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Stuff that matters

The Washington Commanders can’t seem to get out of their own way as they attempt to reshape their public image, and their latest stumble came when fans were asked to vote for the team’s 90th anniversary “90 Greatest” players and coaches list — but were denied the opportunity to vote for a couple of high-profile players.

Those players, tackle Trent Williams and quarterback Robert Griffin III, have since been added to the ballot, after large numbers of fans bashed the Commanders on social media.

“Your feedback over the past 48 hours has been heard, and we appreciate your passion,” the team tweeted. “We’ve updated the ballot.”

Ten years ago, Washington unveiled its “80 Greatest” list, and this year fans are voting for 10 more names to be added. The names on the ballot include fullback Mike Sellers, kicker Chip Lohmiller and assistant coach Larry Peccatiello, and it’s hard to argue that Williams (who made seven Pro Bowls in Washington) and RG3 (who had one of the most spectacular rookie seasons in NFL history before suffering a career-altering injury in the playoffs) didn’t have a greater impact on the franchise.

So why weren’t Williams and Griffin originally included? The fan outcry on social media portrayed it as an intentional snub.

In 2019 Williams accused the team’s medical staff of misdiagnosing a cancerous growth on his head and vowed never to play for the team again. After sitting out that entire season, he was traded to the 49ers.

Griffin said last year that he was going to write “an explosive tell-all” about “the shocking mismanagement and toxic culture within the most dysfunctional professional football team in America.” He ended up not writing the book, but there are clearly hard feelings between player and team that likely explain the initial exclusion of him from the ballot.