Posted September 11, 2013

Roger Goodell on Redskins controversy: ‘We need to be listening’

Washington Redskins
Owner Dan Synder has no plans to change his team's Redskins moniker. despite some opposition. (Rob Carr/Getty Images)

Owner Dan Synder has no plans to change the Redskins’ moniker, despite opposition. (Rob Carr/Getty Images)

Redskins owner Dan Snyder has insisted repeatedly that he will not cave to pressure calling for the team to drop its controversial moniker. “We will never change the name of the team,” Snyder said back in May.

The NFL has supported Snyder thus far, even responding to a congressional call for a name change with a letter promoting that “the Washington Redskins name has thus from its origin represented a positive meaning distinct from any disparagement that could be viewed in some other context.”

Could Goodell’s opinion be changing in light of increasing public pressure? Probably not — at least not anytime soon — but Goodell did address the situation on an interview with 106.7 The Fan’s Lavar and Dukes show.

“Well, you know, we’re always sensitive to what impacts the league in general, and that includes our 32 teams, and making sure that we’re doing what’s right here,” Goodell said, according to the Washington Post. “And that’s why I think, again, we have to do everything that’s necessary to make sure that we’re representing the franchise in a positive way, and that rich history and tradition. And that if we are offending one person, we need to be listening and making sure that we’re doing the right things to try to address that.”

Suffice to say, more than one person has spoken out against Washington’s team name. A group of protesters even plans to be on hand in Green Bay on Sunday, when the Redskins visit Lambeau Field for a Week 2 game. The Press-Gazette reported that members of the Oneida Tribe and of the Wisconsin Indian Education Association’s Mascot and Logo Taskforce will carry signs outside the stadium.

Even as the outcry against the Redskins name continues to grow, Goodell did insist in his Wednesday interview with The Fan that Snyder still holds all the cards here.

“Ultimately, it is Dan’s decision,” Goodell said. “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 Washington franchise has not shied away from its team or logo in any way. During the team’s season opener Monday night, Robert Griffin III ran onto the field waving an oversized flag featuring the Redskins’ logo.

135 comments
jimmyjon_55555
jimmyjon_55555

they should be called the Washington Jbags  - and show a pic of snyder taking money from your back pocket.  

fmfrijoles
fmfrijoles

Once again.....the origin of the name is not racist......the term's original meaning is not racist......

This is a dead issue that native americans don't even care about and are more offended that a bunch of people of non-native american heritage are trying to speak for them unsolicited.

Phil20
Phil20

Definition:

Redskin" is a racial descriptor forNative Americans, the origins of which are disputed. Although by some accounts not originally having negative intent,[1]the term is now defined by dictionaries of American English as "usually offensive",[2]"disparaging",[3][4]"insulting",[5]"taboo"[6]and is avoided in public usage with the exception of its continued use as a name for sports teams.

Nough said, change it

wwroger1
wwroger1

I think the NFL should change their name to NGL.  National Greenback League.  I'm sure someone would be offended though.


CharlieAtwell
CharlieAtwell

Should just make it the Washington Warriors. Literally nothing but the name changes, everything stays the same, everybody wins.

Jon8
Jon8

What a bunch of ignorant, whiney, permanently offended fools!

If any of you knew how to use a computer for anything other than emptying your opinions, you would discover that the origin of the name redskin has absolutely nothing to do with a derogatory reference to skin color!

But research would be too much of a task for you and might get in the way of your rant!!

So here is what we are going to do to shut you ignoramuses up!

We are going to change the icon, NOT the nickname!!!

We will remain the Redskins, but with a potato icon!

Now even such thin-skinned, hot-house flowers like you cannot possibly take offense from the humble potato!!! Deal with it!!

schrodingerbox
schrodingerbox

They could just create fairness and balance by making more teams. the brownskins, whiteskins, blackskins, and yellowskins. New jersey can have the orangeskins. 

MyDogWally
MyDogWally

You would think black athletes would be more sensitive to the commercial use of a minority group's skin color.  But they don't appear to care.  That surprises me.

Bahia
Bahia

They changed the nickname of the Washington basketball team from "Bullets" to "Wizards" because they thought it may promote gun use and gang violence.  It's an argument over political correctness, and our society has to decide as a whole what type of society we would like to have.  It did take a long time for people to come to accept desegregation, but there are some people who won't.

