That Jordan Wright, granddaughter of George Preston Marshall, has spoken out against the Redskins’ name and urged officials to change it [“Family ties don’t bind her to team’s name,” Metro, July 24] strikes at the heart of the team’s defense of keeping a racial slur as the name of the NFL team in the nation’s capital: “It’s tradition.”
She loved her grandfather and loved the team and going to games, but she knows now what that name communicates and wishes the team would adapt to the times.
Slavery, too, was a treasured tradition. Important developments have taken place since the Redskins were named in 1937, including the civil rights movement, and we have learned a few things. I came to the District from Minnesota in 1986, and even then, coming from a state where Native Americans have a significant presence, I could not believe the name. The District’s profile includes the Redskins, and I was and am ashamed to be associated with it.
Claire Taylor, Washington
Regarding “Taking the road less traveled” [Sports, July 23]:
Washington’s rookie football coach, Jay Gruden, said something that his bosses could profit from: “You try to learn from history.”
For a team that represents the nation’s capital, with a populace that still bears the scars of segregation, racism and poverty, the lessons learned from history could hardly be clearer: Admit that the once-acceptable name of the District’s home team simply is no longer acceptable, just as the names of other products have given way over the years as Americans have learned from the mistakes of the past (case in point: the “Sambo’s” restaurant chain).
Given Daniel Snyder’s business acumen, one hopes that he will eventually take Coach Gruden’s advice and embrace a change that’s long overdue. Even if he has a hard time letting go of his personal history, perhaps Mr. Snyder will make a bold change that will benefit future generations of sports fans — and may even help his bottom line.
Charles V. Jones, Henrico