On Thursday the heavily rumored Washington Post bombshell article dropped, and the world was shocked to hear the Washington football franchise that currently has no name, has a long history of being a hostel work environment. As an analyst, I was also shocked. I was shocked that the world was in fact shocked by these developments as they are just the most recent in a long line of scandals that have rocked one a franchise that, on and off the field, has suffered from a toxic culture marred by losing and scandal.
Ladies and Gentlemen of the internet, it’s long past time to do something about it. The NFL has had ample opportunity to apply discipline, but failed to do so. We are long passed the stage of allowing the franchise to investigate itself under the guise of impartiality. We are long long passed that.
The Team recently announced it would be changing its name and logo due to it’s racist nature, but if they are serious about changing the culture, they must delete far more than their racist name.
A Racist History
The Franchise was founded in 1932 as the Boston Braves under the ownership of George Preston Marshall. The original name comes from the baseball team that the Braves shared a stadium with, The Boston Braves, so the following year when the team relocated to the stadium owned by the Boston Redsox, the team changed it’s name to the Boston Redskins. According to this article by the Wahington Post the term “Redskin” was first used as a pejorative term some 70 years earlier in 1863 on a reward notice from the state of Minnesota for “200 Dollars for every Redskin sent to Purgatory.”
That’s right… An NFL team was named from a slur that was used to encourage and reward the death of Native Americans. But it was explained away and allowed because the owner wanted a name similar but not the same as the local baseball teams. But surely this was just a name right? This has to be all of its racism….
More Racist History: No Rush to integrate
After the NFL segregated in the early 1930’s, it began to reintegrate in 1946 with four key signings prior the 1946 season. Within the next few years nearly every team began to reintegrate, nearly all of them. It wasn’t until the 1963 draft that the team finally integrated, after substantial pressure from the JFK White House. For reference here are some Quotes from Marshall on integration
As for integrating his team, Marshall said that many fans preferred watching white players and would reject the Redskins if they had a black player.Per The New York Times
or how about this disgusting quote
In contrast to other N.F.L. owners, Marshall “did not pretend there were no blacks good enough to make his team,” Andy Piascik wrote in “Gridiron Gauntlet: The Story of the Men Who Integrated Pro Football in Their Own Words.” “Unlike the others, he was honest enough to admit that he simply didn’t want them around.”Per the New York Times
I think you get the point, this franchise has deep roots in racism that until last week had been paraded around the surface. Let’s get to more recent history.
Sexual Harassment, Verbal Abuse, Hostel Work Environment, and a bit of Costa Rican Deja Vu
To avoid a potential copyright claim and to respect the massive amount of research it took to publish the previously mentioned Washington Post Expose’, I will not be quoting the article directly. For those living in a cave I will say that there were a total of 15 women who came forward to the post about sexual harassment, verbal abuse and a hostel work environment as recently as 2019. This bombshell report has brought upon calls for swift and severe punishment for the team, the NFL responded by allowing the team to hold its own investigation. This has also led for calls to remove Daniel Snyder as owner of the team.
That’s the right call. It’s unlikely to happen because no one investigates themselves to the figurative death penalty. But if does happen, it will be the right move, however…. Its more than 2 years too late!!!! This scandal was horrible but it would have never happend if the NFL stepped in two years ago when this happened
That’s right. This actually happened, in addition to refusing to change a racist name, the team also put its cheerleaders into a horrible position in this photo shoot. If even half of the allegations were true then the NFL should have stepped in removed Snyder as owner for even allowing this to happen. There is no place for this behavior in our society and punishment should have been swift and severe. You can find the NFL’s actual punishment here.
That didn’t load? Neither did the punishment
The Team suffered absolutely zero punishment for their actions on this trip. Hmm… then two years later another scandal comes around and the NFL believes its ok for the team to conduct its own investigation…. Absolutely Ludicrous!!! Fans now believe that Snyder must be removed as owner for justice to be served, I believe even that is not far enough for a team with this much scandal
Scorched Earth: Fixing this franchise by burning it down
It’s time remove Snyder as owner and delete this franchise from existence. The NFL can do this by while maintaining 32 teams by:
- Removing Snyder as owner before allowing him to rename the team
- Remove all history from the team (Championships, records erm..Racism)
- Allow the New Owner to set the team’s name and logo
This seems harsh, and a bit like overkill, but a team that was founded in racism, and allowed to repeatedly treat female employees so poorly that they would routinely cry in their offices because the abuse was so rampant, deserves to be wiped away. I feel for the players that have bled for that jersey, the local and team media that have had to consistently cover a team that was often rocked by scandal and losing games. For them, it is hard for me to type these words.
But it’s time for us to set the example that these behaviors will not be tolerated in the sports world that we love any longer as we strive to make sports more inclusive for all who love them. NASCAR did this when the banned the confederate flag, now it’s time for the NFL to set the example as well and delete this franchise.