The Washington Redskins will never change their name despite some growing public pressure, the team’s owner said.
The team’s nickname has faced criticism for being offensive to Native Americans, with local leaders calling for a new name for the NFL team. A bill was even introduced in Congress in March to change the name, though it is not likely to pass.
Now, Redskins owner Dan Snyder is saying that the team won’t ever change its name.”We will never change the name of the team,” Snyder told USA Today this week. “As a lifelong Redskins fan, and 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.”
“We’ll never change the name,” Snyder added. “It’s that simple. NEVER — you can use caps.”
The public seems to be in Sndyer’s corner. A recent Associated Press-GfK poll showed close to four in five Americans don’t think the team should change its name. Only 11 percent think the team should ditch the name “Redskins,” while 8 percent weren’t sure and 2 percent didn’t have an answer.
The team’s general manager Bruce Allen has also said he’s proud of the team’s history and that he didn’t find anything offensive about the name.
But not everyone agrees. David Grosso, a member of the Washington D.C. Council, has suggested getting rid of the offensive “Redskins” name and replace it with “Redtails” in honor of the Tuskegee Airmen, the groundbreaking African-American pilots who served in World War II.
Grosso has also introduced a proposal that reads: “District residents and their elected representatives should not tolerate commercial or other use of derogatory terminology relating to any people’s racial identity, or which dishonors any person’s race, or which dishonors the name Washington. Washington’s name has been dishonored by association with the word ‘Redskins.’ “
If Dan Snyder has his way, however, the team will remain the Washington Redskins.