An 87-year era of Washington football came to an end on Monday when the franchise announced it was retiring the name 'Redskins' and the team's current logo.
Former Washington running back and NBC Sports Washington analyst Brian Mitchell believes it was time for the change to be made.
"A lot of people seem to be getting upset, but I don't see a problem with it," Mitchell said. "I think it was about time. You look at the climate and what's going on right now, and I think the name had to go."
Mitchell also emphasized that just because the team is no longer called the 'Redskins,' the memories fans have with the team while that was the name will never go away.
"When you look at it, what are you really losing? Are you losing anything? No. You're still going to have the memories," Mitchell said. "You're going to have the players that played, the Darrell Green's, the Sammy Baugh's, the Sonny Jurgensen's, the Bobby Mitchell's. Those guys are still going to be there. You have those memories."
The franchise accomplished plenty during its 87 years with the moniker: Three Super Bowl titles, two NFL championships and more than 30 former players inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Those accomplishments aren't going anywhere.
Even prior to the name change, the team was entering a new era of Washington football. Longtime team president Bruce Allen was let go this offseason, while Ron Rivera was brought in as head coach. The team has a young quarterback in Dwayne Haskins, a star in the making in pass-catcher Terry McLaurin, and a generational prospect in recent draftee Chase Young.
Mitchell says this new era can bring fans new memories, ones they'll cherish just like the old ones.
"Now you have guys like Chase Young, Dwayne Haskins, Terry McLaurin," he said. "They can make new memories for you."
With the change, there is a certain group of Washington fans that are upset by the move. But for those fans upset by the removal of the name, Mitchell has a simple question: Why?
"That's the thing about it. People act as if they were cheering for the name. But no, you were cheering for the players," Mitchell said. "You were cheering because of the relationships that you got with the players. The players were playing for the fans, and that can still be there."
For Mitchell, it's always been about supporting the players and the city, never the team name. The franchise's leader in all-purpose yards said regardless of what the team's new name will be, he'll be fully supportive of it.
"If you're going to support your team, you're going to support it no matter what," Mitchell said. "They're in this area, they bring pride to this area, and winning is going to change everything. Whatever the name is going to be, Brian Mitchell will be supportive, 100 percent."
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