D.C. Council will honor Robert Griffin III without mentioning ‘Redskins’


(Rob Carr/Getty Images)

Last October, D.C. Council Member Vincent B. Orange introduced a ceremonial resolution honoring Robert Griffin III for winning the NFL’s offensive rookie of the year award. Among the highlights:

* “Whereas, he was selected by the Washington Redskins (“Redskins”) with the second overall pick of the 2012 National Football League (“NFL”) draft.

* “Whereas, his brilliant play helped lead the Redskins into the playoffs and capture their first NFC East title since 1999.”

* “Whereas, Robert Griffin III became the first player in Redskins’ franchise history to be named The Associated Press NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year since Mike Thomas won the award in 1975.”

* “The Council of the District of Columbia recognizes and honors Robert Griffin III and his family for their commitment to the Washington Redskins and to the District of Columbia.”

The language was typical of such things. The Redskins were mentioned at least nine times.

A couple weeks later, the resolution was approved. But the language had been changed. See if you can spot the differences!

* “Whereas, he was selected by the Washington National Football League team with the second overall pick of the 2012 National Football League (“NFL”) draft.

* “Whereas, his brilliant play helped lead the Washington NFL team into the playoffs and capture its first NFC East title since 1999.”

* “Whereas, Robert Griffin III became the first player in the Washington NFL team’s franchise history to be named The Associated Press NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year since Mike Thomas won the award in 1975.”

* “The Council of the District of Columbia recognizes and honors Robert Griffin III and his family for their commitment to the Washington NFL team and to the District of Columbia.”

I bet you spotted them! Washington Business Journal’s Michael Neibauer explains:

The ceremonial resolution was adopted, but not presented, on Nov. 5. Earlier in that meeting, Orange agreed (after Councilman David Grosso, I-At large, objected) to change the team name in the resolution from the Washington Redskins to some variation of “Washington football team.” Later in that meeting, the council adopted a resolution calling on the Redskins “to rename the Washington Football Club.”

It’s now nearly two years after RGIII began his rookie season — his performance in his first NFL game is actually cited in the resolution. And yet the ceremonial resolution has never been presented. That is scheduled to change on Monday, when the council’s meeting will begin with the presentation of five ceremonial resolutions, also including one commemorating the Washington Kastles’ 34-game winning streak and another one commemorating the Washington Wizards’ 2013-2014 season.

Will this be the first time a D.C. sports star is honored by a D.C. legislative body which refuses to mention the D.C. team which employs said D.C. sports star?

A team spokesman told Neibauer he wasn’t sure whether Griffin would attend the function.

Dan Steinberg writes about all things DC sports at the DC Sports Bog.
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Dan Steinberg | July 11