Daniel Snyder says the Redskins name for his Washington football team will never change name, despite threatening lawsuits from Native Americans.
“I think that the Redskins fans understand the great tradition and what it’s all about and what it means, so we feel pretty fortunate to be just working on next season,” Snyder said.
There’s also a trademark issue by Amanda Blackhorse, who is Navajo and named plaintiff in a lawsuit against the Redskins.
She said if she ever had the chance, she’d ask Snyder if he would dare to call her a redskin to her face.
“I think the best way is to just not comment on that type of stuff,” Snyder said. “I don’t know her.”
While a recent survey conducted by the Associated Press concluded that nearly four out of five people poll didn’t think a name change was warranted, others clearly disagree. In March, a three-person panel heard from five Native American representatives who insisted that the Redskins shouldn’t have copyright protection for their nickname. Some newspapers, like the Washington City Paper and the Kansas City Star, refuse to use the Redskins nickname when writing about the team.
The omission in Kansas City in particularly interesting, because there’s no equivalent issue with the local NFL team being called the Chiefs. But some will tell you that it’s the Redskins name that is particularly offensive and egregious.
“There’s a derogatory name for every ethnic group in America, and we shouldn’t be using those words,” Colorado Senator Ben Nighthorse Campbell, a Native American, told the AP.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, who certainly has the pull to twist Snyder’s arm if he’s interested in doing so, didn’t sound too interested when he was asked about it in February at his Super Bowl press conference.
“Growing up in Washington, I do understand the affinity for that name with the fans,” Goodell said. “I also understand the other side of that. I don’t think anybody wants to offend anybody.”