Goodell issues strong proclamation on future of Redskins' controversial name

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The Cleveland Indians announced this week that they will remove their controversial “Chief Wahoo” logo following the 2018 season.

MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred had pressured Indians owner Paul Dolan about the hot-button issue.

Now his football counterpart, the NFL’s Roger Goodell, is facing increased heat over the Washington Redskins’ name.

Oneida Nation representative Ray Halbritter of the “Change the Mascot” campaign issued a statement to Goodell on Monday.

“Cleveland’s decision should finally compel the Washington football team to make the same honorable decision,” Halbritter said. “For too long, people of color have been stereotyped with these kinds of hurtful symbols — and no symbol is more hurtful than the football team in the nation’s capital using a dictionary-defined racial slur as its team name.

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“Washington Owner Dan Snyder needs to look at Cleveland’s move and then look in the mirror and ask whether he wants to be forever known as the most famous purveyor of bigotry in modern sports, or if he wants to finally stand on the right side of history and change his team’s name. We hope he chooses the latter.”

Goodell, however, doesn’t foresee the Redskins name being changed.

The NFL commissioner appeared on ESPN’s “Golic & Wingo” show Tuesday to discuss the name.


Do you think the Redskins should change their name?

“Dan Snyder has really worked in the Native American community to understand better their perspective, and I think it’s reflected mostly in a Washington Post poll that came out in [May 2016] that said over nine out of 10 Native Americans do not take that in a negative fashion, the Redskins’ logo or the Redskins’ name, and they support it,” Goodell said on the air.

In 2016, The Washington Post surveyed 504 Native Americans across every state and the District of Columbia and found that 90 percent weren’t bothered by the Redskins’ name.

“I think the Redskins have done a tremendous amount of work here,” Goodell said. “I think Dan continues to believe in the name, and I don’t see him changing that perspective.”

Goodell explained the reasoning for keeping the team’s name.

“Again, I think you start with the position of what the reaction is of the Native Americans,” Goodell said. “And, as I said, that is overwhelmingly positive about it.

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“Second, I think you obviously ask Dan to listen and make sure you understand what the fans are saying, which he has, we have. We don’t hear this very much from our fans, but we understand there are different perspectives on this and we’re sensitive to that and understand it. And we make sure that we do everything we can to make sure we present all of our teams in a positive fashion.”

While many would question Goodell’s statement about listening to the fans, his support for the Redskins keeping their name has a lot of support.

Washington fans had to endure a disappointing 7-9 season, but at least they don’t have to worry about their team changing its name anytime soon.

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