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October 12, 2013

'Redskins' should be a relic of the past

(Continued)

And “what the name means,” to quote Snyder, is nothing to be proud of. In 1932, then-Redskins owner George Preston Marshall named the team in honor of coach William Dietz, a supposed Oglala Sioux Indian. But Dietz, it turns out, was no Indian; he stole a missing Sioux man’s identity so he could fake Indian ancestry on his draft registration and avoid military service.

Marshall’s record was equally dubious. The last NFL owner to sign black players, Marshall relented in 1962 only after the NFL threatened to cancel his stadium lease. When Marshall died, his will created the Redskins Foundation on the condition that it would never support “the principle of racial integration in any form.”

Regardless of whether the team’s fans take offense to the moniker “Redskins,” it’s a racial slur. It should be consigned to the dustbin of history, not held up as a proud tradition.

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