Kudos to Dan Snyder, the owner of the now “Washington Football Team.” Snyder has made significant advancements in doing away with the racist stance of the previous owner, George Preston Marshall when the team was known as the Redskins. The decision was finally made to select a new name for the team, along with a logo that was socially acceptable to its fan base. There had been a tremendous amount of pressure on Dan Snyder to initiate the change from within the organization. A new group of minority owners who purchased their stake in the team advocated for the name change. The team is in the most diverse city of the United States, Washington D. C., and the name change was key given the current social climate. Over the years, there have been representatives from Indigenous Americans who lobbied to remove the logo and name. But the racist stance held by Marshall fell on deaf ears. The Washington Redskins under Marshall was also the last team to integrate into the NFL, refusing to sign a player of color until 1961. So, the move by Snyder is to be commended.
In addition to the new image, Snyder made an additional move that is to be applauded. He hired Jason Wright, an African American, as President of the Team. Wright was the first person of color hired within the NFL in that position. Wright had played in the league for six years ending his career in 2010. After Wright’s post-playing career in management, he specialized in corporate diversity training, so the offer by Snyder was a natural one. As the first black president in the league, one of his responsibilities is to implement marketing strategies to rebuild the image of the team. Overseeing football operations entails making sure the right people are at the helm. Wright will be that go-to guy involving every facet of the game, and all eyes will be on his management decisions. I am confident that he has what it takes to succeed with the organization’s goals.
Lastly, the Washington Football team has the right guy coaching on the field in Ron Rivera. Rivera is of Mexican and Puerto Rican descent and brings a wealth of knowledge as a coach and player to the NFL. He was twice voted NFL Coach of the Year by the Associated Press, and he was the Head Coach of the Carolina Panthers. Rivera was an All-American linebacker out of Cal Berkeley, and he later went on to star in that position with the Chicago Bears for eight seasons. He has been touted as a player-coach extraordinaire based on his experience.
So, as a fan of the league, I tip my hat to Dan Snyder and look forward to the Washington Football team’s success on the field.