NFL: Roger Goodell Speaks Out on Redskins Nickname

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell spoke about the Washington Redskins nickname on 106.7 The Fan on Wednesday.

Sep 11 2013, 10:56pm CDT | by

NFL: Roger Goodell Speaks Out on Redskins Nickname
Photo Credit: Getty Images

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell spoke about the Washington Redskins nickname on Wednesday. 

This took place in an interview with LaVar Arrington and Chad Dukes on 106.7 The Fan, via the Washington Post. Midway through the interview, Dukes asked the commissioner whether the issue is Redskins owner Daniel Snyder or the league's to decide on.

Goodell came up with a comprehensive answer.

"Well, as you guys know, I grew up in Washington. The Colts were my team early on, and then I became a Redskins fan. So I know the team name is part of their history and tradition, and that's something that's important to the Redskins fans. And I think what we have to do though is we have to listen. If one person's offended, we have to listen.

"And ultimately, it is Dan's decision. But it is something that I want all of us to go out and make sure we're listening to our fans, listening to people who have a different view, and making sure that we continue to do what's right to make sure that team represents the strong tradition that it has for so many years."

The "Redskins" name has been under increasing scrutiny in recent months. According to the NFL's official website, it was labeled as racist at a Smithsonian Institute symposium. High schools that use it have been pressured to change it in light of the controversy. 

According to CBS DC, the Oneida Indian Nation organized a national radio campaign which will call for the name to be dropped, as it has racist undertones. The organization also likened it to Philadelphia Eagles wide reciever Riley Cooper using the N-word in a controversial video of him at a Kenny Chesney concert. 

Even former Buffalo Sabres and New York Islanders head coach Ted Nolan chimed in. He told the Buffalo News' Tim Graham on June 19 about his dislike for it.

"You grow up and hear other words growing up, and redskin is one of them. I personally don't like the name."

Four months ago, 10 members of the Congressional Native American Caucus wrote a letter to Goodell and Snyder encouraging them to change the name. The commissioner composed a letter for the members, writing,"Neither in intent nor use was the name ever meant to denigrate Native Americans or offend any group."

Snyer has remained relatively quiet in the past few months but did tell USA Today Sports' Erik Brady on May 10 what he thinks. He said,"We'll never change the name. It's that simple. NEVER -- you can use caps." 

It should be interesting to find out what Commissioner Goodell's intervention plan will be. 


Poch de la Rosa follows all major U.S. sports: NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL and the NCAA. His favorite teams are the Colts, Braves, Pacers, Sharks and Irish, respectively.


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