- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Reporting news of the death of Redskins fan Zema Williams on Tuesday, sports blog Deadspin declared the fan better known by his alter ego of Chief Zee was “naive” and “aggressively racist” for wearing an Indian headdress at the Washington football team’s games. Reaction on social media outlets was largely negative.

“Reports out of Washington, D.C., say Zema Williams, the most racist mascot in all of sports but otherwise a real nice guy, is dead,” began the July 19 Deadspin article headlined “Chief Zee, Washington’s Naive, Aggressively Racist Mascot, Is Dead.”

Commenters on Deadspin’s Facebook page and Twitter accounts were largely upset by the disrespect for the late Mr. Williams.

“I’m from DC an he didn’t wear his costume to be racist or upset anyone, he was a true Redskins fan. For you to call him aggressively racist is awful. I hope his family doesn’t see this,” wrote a Falls Church, Virginia, woman. 

“This man has been at every game that I can remember and loves his team more then any other person I know,” wrote another commenter, who identified as a Dallas Cowboys fan. “We should be celebrating his life and the happiness that he brought to so many (redskin fan or not). Our county [sic] is doomed now that everything that happens turns into someone throwing out a race card. Let’s grow up people and remember this man for what is was the biggest redskins SUPER FAN to ever grace Washington!”

“[W]ow, fan of a team dies, & more importantly a human being, and you STILL have the gutter dripping nerve to slam him? Smh #HTTR,” tweeted one Redskins fan on Tuesday evening, reacting to the article. “[T]he headline also trivializes the death of a good man with a big heart, just let him rest in peace,” complained another.

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