NFL Should Take a Stand And Remove Racist Redskins Owner George Preston Marshall From Hall of Fame

Sammy Baugh - Washington Redskins - File Photos
Redskins owner George Preston Marshall (L) | Nate Fine/Getty Images

The Washington Redskins, owners of the most controversial name in sports today, were founded in 1932 by a man named George Preston Marshall, a proven, outspoken racist who continued to run the team in a racist fashion until a few years before he passed away in 1969.

After his mounument outside of the soon-to-be demolished RFK Stadium was defaced during a protest, Washington finally decided to remove Marshall's display, as protesters took offense to the fact that an avowed racist was immortalized in front of what used to be the Redskins' home stadium.

Marshall was one of the owners that pushed for a ban on Black players that lasted until the 1949 season, which should have been disqualifying enough. Even though the ban was lifted, he didn't sign a Black player until 1962, constantly cited the need to "appeal to the Southern market," as Washington was the NFL's southernmost team until the creation of the Dallas Cowboys in 1960.

In one infamous quote, Marshall claimed he will sign Black players "when the Harlem Globetrotters start playing white players." After that disgusting quote, Robert F. Kennedy himself threatened to revoke the Redskins' stadium lease unless they signed a Black player.

They used the No. 1 pick in the 1962 draft on Syracuse running back Ernie Davis, who tragically died of leukemia before he ever played a pro game, but traded him to the Cleveland Browns for future Hall of Famer Bobby Mitchell after Davis refused to play for a racist owner like Marshall.

Despite the way he ran his team, and the lack of success the team had in the 1950s and 1960s due to his constant micromanaging, Marshall was inducted in the Hall of Fame as a member of the inaugural 1963 class. Yes, not every Hall of Famer is a choir boy. However, the unspoken seal of endorsement the Hall has given Marshall's repugnant legacy by leaving him enshrined even after such blatantly unacceptable words and actions is simply unacceptable in 2020.

A man who named his team after a racial slur and passed over signing the best African-American players available for decades, a policy which he only retracted after pressure from the federal government, still has his bust proudly displayed in Canton. One way the league, and the Hall of Fame, can prove that they are totally behind any and all racial justice initiatives is removing any trace of Marshall from those hallowed halls.