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DC Removes Monument of Redskins Founder After Vandals Deface It

DC Removes Monument of Redskins Founder After Vandals Deface It
(Getty Images)

By    |   Friday, 19 June 2020 04:16 PM

The government-funded agency that runs the nation’s capital’s sports venues removed a monument of a former Washington Redskins owner George Preston Marshall from in front of Robert F. Kennedy Stadium on Friday after it was vandalized with graffiti and said it won’t return.

The stone slab was spray painted with the words “change the name,” a reference to the nickname of the NFL club, which critics claim is racist. The team has played at FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland, since 1997.

“Removing this statue is a small and an overdue step on the road to lasting equality and justice,” DC Events said on its website. “We recognize that we can do better and act now.”

Besides RFK Stadium, which is largely unused since the Major League Soccer team DC United left for its own stadium in 2018, DC Events also runs the Walter E. Washington Convention Center and Nationals Park.

“This symbol of a person who didn’t believe all men and women were created equal and who actually worked against integration is counter to all that we as people, a city, and nation represent,” DC Events said in its statement.

Marshall founded the Redskins in 1932 and owned the team until his death in 1969. The team played at RFK from 1961 to 1996.

The Redskins were the last NFL team to integrate, which occurred after the Kennedy administration threatened to block the team from playing at the federally owned RFK Stadium — then called D.C. Stadium — at the time.

The vandalism and removal of the monument come after several statues across the country, from Confederate generals and leaders to Revolutionary War figures, including George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, have been toppled or otherwise vandalized amid protests over the death of a black man in police custody in Minneapolis.

A widely circulated video of the arrest of George Floyd, a black man arrested for using a $20 counterfeit bill at grocery store, shows a white police officer restraining him face down with his knee on Floyd’s neck. Critics have claimed the video is evidence of systemic racism in America. Floyd’s death has sparked protests and riots across the United States.

Daniel Snyder, who purchased the Redskins in 1999, has vowed not to change the name of the team, and in 2017 won a Supreme Court case after the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board voted to strip the Redskins of its trademarks because it determined that the name was disparaging.

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The government-funded agency that runs the nation's capital's sports venues removed a monument of a former Washington Redskins owner George Preston Marshall from in front of Robert F. Kennedy Stadium on Friday after it was vandalized with graffiti...
redskins, marshall, monument
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2020-16-19
Friday, 19 June 2020 04:16 PM
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