Football Team

Doug Williams excited for Bobby Mitchell jersey retirement

Football Team
Doug Williams

The Washington Football Team is set to honor Bobby Mitchell before Thursday night's matchup with the Giants in Week 2.

The ceremony for the NFL Hal-of-Famer will include a jersey retirement as well as naming FedEx Field's concourse after him. Washington players will also wear patches on their helmets, similar to how they wore No. 49 patches on their helmets last season following Mitchell's passing in April. 

Washington Football Team senior advisor and former quarterback Doug Williams joined the Sports Junkies Tuesday to talk about what Mitchell meant to the organization while encouraging fans to get to FedEx Field early on Thursday.

"I would hope that everybody will come out early to make sure that they are there to witness this," Williams said. "When you look at it, there's a lot of jerseys that are out of order right now. Nobody has been officially retired, and for it to be Bobby Mitchell, when you think about what he had to go through when he first got here and what he meant to this organization culturally, athletically and just every human being, Bobby Mitchell epitomized what it's all about." 

Mitchell made history in 1961 by becoming the first Black player in Washington franchise history, ultimately making three Pro Bowls and first team All-Pros during his playing career. 

After he retired, Mitchell moved into Washington's front office and would spend the next 33 years as an executive. Up until his final year with the team in 2002, Mitchell had made an impression on multiple generations of players to come through the organization. 

 

"When I walked into this building back in 1986, I had a chance to walk in again and in the assistant general manager's office was Bobby Mitchell, which was almost unheard of," Williams said. "So every day I went to visit Bobby Mitchell because I knew if anybody had some words of wisdom for what he had been through, it was him. I hope these players realize what Bobby Mitchell really was and what he meant to the organization."

Mitchell's ceremony will run before Thursday night's game between the Washington Football Team and New York Giants. Kick-off is scheduled for 8:20 p.m.