The Washington Redskins are featured in two episodes of ESPN’s awarding-winning documentary series “30 for 30,” “Year of the Scab” and “Strike Team.”
“Year of the Scab” focuses on the careers of the replacement players who led the Redskins to a 3-0 record to start the 1987-1988 season during a strike led by the National Football League Players Association. The team would eventually win the championship that year once the strike ended, led by Doug Williams, the first black quarterback to play in a Super Bowl.
Former Redskins replacement receiver Anthony Allen said he is proud of the legacy he’s left by being an impactful “scab” player.
“Getting an opportunity to play after being cut three weeks prior made me feel vindicated, it verified that I belonged in the NFL,” said Allen, who is now a lead supervisor at Safeway Foods in Washington state and still holds the Redskins’ single-game record for receiving yards.
In “Strike Team,” a “30 for 30” accompanying short, director William Ebersol captures the real-life events of 1985, when U.S. Marshals used Redskins tickets as bait in a sting operation to catch high-level fugitives in D.C.
“I’ve been doing documentaries since I was 16 and this one is a favorite so far,” Ebersol said. “I met with Adam Nehaus of ESPN Films and he loved the story which drove us to today.”
Louie McKinney, the first African-American acting director of the U.S. Marshals, was on hand at a pre-screening for the film Thursday and spoke about the Marshals’ efforts to clean up the once crime-ridden city.
“We had to use a sting operation to put ourselves on the book,” he said. “People still are talking about it today and we made an impact, we put people behind bars who should’ve been. It’s great to be a part of history, as the first African-American to lead the U.S. Marshals and to have a successful operation. It’s truly a blessing.”
The “Year of the Scab” documentary, which premieres Tuesday, Sept. 12 at 8 p.m., and other “30 for 30” episodes can be viewed at www.espn.com/30for30 and the ESPN 30 for 30 podcast.