'Change the name' spray-painted on monument to Redskins football team founder
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A monument depicting George Preston Marshall, founder of the Washington Redskins, was removed Friday morning after it had been vandalized in front of RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C.

The words “change the name” had been spray-painted on the monument outside the stadium where the team used to play.

Officials for Events D.C., which manages and owns various D.C. venues, said in a statement Friday that the statue will not return, adding that its removal “is a small and an overdue step on the road to lasting equality and justice.”

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Marshall was known for not signing African American players until the federal government forced his hand in 1962.

Protesters nationwide have targeted controversial statues and monuments following the police killing of George Floyd on May 25. Demonstrators have called for the removal of statues ranging from Christopher Columbus to Confederate leaders.

The name of Washington’s football team has been a source of controversy for decades.

Former President Obama even weighed in on the issue in October 2013 when he told The Associated Press that if he were the owner, he would “think about changing it.”

Daniel Snyder, the team’s owner since 1999, said earlier that year that he would never rename the team, which plays at FedEx Field in Landover, Md.

NFL officials have also defended the team’s name. Commissioner Roger Goodell said in a letter to Congress in June 2013 that the name is a “unifying force that stands for strength, courage, pride and respect.”

Efforts to change the Redskins name continue, with D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) saying the team’s name is offensive to many people.

“I think it’s past time for the team to deal with what offends so many people,” Bowser said on The Team 1080 Radio show last week. “And this is a great franchise with a great history that’s beloved in Washington. And it deserves a name that reflects the affection that we’ve built for the team.”