Following the killing of George Floyd on May 25, the fight for social justice and racial equality has been at the forefront of issues in the United States.
The current social justice movement in America has impacted Washington's NFL team, as the organization announced on Monday it would retire the name 'Redskins' -- a slur that some Native Americans find offensive and racist -- and the team's logo. The change -- something Washington owner Dan Snyder said he would "never" do in 2013 -- is felt to be overdue by many.
Former Washington quarterback Joe Theismann hopes that the team's eventual name change can be used as an opportunity for the organization to serve as an example by taking action for social change.
"I think that what we've proven with the new name of the Washington football franchise is that we need people to take action on the things that they want to get done," Theismann told ABC7's Scott Abraham.
"There's so many things socially that people talk about doing... but we're not really getting the results. In this case, I hope the Washington name and the change that's taking place can be an example to people."
Additionally, the Super Bowl-winning QB explained that he wants those upset by the change to understand that things don't say the same. Sometimes, change is necessary.
"Things are always changing in one place, in one way or another," Theismann said. "We're experiencing this now through the pandemic and all the things that are happening socially around the country and really around the world. And I think what we have to do is listen, open our hearts, open our minds to what's going on."
Asked if he was upset or angry by the change, Theismann said that he doesn't have any regrets personally with the franchise.
"I don't have any regrets... I was very proud to put on that uniform and represent, what I felt like were the Native Americans," Theismann said. "As a matter of fact, in 1982 when we won the World Championship, I was given a chief's headdress by one of the tribal individuals. And it's a cherished item."
Plus, the quarterback also stated he would continue to wear his 'Redskins' gear, saying he will "explain to people, to me it represented a proud tradition of the people that I spoke to who were Native Americans."
However, Theismann made sure to emphasize he is fully embracing the change and the current social movement.
"I think it's a time to get excited," Theismann said. "Let's embrace what's here in front of us, let's embrace this young group of guys."
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