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