History Of The Washington Redskins Name
The team began 81 years ago – in 1932 – with the name “Boston Braves.” The following year, the franchise name was changed to the “Boston Redskins.” On that inaugural Redskins team, four players and one Head Coach were Native Americans. The name was never a label. It was, and continues to be, a badge of honor.
In 1971, the legendary coach, the late George Allen, consulted with the Red Cloud Athletic Fund located on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota and designed our emblem on the Redskins helmets. Several years later, Coach Allen was honored by the Red Cloud Athletic Fund. On the wall in Ashburn, Virginia, offices is the plaque given to Coach Allen – a source of pride for all of us. “Washington Redskins” is more than a name we have called our football team for over eight decades. It is a symbol of everything we stand for: strength, courage, pride, and respect – the same values we know guide Native Americans and which are embedded throughout their rich history as the original Americans.
Also in May, SiriusXM NFL Radio hosted Robert Green, the longtime and recently retired Chief of the Fredericksburg-area Patawomeck Tribe, who said, among other things:
“Frankly, the members of my tribe – the vast majority – don’t find it offensive. I’ve been a Redskins fan for years. And to be honest with you, I would be offended if they did change [the name, Redskins….This is] an attempt by somebody…to completely remove the Indian identity from anything and pretty soon… you have a wipeout in society of any reference to Indian people….You can’t rewrite history – yes there were some awful bad things done to our people over time, but naming the Washington football team the Redskins, we don’t consider to be one of those bad things.”
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