Granddaughter Of Redskins’ Founder: ‘They Need To Change The Name’

George Preston Marshall, founder and owner of the Washington Redskins, in 1935. CREDIT: AP
George Preston Marshall, founder and owner of the Washington Redskins, in 1935. CREDIT: AP

The granddaughter of George Preston Marshall, the man who founded the football franchise that now calls Washington home, has joined the list of people who think that it is time for the team to find a new name.

“They need to change the name,” Jordan Wright, who said she was Marshall’s granddaughter, told Leesburg Today columnist Leonard Shapiro recently (via Dan Steinberg). “In this day and age, it’s just not right.”

The Oneida Indian Nation, which has challenged the name with a public campaign against it over the last year, issued a statement applauding Wright.

“We applaud Ms. Wright for speaking out and calling for a change,” the statement said. “She could have remained silent, but instead chose to publicly repudiate her grandfather’s legacy and stand on the right side of history. This is yet another wake up call to the NFL. When even the kin of the owner who gave the Washington team its name is now demanding a change, it is yet another sign that the team’s current ownership is standing on the wrong side of history. As Ms. Wright said: they need to change the name.”

Preston Marshall founded the franchise as the Boston Braves in 1932. He changed the name to the “Redskins” in 1933; the team moved to Washington in 1937. The franchise has maintained that Marshall changed the name to honor the team’s coach at the time, William “Lone Star” Dietz, who claimed he was Sioux, though recent research has called Dietz’s heritage into question. News reports from 1933 that surfaced this year show Marshall saying that the name was not a tribute to Dietz, no matter his background, or Native American players on the team at the time.

Marshall, infamous for only integrating his team when the federal government threatened not to let him use the District’s stadium, died in 1969. Daniel Snyder, the current owner, has vowed to “NEVER” change the team’s name.