CaptSensible
CaptSensible

Just remember, its not how anyone else feels its how you feel right now.  How the hell did the American male become a selfish little boy?  Change the name, if your a man with a life a responsibilities your over it by the 2nd quarter.

TheCatskinner
TheCatskinner

Change the name to "Rednecks", design some totally cool camo uni's and have the player's hang scalps off their helmets for good plays.

gt2
gt2

I totally agree.  We need to end the last legacy of the native Americans.  I mean come on people.  We came and killed them off, took their land and have slowly been trying to get rid of them for 400 years.  I'm glad we stopped saying sitting "Indian style" in our schools.  Its time we get rid of ALL expressions and memories of them.  They are Americans now just like everyone else now.  Lets rid them of their heritage once and for all.

Rickapolis
Rickapolis

Roger Goodell lost all respect for his cop-out response that said “the Washington Redskins name has thus from its origin represented a positive meaning distinct from any disparagement that could be viewed in some other context.” Complete nonsense. It is a racist name. Notice the guys that disagree. Read their other comments. They show a uniform disrespect for the opinion of others. Not just disagreement, but disrespect. The Washington team name is a word that would NEVER be used in discussion with an American Indian because it would be so offensive the speaker would be risking a physical response. Again, read the nature of the comments from those that say complaints about the name are 'PC' or worse. Does anyone respect those people? It is a word that does nor belong in polite society. Those that use it degrade themselves.  That RGZero has sold out to Dan Snyder is a disgrace. It diminishes the entire NFL.

WHO*IS*ESPN
WHO*IS*ESPN

So, where is the black community calling out Charlie Rangel for calling Tea Party people "racist crackers" or when jesse jackson referred to jews in NY living in "hymie town"?  Tired of the double standard when it goes against ANY minority. 

WHO*IS*ESPN
WHO*IS*ESPN

“Well, you know, we’re always sensitive to what impacts the league in general, and that includes our 32 teams, and making sure that we’re doing what’s right here,"

-----------------------------------------

Which means catering to a few minorities who all of the sudden are offended?  Please, the mascot is BLACK, portraying and indian...where has he been since the 70's on this ?????? KEEP THE NAME

BallRush
BallRush

To say there is no issue here is ridiculous.  It is commonly understood (just look it up in the dictionary) that the term "Redskin" is thought of as a derogatory description of native Americans.  So you can't just throw away this issue and expect it not to bounce back out of the trash.  The good news is that the term doesn't violate anyone's rights, so there is no urgent need to change the name.

But if you are at all sensitive to how other people feel, then you must respect the voices of those Native Americans who are protesting, or others who are sympathetic to their concerns.  I am not proud of our American history in regards to the shameful acts of mistreatment to specific racial groups (slaughter of Native Americans, slavery of Africans, 2nd class rights for African Americans, and  imprisoning Japanese-Americans during WW2), but I am proud that we now live in a country where we own up to those mistakes, are aware of the wounds that we inflicted, and are sensitive to the healing process that may take many generations to heal and repair.  That is why this debate is indicative of, and the ultimate proof of, our greatness as a nation.

So I say... let the debate continue for as long as needed.  It is what America is all about.


Joseph F
Joseph F

GOOD for him.  This whole joke of a story is a bunch of "political correctness" bull$hit

Cman
Cman

i hope snyder sticks to his words and keeps the name.  i for one am tired of all the people who give in to something when pressured by a SMALL group of people.  what ever happened to listening to the majority of people.  i believe mr. goodell made a good point--he wants him to listen to the fans.  i believe they have spoken out every time this has come up and they want to keep the name.   GO REDSKINS.

OwG
OwG

I think this is more about brand marketing and merchandise than any sensitivity to the term "redskin" But they could keep the logo (which isn't particularly offensive) and just change the name. Problem solved. 

ChrisBird
ChrisBird

I am so sick of hearing about this. stupid argument.  This is more PC BS being fanned not by actual Native Americans, but by guilty white people who feel the need to cleanse their over-privileged consciences.  When you hear the word "Redskin", what is the first thing that comes to mind? A football player from DC?  A type of potato? Someone who forgot sunscreen?  The last thing I think of is a Native American.  For those saying it is the same as the n-word, when I hear the n-word, there is only one image that comes to mind. And what makes the term suddenly "less correct" than 10 or 20 or 30 years ago?  The n-word was still incorrect then, but the term "Redskin" was just fine.  The PC police have nothing better to do and this is the new cause du jour.  

btcvsolo
btcvsolo

I'm a native american...well...1/2 Cherokee, 1/2 Norwegian...

