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Like Ron Rivera, Terry Francona is in favor of his team changing its name

Like Ron Rivera, Terry Francona is in favor of his team changing its name

The Redskins aren't the only major sports team considering a name change, and now, the Redskins aren't the only major sports team with a coach who supports such a decision.

During a Zoom call on Sunday, Terry Francona told reporters that he thinks "it's time" for the club "to move forward" in regards to its name.

“I’ve been thinking about it and been thinking about it before we put out that statement,” the manager said, referring to the announcement Cleveland made on Friday that they'd be reviewing their Indians moniker. “I know in the past, when I’ve been asked about, whether it’s our name or the Chief Wahoo, I think I would usually answer and say I know that we’re never trying to be disrespectful."

"I still feel that way," he added. "But I don’t think that’s a good enough answer today... It’s a very difficult subject. It’s also delicate."

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Francona's comments come just hours after Ron Rivera explained to the Washington Post that he would like to see the Redskins make their switch before the 2020 season begins. 

"It would be awesome," Rivera said. "We want to do this in a positive way."

Rivera and Francona find themselves in somewhat unenviable positions: Though they weren't the ones who named their franchises in the first place, and though they aren't the ones fully in control of their organizations' ultimate decisions, they're the ones having to answer questions about it. 

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Both, however, aren't shying away from making their stances known. That will matter, even if they don't have the final call.

“Even at my age, you don’t want to be too old to learn or to realize that, maybe I’ve been ignorant of some things, and to be ashamed of it, and to try to be better,” Francona said. “I’m glad that we’re going to be open to listening, because I think that’s probably the most important thing right now, is being willing to listen, not necessarily just talk.”

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Jerry Jones shares what the Cowboys will do during national anthem

Jerry Jones shares what the Cowboys will do during national anthem

It's become a question every professional sports team has had to or will have to answer at one point or another: "What will you do during the national anthem?"

Most NBA players have decided to take a knee, while a percentage of players in MLB and the NHL have decided to do the same. Some players remain standing, as is their choice, though people want to know everyone's plan. Especially Jerry Jones and the Dallas Cowboys. 

Jones didn't reveal the specifics of his team's plan once their season begins on September 13, though he did reveal what the general theme of their demonstration to reporters Wednesday. 

"We're going to show grace. I'm going to show grace. And I'd like to show that kind of grace on a sensitive matter," Jones said, according to ESPN's Todd Archer. "Everybody is genuine here. I'm giving everyone the benefit of the doubt relative to any decision that I make. I have one thing: My job is to run the Dallas Cowboys. My job is to do what's right. We've asked for all of this interest and we've asked for our players to give everything they've got."

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Jones was notably anti-protest back in 2016 when Colin Kaepernick began kneeling during the national anthem. Nobody on his team took a knee during the anthem, and he later stated how proud he was of his team for it. Jones also required his team to stand for the anthem in 2017.

"We strongly, strongly support the flag," Jones said at the time. "In every way, we support -- it's almost ridiculous to be saying it -- the people that for generations and generations have given it all up so we can get out here and show off in front of millions of people on television. We respect that so much. That's the real business."   

But as Jones said Wednesday, "That was then, this is now." We won't know until the day comes whether the Cowboys will kneel during the national anthem or put on any other demonstration. But for now, we can acknowledge how Jones has changed his tune regarding this issue. 

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Chris Cooley out of Washington Football organization, radio broadcast

Chris Cooley out of Washington Football organization, radio broadcast

Chris Cooley knew his time with the Washington Football Team came to a close a few months back, but he wants fans to know how much he enjoyed it and that he has no hard feelings about his departure. 

"The Redskins provided a great job for me for the last six years," Cooley said Thursday morning in an interview on The Team 980. "They were the Redskins then, and the Washington Football Team will not provide a great job for me."

The team finalized their new radio broadcast this week, announcing that DeAngelo Hall would serve as the analyst alongside Julie Donaldson as the host and Bram Weinstein doing play-by-play. Hall essentially replaces Cooley, but the former Washington tight end believes Hall will do a great job. 

"I can talk about it but I’m not going to talk about it," Cooley said. "I just wanted to say I think DeAngelo Hall is going to be pretty good at it."

Cooley also confirmed he's out of the organization completely, so fans should not expect any of the podcasts or video work he used to provide on the team's website. Kevin Sheehan, who hosted a morning show with Cooley on The Team 980 for a few years and conducted the interview, hinted that perhaps a reunion could be in the works, or at least more appearances. 

A tight end in Washington for nine seasons, Cooley twice made the Pro Bowl and recorded 429 catches for more than 4,700 yards and 33 touchdowns. A fan favorite throughout his career, Cooley became a rock star traveling with the team for the last six seasons for radio broadcasts. At road rallies Washington fans would besiege Cooley for autographs and pictures.

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While it was known privately for some time that Cooley wanted a job in coaching, he revealed that publicly while speaking with Sheehan. 

"It was going to become a tough decision in the future for me," Cooley said of the radio job. "Over the last few years I've had this dream that I would become an NFL football coach. It is not an easy job to acquire."

He explained that he had an opportunity for a coaching internship with another team for this fall, but the grind required for young coaches to grow in the industry was not something Cooley wanted to put his family through. He has two young children. 

"Moving forward in the next phase of my life I can’t spend every weekend on the road," Cooley said. 

Washington Football media executive Donaldson tweeted her support of Cooley on Thursday morning, saying, "A decision was made at the beginning of the year that Chris Cooley would no longer be a part of the broadcast team. Personally, I loved listening to Cooley and have the upmost respect for him and his work. He’s one of a kind and will always be around as a beloved alum."

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