatened to deny him the site, which is now RFK, if he refused to integrate the team.
"I think it has become a lightning rod, and I would be love to be able to sit down with the team … and see if a change should be made. There’s a precedent for this, and I think there needs to be a dispassionate discussion about this, and do the right thing," Mayor Gray said today to the media.
While the mayor stopped short of saying the current leadership among the "Skins" must change the team's moniker, the writing is on the wall.
Is a Redskins name change necessary? Do you think it has racist undertones?