Protest growing over Redskins' team nickname - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Protest growing over Redskins' team nickname

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WASHINGTON -

There is a growing storm of protest over the name of Washington's beloved Redskins.

Yes, it is the name "Redskins" that is coming under intensifying fire -- from Native American groups and sports journalists.

There is a line in the sand drawn by the team's owner, Dan Snyder. He is refusing to budge over the Redskins' nickname at a time when the NFL's commissioner is sounding more flexible and others are starting to say "no more."

A recent nationwide poll found an overwhelming majority of those asked think Washington's pro football franchise should remain the Redskins. And that is what we found on the street Thursday night.

"It doesn't bother me," says one man.

"I don't see a problem with the name," says a lady nearby. "And I don't think it should be changed."

But there are a growing number of people, here and elsewhere, who think it is time for the "Redskins" to go.

"I don't think they should use the name," says a woman in Potomac, Md. -- Snyder's hometown. "I think they should change the name. Just because if it offends somebody that much, especially people who were originally in this country, then we should respect that."

The latest to call out the Redskins are some of the country's most prominent sports columnists: Peter King of Sports Illustrated and Christine Brennan of USA Today. Both are saying they will never again call them the "Redskins."

Brennan telling her readers: "This is a personal decision. It's the right thing to do. If that's not reason enough, try explaining and defending the nickname to a child. It's impossible."

Bill Simmons of ESPN.com now refers to the Redskins as the Washington DC's.

"I know the team name is part of their history and tradition and that's something that's important to the Redskins fans," NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell told sports talk radio hosts LaVar Arrington and Chad Dukes on 106.7 The Fan Wednesday. "We have to listen. If one person's offended, we have to listen. And ultimately, it is Dan's decision."

Team owner, Snyder, this summer said he will never change the name. Never.

"We feel strongly that Mr. Snyder is out of touch with what respect really is all about," says Clifton Morton with the Wisconsin Indian Education Association.

As the Redskins get ready to visit Green Bay this weekend, the players and their fans will be confronted by Morton's and other Native American groups outraged by Snyder's defiance.

"He represents both really an ignorance about current American society," Morton says, "and an ignorance about the history of racism that's exemplified in the R word."

The "R" word. That is how Morton refers to the Redskins. It is a controversy by name that continues to grow.


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