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How Would Bobby Mitchell Feel About Changing the Redskins Name?

By Marc Lande

I group tutored 5 students reading in 2018 here in DC at a Boy and Girls club overlooking a field named to “Bobby Mitchell” which is important to this story given the great news of retiring Mitchell’s jersey and renaming the lower bowl of FedEx Field.

This writer remembers his first day teaching in this classroom and after class ending calling mom because mom is a Washingtonian and lived on the same street in that Shepard Park neighborhood as the Mitchells.

This writer did not realize the anti-racist real estate policies history of this Shepard Park neighborhood until after Mitchell’s death. This writer did grow up knowing that a Washington football team legend lived so close to mom’s childhood home.

As a Washingtonian, mom and dad follow politics like so many of us. It was not until after Mitchell’s death that this writer discovered that Mitchell had been a colleague of Robert Fitzgerald Kennedy.

The namesake of where Washington football teams best memories are. From what I have learned, the Bobby’s hung out and were friends and colleagues during the 60s.

So, nice to see that at RFK, the same few days that Marshall’s statue was removed, Mitchell is now honored at FedEx field. How would Mitchell and RFK be looking at today and the name Redskins is anyone’s guess…

Well, tutoring can reveal many thing about the Washington Football team especially if a tutor has its eyes opened to learn about the team through today’s next generation.

For example, we had fun-like the day the students wanted to throw a football from the boys and girls club windows to their friends on Mitchell field. How about the day one of the 5th graders said, “man do you need some cash?” as the student pulled out his allowance of ten-dollar bills — as I was in mid-sentence. Put the cash down.

These were good students doing what 5th graders do build things, reading, art, math, studying, football, joking. Two were Cowboy fans and the other 4 seemed to like the Jaguars and Patriots and possibly, the Washington football team?

None of these students were too high on the Washington football team — or at least they were not stir crazy about Washington football, arguing that they are the greatest organization in the land. Maybe a name change would help? I wonder how both Bobby’s would have felt about that.


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