Following an arrest in November, former San Francisco 49er and 2017 first round pick, Rueben Foster was cut from San Francisco. The NFL world hoped they heard the last of the young linebacker after an arrest for domestic violence. That is when the Washington Redskins stepped in and picked up Foster off of waivers.
Washington has a long history of being simply the worst run organization in NFL history. They don’t lose like the Cleveland Browns, but they are far worse in every conceivable way. The latest signing is only the cherry on top of decades of football malpractice.
The latest in the legacy of the Dan Snyder era in Washington is not even about the Foster signing. On the same day was the 11th anniversary of the death of Sean Taylor, a former All-Pro safety who was killed at age 24. Snyder decided it was appropriate for the team to sell a plush toy of Taylor for profit.
Taylor is still a fan favorite player and will be remembered as one of the greatest players to have their lives tragically cut short. With that in mind, the owner of the Redskins decided to sell plush toys of Taylor’s likeness for profit on the anniversary of his death. This is only the tip of the iceberg for this organization.
Let’s get the elephant out of the room shall we? The name “Washington Redskins” is absolutely racist. It is not up for debate. However, owner Dan Snyder would have you think otherwise. Despite commons sense and dictionaries defining the name as, “ A contemptuous terms used to refer to a North American Indian,” Snyder refuses to budge.
In 2013, Snyder wrote a letter to fans defending the name. He cited how the team, “cannot ignore our 81-year history,” as well as detailing a story of his first Washington football game. He even came out and stated how he wanted those against the name to, “try to respect what the name means, not only for all of us in the extended Washington Redskins family, but among Native Americans too.”
While an 81- year old history is nothing to scoff at, by his same logic there is a lot of things that are even older that could use a similar logic. By Snyder’s logic, Little Rock Arkansas would have the long tradition of having the National Guard escort their African American students to school.
In fact, if we look at the legacy of Washington, it is one of racism. George Marshall was the owner of the team from 1932 until his death in 1969. After some success early in the team’s history, Washington was one of the worst teams after 1945.
During this time, Marshall refused to integrate his football team. The situation got so divisive the Secretary of the Interior, Stewart Udall, warned Marshall to integrate his team. Because of a government official warning the president of the team, the Washington team became the last professional American football team to integrate.
The name itself is indication of an organization that simply does not know how to develop a winning team. Washington is known for spending a lot of money in free agency and being an overall mediocre team.
Free agency has always been difficult for Washington. They gave a 32- year old Deion Sanders a seven year $55 million contract in 2000. He retired the next year. They made Adam Archuleta the highest paid safety in the league with a six- year $30 million contract. He was traded for a sixth round pick the following season. They gave a role playing wide receiver in Antwaan Randle El a seven-year $31 million contract. He surpassed 600 receiving yards once in his four years at Washington. For those playing at home, that is over $126 million wasted dollars.
Despite those horrible free agency moves, the most infamous free agent bust is Albert Haynesworth. This player epitomizes the Washington franchise. He was seen as a player with an inconsistent motor, dating back to his collegiate days at Tennessee, his best two seasons were right before he hit free agency, and he lacked any production after he received his money. He even scraped his cleat against the head of a former player, leading to a five game suspension and 30 stitches to the player.
This player received a seven-year $100 million contract as a defensive tackle. Haynesworth went on to record 6.5 sacks in two seasons with Washington. He was out of the NFL by what would’ve been the third year of his record contract. Haynesworth is regarded as the biggest free agency bust of all time.
A team that has a history of racism, poor free agency decisions is a perfect home for Rueben Foster. Despite Snyder sending a strong anti-domestic abuse message to fans during the Ray Rice incident in 2014, his opinions seem to have changed drastically.
Foster has been a controversial player since before he was drafted. He now joins a team stooped in controversy and failure. Foster reportedly isn’t getting a starting job handed to him, but knowing this team he will be a captain by the end of the week, sending a clear message about whether Dan Snyder values talent over criminal charges. This is why Washington football is the worst kind of football.