The NFL wants you to know that ‘Redskins’ isn’t offensive
Roger Goodell’s claim that the name was never meant to offend is highly suspect.
Former team owner George Preston Marshall changed the team’s name from “Braves” to “Redskins” in 1932 when he moved them to Washington, D.C. Goodell noted that point in his letter, but said that change was made to avoid confusion with baseball’s Boston Braves.
However, Marshall was a notorious racist — even for his own time — who forced his coach and team to wear war paint and dance on the field. He also presided over the last segregated team in the league, refusing to sign any black players until given an ultimatum from President John F. Kennedy’s interior secretary, Stewart Udall. Since the Redskins’ stadium was on public land, Udall ordered Marshall to add black players to his roster or lose his stadium.