Chapter 1, Page 17

George Preston Marshall
The Washington Star
For the 24 years when he was identified as the leading racist in the NFL, he simply stared down the criticism of his refusal to sign a black player. It was the only subject on which the voluble Marshall never expressed a public opinion, never resorted to a quip. But he bristled when this columnist reminded him in print that "the Redskins colors are burundy, gold and Caucasian."

He caved in, finally, when Interior Secretary Stewart Udall issued an ultimatum: Sign a black player or be denied use of the new 54,000-seat D.C. Stadium (later renamed RFK) that the government had paid for, and to hell with the 30-year lease Marshall had signed. Marshall's chief response was to make Ernie Davis, Syracuse's all-American running back, his No.1 draft choice for 1962. Ernie Davis's response was: "I won't play for that S.O.B." He demanded to be traded and was, to Cleveland, for all-pro Bobby Mitchell. The Ernie Davis tale had a sad denouement; he developed cancer and died in 1963, never playing a down for Cleveland.

Some argued that Marshall's anti-black policy was grounded more in commerce than in prejudice. Marshall had brought his football team to Washington with a plan to make the Redskins "the South's team." To that end, he established a network of radio

Page 17 | Next Page: 18


Other Pages in Chapter 1:
7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42

Table of Contents
Introduction
Chapter 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6
Names, Numbers
Trivia Quiz
Index

Redskins | NFL | Sports




Home page Site Index Search Help!