I'm about as offended by the name Redskins as I am by Vikings...which means not at all. What ever happened to the old 'sticks & stones' thing we learned as kids? Call somebody a name or name a team something, and people get butt-hurt? Really? What's next? Vinters get pissed about the bias implied in the name "Milwaukee Brewers"? Change their name to Milwaukee Beer-Farts?

Where does this end?

Brian105
Brian105

No one has ever used the term "politically correct" in a sneering fashion without really meaning "I want to be able to say whatever a--hole thing I want without facing any consequences whatsoever for my behavior."

jimmyjon_55555
jimmyjon_55555

@fmfrijoles you must have missed the part where people from the Oneida Tribe and of the Wisconsin Indian Education Association’s Mascot and Logo Taskforce will carry signs outside the stadium in PROTEST...    you dont know what youre talking about.  just because you are so ignorant to think that since you dont care- nobody should... ? if this name offends native americans- change it....   snyder has a chance to do the right thing- not the selfish thing because hes a clown.   

NDN
NDN

@CharlieAtwell  Better yet lets call them the Washington White-men , and see if Robert Griffin III is so damn eager to run out on the field with a flag of his slave master !!!!

danielfolsom
danielfolsom

@MyDogWally Not true - Darrell Green and Art Monk - former Redskins - spoke out against the team name earlier. The reality is no one on the team is going to speak out against the name; they'd probably be fined if they did. Players aren't allowed to question owners

nicksmi23030041
nicksmi23030041

@gt2R**skins is part of their heritage Just like N***** is part of African-American heritage.  Why can't this team be named after an actual Native American tribe, perhaps a name that Native Americans are proud of, rather than a racist and derogatory term that offends most of us?  

gt2
gt2

@Rickapolis - I think they should change the name to the Washington Whitees.  I don't think any white people would mind.

jimmyjon_55555
jimmyjon_55555

@WHO*IS*ESPN jesse jackson got into alot of trouble for his comment- dont be fooled.  and teaparty people ARE RACIST CRACKERS who attempted to fool the un-educated by saying they are for less gov...  hysterical.  glad that they are now being called out for what they are- ignorant racists who are doing more negative for this country than positive.   

CaptSensible
CaptSensible

@WHO*IS*ESPN  your so full of it, mr. hurt white guy so oppressed he doesn't have everything Donald Trump has.  Also, 2 3 or 10 wrongs don't make a right, and only people that do wrong argue it should be.

jimmyjon_55555
jimmyjon_55555

@WHO*IS*ESPN are you high?  catering to a few minorities?  so as long as you are in the majority - its cool right bro?  youre the biggest clown ever.  

gt2
gt2

@WHO*IS*ESPN  - I'd have to disagree Who.  I think it would sound a lot better if we called the teams 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12 etc.  I'm sure Peta would agree.  How dare them use Eagles, Ravens, Broncos, etc.  Naming teams after animals offends animals.  I even feel sorry for the baseball name the Pirates.  and the Buchaneers.  They have feelings too!

Mathonwy
Mathonwy

@BallRush You know you've won the argument when the most cogent response includes the phrase "grow a set".

Joseph F
Joseph F

@BallRush Get over yourself "Ball" and grow a set for chrissake.  Pussification of America continues, as proven.

sunalsorises
sunalsorises

@Joseph F Your ideas are intriguing to me and I would like to subscribe to your newsletter.

jimmyjon_55555
jimmyjon_55555

@Cman again with the small group of people BS... LISTEN UP:  its called racism on the highest level.  

nicksmi23030041
nicksmi23030041

@Cman The reason there is only a small group of protestors is due to hundreds of years of Native Americans being systemically killed off or bread out. There just aren't many of us left. The United States has done everything it could to destroy our people and culture for hundreds of years and this sort of disrespect continues on a smaller scale today with derogatory terms like R**skins.  I'm sorry there aren't more of us to protest this term but that's the reality of it.  That being said, I don't think our small numbers is a good enough reason to keep the name of a team that plays what amounts to be just a child's game.  This issue is about the respect of the Native American nation versus a group of people who throw a ball around.  I would hope that our culture and dignity are more important to others than a team mascot, but sadly that doesn't seem to be the case. 

