Jay Gruden Says WFT 'Should've Never Changed the Name in the First Place'

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 5, 2022

LANDOVER, MD - OCTOBER 6:  Washington Redskins head coach Jay Gruden encourages his players as they prepare to take on the New England Patriots at FedEx Field. (Photo by Jonathan Newton / The Washington Post via Getty Images)
Jonathan Newton / The Washington Post via Getty Images

The Washington Football Team will announce a new team name on Feb. 2, but at least one former coach doesn't think the organization should've removed its original name.

"I don't want to ruffle any feathers, but they should've never changed the name in the first place," Jay Gruden said Tuesday on The Team 980 (h/t Jordan Dajani of CBSSports.com).

Gruden was Washington's head coach from 2014 to 2019, producing a 35-49-1 overall record. He was fired after an 0-5 start in 2019.

The 54-year-old spent the 2020 season as offensive coordinator of the Jacksonville Jaguars.

In July 2020, Washington announced it would remove its former team name, which was a slur against Native Americans.

More than a dozen Native American leaders wrote a letter to commissioner Roger Goodell calling for the NFL to force a name change because of the "serious harms this racist team name has caused to Native Peoples."

Team sponsors also put financial pressure on the franchise to make a change.

Though Gruden might not have liked being a part of the transition, current coach Ron Rivera has been supportive of the move to a new team name as he heads into his third year in Washington.