A statue of the former owner of the Washington Redskins outside of their old stadium has been taken down.
The statue of George Preston Marshall, who started the franchise in the 1930s, was removed outside of Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium on Friday morning.
Max Brown, the chairman of the Events DC board of directors, the group that is in charge of the stadium, and Greg O’Dell, the president and CEO, released a joint statement explaining the removal.
“This symbol of a person who didn’t believe all men and women were created equal and who actually worked against integration is counter to all that we as people, a city, and nation represent,” the statement read, according to ESPN. “We believe that injustice and inequality of all forms is reprehensible and we are firmly committed to confronting unequal treatment and working together toward healing our city and country.”
Brown and O’Dell also said that the removal of the statue is an “overdue step on the road to lasting equality and justice.”
“We recognize that we can do better and act now,” they continued. “We’ve heard from many of our stakeholders in the community, and we thank you. Allowing the memorial to remain on the RFK Campus goes against Events DC’s values of inclusion and equality and is a disturbing symbol to many in the city we serve.”
Marshall owned the franchise from its inception in 1932 until his death in 1969. He refused to integrate his team in the early 1960s and didn’t do so until 1962, which made them the last NFL team to do so.
The removal of the statue coincided with Juneteenth, which is recognized as a holiday or observed in 47 states and D.C. on June 19. The date marks the anniversary of the day in 1865 when Maj. Gen. Gordon Granger announced the end of the Civil War and of slavery in Galveston, Texas.