nicksmi23030041
nicksmi23030041

@ChrisBird I am a Native American and I appreciate those who have the capacity to see this issue from my point of view.  There aren't many of us left so we can use all the support we can get from others.  It may not be an offensive term to you but you've never been called that name like I have for over 50 years.  It is the most offensive term possible for our people and definitely akin to the N word.  It's unfortunate that you are too dense to come to terms with this fact, much like many racist people who struggled to come to terms with the offensiveness of the N word years ago.  But please continue and tell me how important the name is to your team and how important it is for throwing a ball around on a field.

nicksmi23030041
nicksmi23030041

@btcvsolo I am Native American as well and am shocked by your reaction.  I'm very involved in the Native American community and not once have I ever heard someone defend the use of the term R**skins.  You're the first!

Joebuckster
Joebuckster

@btcvsolo It's all part-and-parcel of the 'victim' mentality that usually corresponds to a once-conquered people. How many things can I find today to be offended about? The ones that move on find they don't missed being sieged all of the time by things that don't actually matter, and consequently grow as individuals. It's also part of the blame game for some that justifies their lesser lot in life, either as individuals or as a 'people'. Get over it. I can't imagine why anyone wouldn't be proud of having their heritage celebrated by another people/culture on something so revered as an NFL team. In fact, it is celebrated on sports teams of native origin in the US, that is a fact. But it's racist if white people use it as a logo. Riiiiiight. Not a single person I know can remember ever even hearing 'Redskin' as a slur much less care about it (except for the self righteous hypocrites). It's a positive association to both cultures. But for all of the 19 whiny beotches who will be standing outside the stadium holding placards and chanting self-righteously,  here's my solution: keep the name intact, but change the logo to a smiling picture of actor George Hamilton. Done!

Joebuckster
Joebuckster

@Brian105 And no one chastising those using the term has ever done so without sneering self righteously and hypocritically.

NebojsaTodorovic
NebojsaTodorovic

@Joseph F @BallRush If the representatives of the Native Nations say that word is akin to the "N" word to them - then it is imperative the change happens immediately.  Our country has shown a history of not hearing the Native Nations when they speak and this would seem to be one of those cases.

Cman
Cman

@jimmyjon_55555 @Cman  wow.  read some of your other comments.  you are the racist.  you want the redskins named removed because you say it is racist, then you call people crackers.  you and others like you are the problem.  you don't want something done because you see it offensive, but you go do the same thing.

randomdeletion
randomdeletion

@nicksmi23030041 @ChrisBird Nick you are an obvious liar.  No one calls anyone "redskin".  You lose all credibility trying to claim you have been called that for over 50 years.  At minimum over 90% of people in this country had no idea this word was even remotely associated with an derogatory meaning toward native indians until people started making this a news story.  It was a non issue before and to make it an issue does not make it credible.  

btcvsolo
btcvsolo

@nicksmi23030041 @btcvsolo I most certainly respect your opinion. I suppose I just have more things on my plate that warrant more attention or concern than something like this. The term bothers me, sure, but antiquated stereotypes and names associated with my lineage aren't on my radar.

jimmyjon_55555
jimmyjon_55555

@randomdeletion @nicksmi23030041 @ChrisBird you are a fool-  st johns was called the redmen forever...  changed their name over 10 years ago.  if you didnt know that the term redskin referred to native americans... well - cant say im surprised with what you said.  clearly education isnt your strong suit.  

nicksmi23030041
nicksmi23030041

@btcvsolo @nicksmi23030041 Your story doesn't add up.  You first say that the term doesn't offend you at all and now you say that it does bother you.  I'm having trouble following where you're at on this issue. You supposedly don't have time for it yet you comment on it and read articles about it.  If you don't have time or it's not on your radar then why make comments that diminish our cause?  Those of us that are heavily involved in the Native American community have a lot of pride in our heritage and a great deal of passion for this issue.  If you don't care then that is fine but please don't make comments that discredit what we stand for.  On another note, I think it's a shame that you equate your heritage to something as trivial as brewing beer.