Adrian Peterson: Removal of George Preston Marshall Statue ‘Makes Me Feel Good’

The George Preston Marshall monument outside RFK stadium in Washington, Thursday, Dec. 14, 2017. A group of Native American activists held a news conference Thrusday to call for the renaming of the

Andrew Harnik/Associated Press

Washington running back Adrian Peterson spoke out Friday in favor of the decision to remove a monument dedicated to the team’s founder George Preston Marshall.

In an interview with TMZ Sports, Peterson said the following about the removal of the statue: “It makes me feel good.”

Marshall founded the Boston Braves in 1932 and eventually renamed them the Redskins and moved them to Washington.

Per ESPN’s John Keim, Marshall was against integrating Black players into his roster and didn’t do so until the NFL forced him to in 1962, making him the last owner to integrate.

The monument, which was located outside RFK Stadium, was officially removed Friday by Events DC, which runs the venue.

Per Keim, Events DC Board of Directors Chairman Max Brown and Events DC President and CEO Greg O’Dell released a joint statement on the statue’s 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. 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.”

Protests against racial inequality, police brutality and social injustice have broken out across the United States and the world since May 25, when 46-year-old Black man George Floyd was killed while in police custody in Minneapolis.

In addition to the protests, there has been a renewed push to get statues of oppressive figures taken down throughout the United States. Peterson expressed his belief that some of those statues were built to “keep the minorities and the Blacks, colored people down.”

Notably, a statue honoring Confederate President Jefferson Davis was removed from the Kentucky Capitol last week.

In the sports world, the Minnesota Twins removed a statue depicting former owner Calvin Griffith that stood in front of Target Field. In 1978, Griffith said he moved the Washington Senators to Minnesota because of the small amount of Black people in the area.

Preston owned the Redskins until his death in 1969. Part-owner Jack Kent Cooke became majority owner in 1974 and sole owner in 1985. Daniel Snyder has owned the franchise since 1999.

The 35-year-old Peterson is set to enter his 14th NFL season and third with the Redskins after previous stints as a member of the Minnesota Vikings, New Orleans Saints and Arizona Cardinals.

Peterson topped 1,000 yards at the age of 33 two years ago with the Redskins, and he was solid last season with 898 yards and five touchdowns on the ground.

AP is fifth on the NFL’s all-time career rushing yards list, and if he can rush for slightly over 1,000 yards in 2020, he can pass Detroit Lions great Barry Sanders for fourth place.

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