At approximately the same time the Redskins took the field at Griffith Stadium on December 7, 1941, the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. As Washington Post columnist Shirley Povich put it, “With America at war and lives already lost, a football game had lost its importance.” That was undoubtedly true... for everyone outside of the stadium. But on the inside, most fans didn’t know anything about the attack – at least for a while – as the team declined to make an official announcement. 75 years later, it remains one of the most peculiar scenes in local history.
By 1952, every team in the National Football League had African-American players... except one. Washington Redskins (now Commanders) team founder and owner George Preston Marshall refused to integrate and dragged his feet for ten more years until his hand was forced.