Tag: Washington Redskins

NFL Players Sport “I Can’t Breathe” Message to Support Eric Garner Protests

1cb2f3ce08f69330670f6a706700a6d6LANDOVER, Md. (AP) — A week after their “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot!” show of solidarity, several St. Louis Rams players made another societal statement Sunday with the message: “I Can’t Breathe.”

The slogan refers to Eric Garner, who died after a New York police officer placed him in a chokehold during an arrest for selling loose cigarettes. A grand jury decided last week that it would not indict the officer. A video of the arrest showed Garner gasping, “I can’t breathe.”

Guard Davin Joseph wrote the words on the cleats he wore during pregame warmups before the Rams beat the Washington Redskins 24-0. Tight end Jared Cook had it written on his wrist tape. Receiver Kenny Britt had several names — including Michael Brown and Trayvon Martin — written on his blue and gold cleats. The names were of black men or teens whose deaths led to protests.

“I feel like we should support what we feel is right,” said Joseph, who intended to wear the cleats during the game but had to change because of the condition of the slick turf at the Redskins’ stadium. “We should always have an opinion of sticking up for people who don’t have a voice.”

Joseph Tweeted an image of his shoes before the game with the message: “R.I.P. Eric Garner.”

Reggie Bush
Reggie Bush

Players at other NFL games expressed similar sentiments. Detroit Lions running back Reggie Bush had “I Can’t Breathe” written in black across his blue warmup shirt. Browns cornerback Johnson Bademosi wrote the message on the back of the shirt he wore before a game in Cleveland.

“Honestly, I’ve always been the quiet kid. I’ve always been the one who’s reserved, to kind of sit back and not really get into politics and things like that,” said Bush, whose mother has been a police officer for about 20 years. “But I don’t know why I just felt some kind of … I guess the situation just touched me.

“It’s kind of resonated with me. Not because I’ve been through a similar situation or because I’ve seen anybody go through it. I just really felt terrible about what was going on these past couple of weeks.”

Lions coach Jim Caldwell supported Bush’s action.

Continue reading “NFL Players Sport “I Can’t Breathe” Message to Support Eric Garner Protests”

Washington Redskins Trademark Canceled by US Patent Office

redskins
A Washington Redskins football helmet lies on the field during NFL football minicamp, Wednesday, June 18, 2014, in Ashburn, Va. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. Patent Office ruled Wednesday that the Washington Redskins nickname is “disparaging of Native Americans” and that the team’s federal trademarks for the name must be canceled.

The 2-1 ruling comes after a campaign to change the name gained momentum over the past year. The team doesn’t immediately lose trademark protection and is allowed to retain it during an appeal, which is likely.

Redskins owner Dan Snyder has refused to change the team’s name, citing tradition, but there has been growing pressure including statements in recent months from President Barack Obama, lawmakers of both parties and civil rights groups.

The decision means that the team can continue to use the Redskins name, but it would lose a significant portion of its ability to protect the financial interests connected to its use. If others printed the name on sweatshirts, apparel, or other team material, it becomes more difficult to go after groups who use it without permission.

The case involves six registered trademarks that involve the use of the word Redskins, but it does not apply to the team’s logo.

Continue reading “Washington Redskins Trademark Canceled by US Patent Office”

15 Football Honchos Who Are Standing With Michael Sam

Michael Sam

On Sunday, Michael Sam made headlines around the country when he came out as gay. If drafted, as projected, he will be the first openly gay player in the NFL.  While some people reacted poorly to the news, Sam has racked up plenty of support in the football world. See who’s standing with Sam below.

Dick Cass, Baltimore Ravens president

“We’re all about winning. If he’s a good football player who can help us win games, he will be welcomed here,” he said. “I’m disappointed it is such a big issue in 2014.”

John Elway, Denver Broncos executive

“I applaud Michael Sam and wish him the very best as he continues the pursuit of his NFL dream,” he told 7SPORTS. “We will evaluate Michael just like any other draft prospect — on the basis of his ability, character and NFL potential. His announcement will have no effect on how we see him as a football player.

