For many who have played for -- or even just followed -- the Washington football team over the years, the name change can be seen as a bittersweet moment. It's viewed by many as a necessary change, but also the end of an era filled with history.
Former Washington kicker Mark Moseley sees nothing "sweet" about the switch in monikers, as his feelings toward the decision are mostly bitter.
In an interview with ABC 7 News' Scott Abraham, Moseley shared how he felt about the name change, expressing great disappointment. To him, the ones most negatively impacted by the decision are the Native Americans.
“Well, I’m disappointed naturally that we’ve given up the fight here," Moseley said. "I’m disappointed here because they are the ones that are losing with this. They respected us, they loved the Redskins. That’s all I got.”
“Now, what do they gain from this? What are the Native Americans going to gain from this? Absolutely nothing. What do they lose? The constant representation of their people," Moseley said.
Moseley explained that throughout his life, and especially during and after his time with Washington, he has made an effort to connect with the Native American community. Through visits, football camps and more, he feels he has a strong understanding of how the name change really impacts the community.
Based on his past conversations, Moseley believes that the Native American community didn't want the name change. Rather, it was the past moniker that was helping people learn about their history.
“That’s not what they wanted, I can assure you from personal experience of meeting with hundreds and hundreds of them, that’s not what they wanted," Moseley said.
"These radicals once again are going to jump up and down holler and scream that we won, we won," Moseley said. "They haven't won a damn thing. All they have done is hurt the Native Americans. I hope they are happy with themselves."
As for the conversation on how the name change impacts the history of the franchise, Moseley feels that isn't what the focus should be. To him, it's not the franchise past that will be forgotten
“That’s not the point. That’s where this is all gong wrong. That’s not the point," Moseley said. “The point is that people are taking away liberties every day and this is just another one of them. The name Redskins was not doing anything but helping the Native Americans. It was keeping their name out there, it was making people remember who they are.”
Moseley, who played 13 seasons in Washington, always saw it as an honor to represent that Native Americans with the name and logo. It was a reason he spent so much time with the franchise, stating that it was bigger than the game of football.
“Me as a player, I took great honor and respect to that name," Moseley said. "Every game, every year, year after year after year that I played here I played because that name meant something.”
“I think it’s a travesty that they’re taking that away from the Native Americans here," Moseley said.
Though Moseley is strongly against the name change, he's accepted that change is sometimes inevitable. He personally believes it was the wrong choice, but is now going to "learn to live with it."
He believes others against the decision will as well. When it comes down to it, the name is only one part of the franchise. For Moseley, as much as he loved what it represented, it's the players past and present that truly make Washington football what it is.
“It’s not really the name so much as it is the players. That’s who the fans, the fans love the players. Those guys that are out there every Sunday, those guys that every day they work their butts off to get bigger, stronger, faster so they can improve and make the team a better team," Moseley said. "That’s what it’s all about, and that’s going to continue."
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