Last week, his monument came down (awkwardly) at RFK Stadium and his name was removed from the lower bowl at FedEx Field. This week, former Washington owner George Preston Marshall is being even further expunged from any positions of honor or prestige with the franchise.
The team has confirmed to multiple reporters that Marshall will be removed from the franchise’s Ring of Fame. His name also will be removed from the “History Wall” outside the team’s locker room at their practice facility. The news was first reported by John Keim of ESPN.com.
Marshall notoriously refused to integrate his roster, eventually becoming the last NFL team to hire a black player after the Kennedy administration prevented the team from playing in its then-new stadium in D.C. until Marshall relented.
The question now becomes whether these steps are a precursor to changing the dictionary-defined racial slur that the team uses as its nickname, or whether current owner Daniel Snyder will believe that wiping Marshall out of the team’s history books will be enough of a gesture.
Recently, the Wall Street Journal (hardly a left-wing rag) quoted an unnamed league executive who said that a name change “needs to happen.” But the league continues to defer to Snyder, and Snyder continues to refuse to relent.
Here’s what Snyder needs to keep in mind, as he keeps his heels dug in: His current behavior has parallels to Marshall’s in the early 1960s, and to the extent Snyder’s team ever accomplishes anything that would potentially qualify him for placement in the Ring of Fame, Snyder’s current intransigence eventually will get him removed, too.