Associated Press

NYT Article Asks Who Came Up With the ‘Redskins’ logo?


The New York Times asked a pointed question recently in its editorial: Who made that Redskins Logo?

The story behind the logo, as told by the Times, is that in October of 1933, the Boston Redskins—the football team’s first hometown was in Boston and then, they moved to Washington, D.C.— traveled to Chicago to play the Bears. When they arrived, George Preston Marshall the team’s first owner, ordered his players to “smear themselves with face paint before going out onto the field”; the half-time band marched in tribal regalia; and the coach, William Henry “Lone Star” Dietz, wore feathers on the sideline.

Marshall also had an Indian–head logo printed across the center of the players’ uniforms. According to a blog site, that keeps record of sports team’s uniforms, the uniform that debuted at that Bears game remained the team’s until 1937.

A picture of the 'Redskins' uniform in 1933. (

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Law professor and historian, J. Gordon Hylton, who wrote Before the Redskins Were the Redskins, says Marshall’s decision to use a Native mascot was unusual. Hylton said that among the NFL owners, Marshall was the only one who felt that it was acceptable to use an American Indian name.

Hylton said in the Q&A with the Times that Marshall also had a slightly odd obsession. “He also had this whole weird thing about the White Confederates and Indians being joined by some mystical bond.”

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No matter how the “Redskins” logo came about—Whether it was adopted because Marshall had a weird “obsession” with Native American culture or named his team “Redskins” because of genuine interest in Native culture; or because he was an unapologetic racist—Marshall profited handsomely off of Native iconography, and his team continues to do so.

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Ferdinand E. Louie
Ferdinand E. Louie
Submitted by Ferdinand E. Louie on
The closure is a homerun...I feel the same way about the Gov't, they too have profited off of Natives, starting with the land. During all this heated controversy, 'WE' Native Americans can use this passion and energy to refocus on the deep rooted racism, RELIGION! That should be more unacceptable than the tangent branch that stems off of the racism tree. Sure this mascot is racist but what about Catholicism? that is the religion that is practiced across Indian country! That is the religion that abused and punished our ancestors for speaking their language. Anyways, I am a Ferdinand Louie. I am a affiliated Okanogan/Lakes band of the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation. I support the passion and think that natives really ought to go just a lil furthor with this burning desire to point out this blatant embarassing position of Racism. LANGUAGE IS OUR WAY HOME!!! Much love to Indian Country!!!