Marshall’s Option

According to collaborators Thomas Canavan and Joshua Sandoval, they discovered Marshall’s Options last fall while researching the origins of the DC football team name at the Library of Congress. They were apparently deep in the stacks, sent by the catalogue specialist for the city’s archives, where they discovered the original concepts for the team’s logos. Unable to remove or photocopy any of the contents, they began creating crude sketches of the proofs in order to share some of what they found. Dramatically, once they were spotted copying the images and correspondence, they had to flee before everything was confiscated.

Based on their notes from the correspondence within the files, in 1931 George Preston Marshall was searching for the right name for his new NFL team and asked for five options to choose from. Each of Marshall’s potential mascots were representative of the major groups of people found within the US and included the popular race-based nomenclature of the times. It seems given the popularity of other sports teams with similar indigenous names, he selected the “Redskins” as their new identity.

When Josh and Thomas reported this story and shared the images Josh recreated, we couldn’t believe it and whether or not this was all true, the images presented here help illustrate the inappropriateness of the name “redskin”.

They remind of the past and the names used for groups of people here in the United States that have now been defined as racist and derogatory and yet while multiple dictionaries define “redskin” as offensive and numerous tribes and indigenous organizations protest the use of this team’s name, we still condone it.

 
 
 

Learn more about Thomas Canavan and Joshua Sandoval’s Marshall’s Options

This page is part of the Offensive campaign.