Reluctantly, Marshall signed Syracuse University standout Ernie Davis, who immediately asked to be traded.

Davis, who unfortunately died a short while later at age 23, was sent to the Cleveland Browns for standout wide receiver Bobby Mitchell. Mitchell starred for the team for seven seasons, then worked in the team’s front office from 1969 until 2002.

Ironically, the addition of Black players to the team bolstered its popularity in the league and that loyalty and legacy continues to this day. The Washington Football Team former home arena is named after Kennedy though the team currently plays in nearby Prince George’s County, Md.

Current team owner Dan Snyder, a White Jewish man, has resisted all efforts to change the Washington Football Team nickname.

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Little Known Black History Fact: George Marshall And The Washington Washington Football Team  was originally published on

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