Washington Legend John Riggins Disapproves Of Commanders’ Rebrand

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When you think Redskins, now Commanders football, John Riggins might come to mind.

But after helping lead Washington to victory in Super Bowl XVII (1982-83) over the Dolphins, the Hall of Famer says he feels disenfranchised after the team’s recent name change. Washington unveiled the Commanders nickname on Feb. 2, after spending two seasons going by the Washington Football Team.

“I feel completely disenfranchised,” Riggins said, via The John Riggins Show. “I can’t understand how anyone who once played under the old franchise name could possibly want to be a part of anything to do with the Washington Commanders.”

In nine seasons in gold and burgundy, Riggins rushed for 7,472 yards and 79 touchdowns on 3.8 YPC. In the 1983-84 season, Riggins, 34 at the time, hit pay dirt 24 times on the ground and rushed for 1,347 yards. His outstanding season led him to being named the recipient of the Bert Bell Award, named to the Player of the Year in the NFL.

Riggins was notably absent from the franchise’s official rebrand at FedEx Field, while many of his former teammates were in attendance. Those in attendance included Doug Williams, Joe Theismann, Mark Moseley and Dexter Manley among others.

“Everybody is going to make their own decision, and that’s cool,” Riggins said. “The guys that showed up last week that were out there — Dexter [Manley], Joe Theismann, Mark Moseley, Doc Walker — for you guys, it’s a different point of view because it’s like a different culture.”

But while Riggins isn’t a fan of the Commanders nickname, he did clarify that he was in favor of a name change after he retired, after seeing how the name was offending people.

“… I don’t want anything to do with it,” Riggins said. “Maybe I will change. Maybe I need a little more time, I don’t know. It just doesn’t feel right to me.”

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Written by Nick Geddes

Nick Geddes is a 2021 graduate of the University of Central Florida with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism. A life-long sports enthusiast, Nick shares a passion for sports writing and is proud to represent OutKick.


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