D. L. Hughley on Thursday said it was far overdue for Washington, D.C.'s NFL team to rebrand, and he suggested if Black players on the team refused to play, the name change might actually happen.
The comic and actor was a guest on SiriusXM's The Joe Madison Show, where he talked about the current state of the country amid the anti-racism protests and renewed outcry for substantive change. His new book, Surrender, White People! Our Unconditional Terms for Peace, is set for release on June 30.
Hughley contended the name and logo of the D.C. team was just as egregious and offensive as the Confederate leader and Christopher Columbus statues that have been recently torn down. Native Americans need support the same as other people of color, he said. "If we want people to see our struggle and come to our aid, we need to do it when it's not necessarily our fight either," Hughley said.
The comic said he found it twisted that the Confederate statues and flag were so revered despite their dark, violent connections. "To say it's America and Black people have had a very violent relationship, but it's like a marriage where you've had a violent relationship, but you've decided to move on, but the brutalizer wants to keep all the images of the damage and terror and brutality," said Hughley.
The D.C. football team would certainly be a part of that conversation, Hughley noted. "And, the Redskins, it's just as disgusting, and just as denigrating as the N-word in my estimation," he said. "And I think that if we stopped playing for them, we stopped supporting their gang. Let me tell you, without Black people, football would be rugby. And it is one of the clearest examples of how powerful we are."
There has been outcry and pushback over the team name for decades. Team owner Daniel Snyder said previously it would not be changed. He has given no indication that recent events have caused him to reconsider. The team was established in 1932. It is one of the oldest clubs in the NFL.
Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser last week said the name was “an obstacle” for the team getting a new stadium in the District because the land would likely be leased by the federal government.
“I think it’s past time for the team to deal with what offends so many people,” Bowser told Team 980 radio. “This is a great franchise with a great history that’s beloved in Washington, and it deserves a name that reflects the affection that we’ve built for the team.”