John Mara and Steve Tisch, New York Giants co-owners

“Our sport, our game, is the ultimate meritocracy. You earn your way with your ability. As Patrick Burke and Wade Davis constantly remind all of us, regardless of who you are, what your background is and what your personal or sexual orientation is, if you can play, you can play. Michael’s announcement will not affect his position on our draft board,” said Mara.

“Michael Sam is a gifted athlete and a courageous man,” Tisch said. “I hope any NFL team would not hesitate to draft Michael if he is right for their team. Our game is the ultimate team game, and we often talk about how a team is a family. Regardless of where you are from, what your religious beliefs are, what your sexual orientation is, if you are good enough to be on the team, you are part of the family.

Robert Kraft, Patriots owner

“We’re about winning,” Kraft told the Boston Herald. “And anyone who can come in here and help us win, I personally don’t care what their ethnic background is, their racial background, the gender preference. If they can help us win, and they’re about team first, then I’m happy to have him here… I think it’s good for America.

Continue reading “15 Football Honchos Who Are Standing With Michael Sam”

Doug Williams Back with Redskins as Executive

Doug Williams
Doug Williams played three seasons for the Redskins, becoming the first African-American quarterback to play in a Super Bowl and earning MVP honors for his performance in Washington’s Super Bowl XXII victory. (AP Photo/Amy Sancetta)

The timing wasn’t right in 2010 when Doug Williams started talking to the Washington Redskins about a front-office position. But it was right in 2014. And, after talking for a few weeks, the Redskins and Williams finally agreed on a deal.

The Redskins hired Williams to become a personnel executive under general manager Bruce Allen, bringing back a piece of the franchise’s storied past. Williams quarterbacked the Redskins to a Super Bowl win after the 1987 season. He became the first African-American quarterback to play in a Super Bowl and earned MVP honors after passing for 340 yards and four touchdowns in the Redskins’ 42-10 victory over the Denver Broncos.

“It’s great to be home again,” Williams said in a news release. “I have only one mission: to help this team obtain the talent it needs so the fans can experience the Super Bowl they deserve.”  In 2010, Williams opted to become a general manager in the United Football League instead of joining the Redskins’ front office.

Williams spent five years as a personnel executive with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers from 2004-08 — the same length of time that Allen spent as the Bucs’ general manager. Also, current Redskins coach Jay Gruden was an assistant coach with the Buccaneers during that period.

Williams stuck around after those two left, serving as the Bucs’ director of pro personnel in 2009. He was Grambling’s head coach from 1998-2003 and again from 2011-13 before being fired in September.  Williams has 17 seasons of NFL experience — nine as a player and eight in personnel roles. He played with Washington from 1986-89, was named a member of the 80 Greatest Redskins and is a Redskins Ring of Famer.

article by John Keim via espn.go.com

Russell Wilson Proves Doubters Wrong, Becomes 2nd African-American Quarterback to Win Super Bowl

NYC PAPERS OUT. Social media use restricted to low res file max 184 x 128 pixels and 72 dpi
Russell Wilson hoists the Lombardi Trophy in just his second season as an NFL quarterback. (ROBERT SABO/NEW YORK DAILY NEWS)

He didn’t dominate, and he didn’t dazzle. He just won. Again.  And this time, Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson did it on the biggest stage possible, in Super Bowl XLVIII at MetLife Stadium, leading his underdog Seattle Seahawks to a 43-8 demolition of Peyton Manning’s Denver Broncos on Sunday night.

In a game where he was supposed to be the “other” quarterback, the second-year pro did exactly what he had to do to win the Lombardi Trophy. Very quietly, he passed for 206 yards and two touchdowns, becoming the first African-American quarterback to win a Super Bowl since Doug Williams led the Washington Redskins to victory in Supe XXII.

“It’s something I think about, to be the second African-American to win the Super Bowl,” Wilson said. “That’s history right there, man. It’s something special and it’s real.  There are so many guys before (me) who have tried to change the game and have done a great job of it.”

While Manning bumbled his way to two interceptions and meaningless Super Bowl passing records, Wilson never tried to do too much. He just calmly completed seven of his first 10 passes on the first two drives — including a 37-yarder to Doug Baldwin — to set up a pair of early field goals and set the tone in the runaway win. He was efficient the entire evening, completing 18 of 25 passes.

