By John Ruberry
On Saturday, Charley Taylor, a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame who spent his entire National Football League career with the Washington Redskins, mostly as a wide receiver, died Saturday. He was 79. Taylor is the franchise leader in receiving touchdowns and overall TDs, and he was named to the Pro Bowl eight times.
Taylor, an African-American, was drafted by the Redskins in 1964, just two years after Washington became the last NFL team to integrate. That’s an interesting story, which ESPN doesn’t bother to mention. From 1946, the year before Jackie Robinson broke the color line in Major League Baseball, thru 1970, the ‘Skins got what they deserved, they had just four winning seasons and no playoff appearances.
But if you look at the ESPN.com headline for the story about Taylor’s death, you’ll think he played for the modern incarnation of the Washington team. It reads, at the time of the posting of this blog entry, “Washington Commanders Hall of Fame wide receiver Charley Taylor dies at 80.”
The Washington National Football League franchise has been using the Commanders nickname for not even three weeks. Controversial for years, the Redskins moniker reaches back nine decades, to the brief period when they played in Boston. “Redskins” has always been perceived as a pejorative. No, let me use a stronger term, a racist insult. Native Americans and many other people have long called for a name change, the process accelerated two years ago after the murder of George Floyd, and for the last two years the team known as the Washington Football Team.
“Go team!” Yawn.
But the Redskins they once were. Obscuring or omitting that fact by the media is a disservice to their audiences. Or it could be that ESPN is surrendering to its innate wokeness, or it is afraid the 50 or so people who agitate constantly online about any leftist grievance they can find, such as the storied “Cat Lady” who hounds Dan Bongino.
The New York Times, which hasn’t as this posting has published a report on the death of Taylor, famously says that it publishes “All the news that’s fit to print.”
Instead, the woke media publishes “All the news the way we think it should be or how it should have been.”
Oh, I don’t have a personal horse in this battle, I’m a Chicago Bears fan. Other than their Super Bowl XX win nearly, sob, four decades ago, my favorite memory of the Monsters of the Midway was their upset win of the Commanders–just kidding, the Redskins, then the defending Super Bowl champions–on the road in a 1984 playoff win. Mike Ditka’s Chicago Bears announced to the world that they had arrived as an elite NFL team.
The Pro Football Hall of Fame entry on Taylor, for now at least, says he played for the Redskins.
John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.