Doug Williams, Grambling’s beloved former head football coach, who now serves as an executive for the Washington Football Team, said he is ok with keeping the name as is.
“You know, and I said this earlier, I like the Washington Football Team,” Williams told 106.7 The Fan’s Grant and Danny. “The one thing that resonates in this name change, the biggest thing that resonates? Washington. So at the end of the day, if it remains what it is, I’m alright.”
The Washington Football Team was founded as the Washington Redskins in 1932 and played under that name until the 2020 season.
The organization had been under increasing criticism spanning back to the 1960s for using a pejorative term for Native Americans.
The team finally decided to change the name in the wake of protests last year.
“I don’t know what everybody else (wants) but I think this season playing under the Washington Football Team kind of hit home to a lot of us,” Williams said. “Now I don’t know what’s going to happen in the next year or so…But I think it kind of resonated because the most important thing, we’ve got to understand where we are. And we are in the DMV area, and Washington has been the name for so many years, with a logo and a mascot and a name, but Washington will never leave us. So we’re going to keep that in place, and to me that’s the most impactful part of this whole name change thing.”
Williams said the prior name is certainly part of the history of the organization, but that the team is much larger than any name or mascot.
"When you talk about the name change and everything, it’s the history of this organization and the players that played the game,” williams said. “It’s not the logo that was on the side of the helmet," Williams said during the interview. "And we’ve got to let the fans understand that the history of this organization is not going away. It’s here. It’s three super bowl trophies that are in this building. And it’s because of the players."
Williams was a first round pick at quarterback for the Tampa Bucs in 1978.
He was named Super Bowl MVP in 1989 after winning Super Bowl XXII as a Washington player.
Williams was the first Black quarterback to start a Super Bowl.
He served as head coach at Grambling in 1998–2003 and 2011–2013.
Williams played at Grambling under legendary head coach Eddie Robinson.