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Granddaughter of Redskins’ Founder: ‘They Need to Change the Name’

Granddaughter of Redskins’ Founder: ‘They Need to Change the Name’

Written by Travis Waldron

The granddaughter of George Preston Marshall, the man who founded the football franchise that now calls Washington home, has joined the list of people who think that it is time for the team to find a new name.

“They need to change the name,” Jordan Wright, who said she was Marshall’s granddaughter, told Leesburg Today columnist Leonard Shapiro recently (via Dan Steinberg). “In this day and age, it’s just not right.”

The Oneida Indian Nation, which has challenged the name with a public campaign against it over the last year, issued a statement applauding Wright.

“We applaud Ms. Wright for speaking out and calling for a change,” the statement said. “She could have remained silent, but instead chose to publicly repudiate her grandfather’s legacy and stand on the right side of history. This is yet another wake up call to the NFL. When even the kin of the owner who gave the Washington team its name is now demanding a change, it is yet another sign that the team’s current ownership is standing on the wrong side of history. As Ms. Wright said: they need to change the name.”

Preston Marshall founded the franchise as the Boston Braves in 1932. He changed the name to the “Redskins” in 1933; the team moved to Washington in 1937. The franchise has maintained that Marshall changed the name to honor the team’s coach at the time, William “Lone Star” Dietz, who claimed he was Sioux, though recent research has called Dietz’s heritage into question. News reports from 1933 that surfaced this year show Marshall saying that the name was not a tribute to Dietz, no matter his background, or Native American players on the team at the time.

Marshall, infamous for only integrating his team when the federal government threatened not to let him use the District’s stadium, died in 1969. Daniel Snyder, the current owner, has vowed to “NEVER” change the team’s name.

This post originally appeared on Think Progress.

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Photo Credit: Thinkstock

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99 comments

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2:18PM PDT on Jul 26, 2014

I think it would be nice if they had a nationwide contest to find the coolest name for the team. Let everyone vote. And a contest for the coolest logo! Get to work and it could be very interesting.

2:05PM PDT on Jul 26, 2014

I don't see what the problem is the team could move, change its ownership, change its favorite players and things would be no different. So why would changing the name from Washington Redskins to Washington Players or Senators or Politicians would ruin the whole thing. I doubt very much if it would do anything other than make the team owners have to apply for new copyrights on the new logo.

9:11AM PDT on Jul 25, 2014

In rebuttal to Marianne, Freddy quotes the passage, "A 2004 National Annenberg Election Survey question on whether the name of the Washington Redskins is offensive to Native Americans is in the news amid renewed national debate over whether the pro football team should change its name. In a letter to fans published in the Washington Post on Wednesday, Oct. 9, team owner Daniel Snyder cited the survey as key evidence in support of the name. “The highly respected Annenberg Public Policy Center polled nearly 1,000 self-identified Native Americans from across the continental U.S. and found that 90% of Native Americans did not find the team name ‘Washington Redskins’ to be ‘offensive, Snyder wrote."

2004!!!!????? I would argue that the statistics are outdated. A lot has changed in the past decade! More and more people are waking up!


6:51AM PDT on Jul 24, 2014

THERE is NOTHING wrong with this team name people need to get over it omg we have wort things in the world to worry about the name of a football team is NOT on my list

3:49AM PDT on Jul 22, 2014

Thank you.

7:26AM PDT on Jul 21, 2014

Actually, Jacob, this has nothing to do with the Cleveland Browns. As a person who was born and raised and raised my children in the Greater Cleveland Area. I can safely say that Browns is short for Brownie, an elf from the fairy tales. If you look carefully you can sometimes still see him. Then, again, I can understand the confusion. After all, in the late 80's, some of the players nicknamed themselves the Dawg Defense and that nickname has taken off and is still very popular, which is why the Brownie Elf is not always seen.

3:15AM PDT on Jul 21, 2014

Thank you for sharing!

12:13AM PDT on Jul 21, 2014

Thank you for sharing!

11:31PM PDT on Jul 20, 2014

Good for her. That would have been absolutely nerve-wracking for me if I had to speak up in that situation. Hope she only gets praise and no bad comments :c

9:24PM PDT on Jul 20, 2014

I like the name Washington Foreskins cause you know what Washington is full of

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