NFL official says Redskins name ‘is not a slur’
Over the last few years, the Washington Redskins name has received a lot of attention in the media. Over the last year, owner Daniel Snyder has told the media he will not change the team’s name, even going so far as to write season ticket holders a letter explaining his position. A church has asked their 22,000 congregation to stop attending Redskins games. The United States Congress sent letters to commissioner Roger Goodell urging him to change the Redskins name and even the Packers CEO told the media that the Redskins name is “very derogatory to a lot of people”.
With all of the media attention on the possibility of changing the Redskins’ name, the NFL has finally come out to clarify their stance on the team’s name.
During an appearance on ESPN’s Outside the Lines, NFL senior vice president Adolpho Birch told Andy Katz that the Washington Redskins name is not a slur. USA Today’s For The Win provides details about the interview.
“The fun started when NFL senior vice president Adolpho Birch appeared on ESPN’s Outside the Lines where Andy Katz asked him about the name. At first Birch repeated the oft-stated company line that the name “Redskins” is a source of pride and tradition but that the league respects those who think otherwise.
Katz pressed Birch: “Point blankly, is the team name a slur, yes or no?”
“The team name is not a slur,” Birch said. “The team name is the team name, as it has been for 80-plus years.”
The Oneida Nation’s Dave Zirin, appearing on the broadcast, said that’s like saying an orange is not a fruit. Oneida Nation spokesman Joel Barkin offered a similar simile.”
While this is not an official announcement from Roger Goodell, it is a clear sign that the league will not force the Redskins to change their name.
The only way the Redskins will change their name now is if owner Daniel Snyder decided to change the team’s name and that doesn’t seem to be likely.