Fanatics Removes Washington Commanders Jersey Bearing John Riggins’ Name And Number

Fanatics – the official online retail store of the NFL – has pulled a Washington Commanders jersey bearing the name of former Redskins fullback John Riggins from its website after he voiced his displeasure with the franchise’s new nickname on his podcast.

“I feel completely disenfranchised,” Riggins said on The John Riggins Show. “I cannot for the life of me – this is me, John Riggins, talking here – 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.

“Like I said, I feel completely disenfranchised. All of a sudden, you’ve entered oblivion.”

The 72-year-old Riggins played 10 seasons in Washington from 1976-85 and was named the most valuable player of Super Bowl XVII, when he rushed for 166 yards and one touchdown in a 27-17 win over the Miami Dolphins. 

However, he was notably absent from last week’s press conference when the Commanders revealed their new nickname, logos and uniforms – even though former quarterbacks Joe Theismann and Doug Williams, tight end Richard “Doc” Walker, defensive end Dexter Manley and kicker Mark Moseley were among those in attendance.

“Everybody is going to make their own decision, and that’s cool,” Riggins said. “For the life of me, though, I kind of look at them and say, ‘What’s wrong with you? Don’t you get it? You were invited to your own funeral?’ But not everybody looks at it that way.

“It’s your livelihood, really, because John Riggins, who’d he play for? You can’t say that, can you? I don’t know.” 

Once Washington officially rebranded, Fanatics began selling the new jerseys with the names and numbers of current and former players. That includes Riggins, who noted on his podcast he was in favor of the name change but also made it clear he never played for the Commanders.

“That makes me feel filthy,” Riggins said. “I feel dirty. I don’t want anything to do with it. For now anyway. Maybe I’ll change. Maybe I need a little more time. I don’t know, but it just doesn’t feel right to me.

“That term is completely foreign to me. It doesn’t sound real.”

Photos courtesy of Fanatics.