October 29, 1877, is the day former slave trader, Confederate general, and first leader of the Ku Klux Klan Nathan Bedford Forrest died.
On that day every year the Government of the District of Columbia ought to drape a white pointed hood upon the head of the statue of George Preston Marshall, founder of the Washington Redskins NFL franchise, that stands on DC property outside RFK stadium.
Marshall’s role in preventing black players from entering the NFL at all, and in being the last team to employ a black player, is well documented in a number of sources, including Marshall’s NFL Hall of Fame admission bio at Canton OH.
Accordingly there can be no doubt of the historic accuracy of linking Marshall with the Klan in spirit, whether he officially ever belonged or not. After all, the Klan was not famous either for keeping, or for being able to write down, records.
Redskins team officials and NFL representatives need not attend the ceremonies. But equally they should not prevent them from occurring.
After the hooding of the statue, a high school band should play. Cheerleaders should cheer. There should be speeches by the DC Mayor and Councilmembers. And homegoing commuters will drive past it thoughtfully that evening.
It’s a public statue on public land. Let’s use it for a public observation of an historic connection.
This should become an annual tradition lasting 360 years, as long as slavery and Jim Crow did (1607 founding of Jamestown – 1967 Civil Rights Act.) Or until the NFL dies, whichever comes first.