Riggins acknowledged that he thought the franchise’s original name was an honor for Native Americans. But, once he was done playing football, he became a proponent of a name change after sympathizing with Native Americans, who felt offended by the name. However, he simply cannot be behind the choice of commanders.
Additionally, Riggins said everyone has to make their own decision. But, he doesn’t understand how former players, such as Dexter Manley, Joe Theismann, Doc Walker, Mark Moseley and others came forward to support the new name during last week’s reveal.
“I have to say this, I kind of look at them and say, ‘what’s wrong with you?’ said Riggins. ” You do not understand ? You have been invited to your own funeral.
The conversation with Castleberry shifted to the direction of the franchise. Riggins noted that Washington was once a proud top-5 franchise before ownership passed to Dan Snyder.
They noted the team’s home attendance issues. Washington was 31st of 32 NFL teams in average attendance per game during the 2021-22 season. They were dead last in fill rate. Attendance is down for many reasons, including how well Snyder managed the team.
Castleberry said right now all the team is selling is hope. Riggins then said he didn’t want his name on a Commanders jersey.
“It makes me feel dirty,” Riggins said. “I feel dirty, I don’t want anything to do with it. I might change. Maybe I need a little more time, I don’t know. That doesn’t seem right to me.
In response, the team drawn Riggins jerseys from his online store.
It’s obvious that Riggins has deeper issues with his old team than the choice to change the name to Commanders. The name change opened the door for Riggins to air his grievances with the team and specifically with Snyder.
Unfortunately, the Super Bowl XVII MVP isn’t alone in his opinions. Fans have also grown weary of the franchise, its owner, constant losses, and PR nightmares that have turned the franchise into a laughing stock.
Rebranding commanders is one thing. But the Washington franchise needs to do a lot more to bring back the interest and love of Riggins and so many other fans.