In the latest display of performative allyship, we have the Washington Redkins, who are doing just about everything humanly possible to pretend like they never had a racist-ass owner even though they still have a racist-ass name.
Case in point, check out what they did last week, per ESPN:
The statue of former Washington Redskins owner George Preston Marshall, who was forced to integrate his franchise in the early 1960s, was removed from outside of RFK Stadium on Friday morning.
Events DC, which is in charge of RFK Stadium, removed the statue.
“This symbol of a person who didn’t believe all men and women were created equal and who actually worked against integration is counter to all that we as people, a city, and nation represent,” Max Brown, chairman of the Events DC board of directors, and Greg O’Dell, Events DC president and CEO, said in a joint statement. “We believe that injustice and inequality of all forms [are] reprehensible and we are firmly committed to confronting unequal treatment and working together toward healing our city and country.”
And to ensure its sordid past is relegated to Wikipedia entries, Washington will also remove Marhsall’s name from its Ring of Fame, which commemorates former players, coaches and contributors who’ve been integral to the history of the franchise.
So why is Washington going to such great lengths to disassociate from Marshall? Because he was racist as hell. After purchasing the rights to the team in 1932, he changed the name of the team from the Braves to the Redskins in “honor” of a man who merely adopted a Sioux persona.
Marshal was also the last owner in the entire league to allow Black players and only agreed to do so after the government threatened to revoke the team’s 30-year-lease.
He’s also notorious for saying shit like this: “We’ll start signing Negroes when the Harlem Globetrotters start signing whites.”
But don’t start clapping it up for Washington just yet, because last time I checked, the name “the Washington Redskins” is still just as flagrantly racist as Marshall was—and the team has repeatedly stated that it has no intention whatsoever to change it.
“We’ll never change the name of the team,” Snyder told USA Today in 2013. “It’s that simple. NEVER—you can use caps.”
There ain’t no such thing as halfway crooks, and there’s sure as hell ain’t no such thing as halfway racists.
Until Washington changes its name, they can spare us all the lip service and bullshit publicity stunts. Handle that.