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Redskins retire Bobby Mitchell's number, remove ex-owner's name from seating level

Redskins retire Bobby Mitchell's number, remove ex-owner's name from seating level
Pro Football Hall of Fame receiver Bobby Mitchell (M) will become only the second player in Washington Redskins history to have his jersey number retired. File Photo by Stephen M. Gross/UPI | License Photo

June 21 (UPI) -- The Washington Redskins are retiring the number worn by the late Bobby Mitchell and renaming the lower level of the team's FedEx Field in his honor, the club announced Saturday.

Mitchell -- the first African American player in the franchise's history -- will become only the second player in the Redskins' 88-year history to have his jersey number retired. Sammy Baugh's No. 33 previously was the only retired number.

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Mitchell, who wore No. 49 with the Redskins, died in early April at age 84.

"There is no one more deserving of these honors than the late Bobby Mitchell," Redskins owner Dan Snyder said in a statement. "Bobby was one of the most influential players not only in our team's history, but in the National Football League.

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"He excelled on the field, in the front office and most importantly in his community where he had a tremendous impact on the lives of so many through his charitable efforts. He was one of the greatest men I have ever known."

The moves to honor Mitchell came one day after the statue of former Redskins founding owner George Preston Marshall, the last NFL owner to integrate his roster in the 1960s, was removed from outside of the team's former home at RFK Stadium.

The lower bowl of the Redskins' FedEx Field had been named after Marshall, who owned the franchise from its inception in 1932 until his death in 1969.

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Mitchell -- a five-time All-Pro wide receiver -- played seven seasons for the Redskins and was voted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1983.

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