Not bad for a quarterback who said he routinely faced doubts because he stands just 5-11.  “I think the biggest thing is playing great situational football,” Wilson said. “We want to be smart. I just try to do my part. When we need a big play, I always try to make it, and keep the guys going.” Continue reading “Russell Wilson Proves Doubters Wrong, Becomes 2nd African-American Quarterback to Win Super Bowl”

Robert Griffin III Named AP NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year

Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III (10) leaves the field after an NFL football game against the New York Giants, Sunday, Oct. 21, 2012, in East Rutherford, N.J. The Giants won 27-23. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III (10) leaves the field after an NFL football game against the New York Giants, Sunday, Oct. 21, 2012, in East Rutherford, N.J. The Giants won 27-23. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Robert Griffin III of the Washington Redskins has won The Associated Press 2012 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year award, beating out two other sensational first-year quarterbacks.

Griffin, whose thrill-a-minute combination of running and passing skills led Washington to its first NFC East title in 13 years, pulled away from Andrew Luck of the Colts and Russell Wilson of the Seahawks in a lopsided vote announced Saturday.

RG3 earned 29 votes from a nationwide panel of 50 media members who regularly cover the league. Luck was next with 11 and Wilson got 10.  All three led their teams to the playoffs.  Griffin, who severely injured his right knee in a wild-card round loss to the Seahawks, set the NFL record for best passer rating by a rookie QB.

He accepted his award at the “2nd Annual NFL Honors” awards show on CBS saluting the NFL’s best players, performances and plays from the 2012 season.

 article by Barry Wilner, Associated Press via thegrio.com

Black Quarterbacks Changing Perceptions as NFL Playoffs Near

Quarterbacks Colin Kaepernick (Stacy Revere/Getty Images) Robert Griffin III. (Rob Carr/Getty Images) & Russell Wilson (Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

Quarterbacks Colin Kaepernick (Stacy Revere/Getty Images) Robert Griffin III. (Rob Carr/Getty Images) & Russell Wilson (Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

Young quarterbacks have been the dominant storyline of the 2013 season.  Of the 12 NFL playoff teams, six start quarterbacks that are either in their first or second year. The days of needing an established veteran at the quarterback position may be over.

Of those five young starting quarterbacks, three are African-American. Rookies Robert Griffin III and Russell Wilson will play each other in the premier wildcard game this weekend, with the Washington Redskins hosting the Seattle Seahawks Sunday afternoon. Colin Kaepernick gets a week off, as he helped lead his San Francisco 49ers to a bye.

Continue reading “Black Quarterbacks Changing Perceptions as NFL Playoffs Near”

Redskins 22-Year-Old Quarterback Robert Griffin a Team Leader and Icon

Robert Griffin III has become an icon in the NFL, setting the tone for the season as the star quarterback of the Washington Redskins.

Poised on the field, charming in public, and an admirable style of leadership all mark the presence of Robert Griffin, but his impact also touches down in a special place in African American history. At the tender young age of 22, the Washington Redskins quarterback has become a locker room leader, naturally. He’s quickly becoming an icon, becoming the chosen one – for everyone, as one Washington Post writer, Dave Sheinin, puts it.

“I think he can be that guy,” Redskins veteran linebacker London Fletcher said of the superstar. “He’s what this franchise and this community have been looking for, for over 20 years — a superstar quarterback. But he’s more than that. He has the persona, the charisma, the talent. There’s another dimension he brings.

“He’s someone who can relate to anyone,” Fletcher goes on to say. “You see everyone’s falling in love with him. But for African Americans, it’s an even different connection. In a lot of cities it might not mean as much. But this is Washington, D.C. It means a lot.”

“My parents raised me to not ever look at race or color,” Griffin said recently, “so it doesn’t have a big part in my self-identity. [But] I think it has played a big part in how other people view me, just going back to when I was a kid, to even now, doing the things that I’ve been able to do. As an African American, I think other people view that in a different way than I do.”

article by Brittney M. Walker via eurweb.com