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If anybody knows a thing or two about the history of professional football in Washington, it's Doug Williams.
Williams won a Super Bowl trophy with Washington in 1987, becoming the first Black quarterback to both start and win the big game in NFL history. He now serves as a front office executive for the Washington Football Team, having filled multiple roles since 2014.
And if you ask him, the most important historical aspect to the team's much-discussed name change isn't about the mascot or logo, but rather the city itself. And that's why he supports keeping the Washington Football Team moniker.
"You know, and I said this earlier, I like the Washington Football Team. 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," Williams told 106.7 The Fan's Grant and Danny. "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. 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."
We interviewed #WashingtonFootball legend Doug Williams today. He's now working with Team Prez Jason Wright. Williams told us he likes the name "Washington Football Team" and would be cool with it sticking.
The interview starts 18 minutes in here: https://t.co/kIwNbFt5zD.
— Grant Paulsen (@granthpaulsen) February 5, 2021
For many fans, the name change represents an opportunity to pick a mascot specific to the Washington area. But for Williams, there's nothing more specific than the Washington name itself, something he -- along with others -- insist will never go away.
Williams also feels it is important to remember that the storied history of the franchise doesn't come from its former mascot name.
"When you talk about the name change and everything, it’s the history of this organization and the players that played the game. 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."