President Obama Says He Would Think About Changing Redskins Name
WASHINGTON, DC -
The Washington Redskins are one of the National Football League's most profitable franchises.
It's also one of the most controversial at the moment, because of it's name which some in the native american community consider a racial slur.
President Obama was asked about changing the name during an interview with the Associated Press.
"I've got to say if I were the owner of the team and I knew there was a name of my team, even if it had a storied history, that was offending a sizable group of people, I'd think about changing it,"the President said.
Team Attorney Lanny Davis says Obama's remarks aren't likely to sway owner Daniel Snyder one bit.
"This is about an 81 year old tradition and history, a legacy. A sports team we love. Redskins fans. Nine out of ten Native Americans when polled by the Annenberg Institute didn't want the team changed. Q: So you don't think Daniel Snyder will change his mind? I don't," Lanny Davis, Redskins Attorney.
But with support for a name change growing to now include the President, can Snyder continue to fight it?
" I happen to think the President should be focused on other things but I do agree it should be changed," Fan Stephen Wicker says.
"When you're talking about tribes who are being offended, its something to consider,"American University student Susan Klau says.
So now the stage is set for another showdown in Washington.
The NFL is holding its league meeting here on Monday.
The Oneida Indian Nation, which has launched a campaign to get the redskins name changed is planning a protest there.
" The use of such an offensive term has negative consequences for the native American community, when it comes to issues of self-identity and imagery, spokesman Ray Halbritter said in a statement. "We will continue to push our cause because this is about doing right by our children, who are especially impressionable."
A passionate plea, that has equally passionate Redskins fans softening a bit.
"I really love the Redskins. I love that name. I'm proud to be a Redskins fan, but if it's offending to a lot of people, maybe we ought to consider changing it,"Dave Clark says.
The NFL has said it is up to team owner Dan Snyder to decide on the name.
Commissioner Roger Goodell is on record saying "if one person is offended, we have to listen."
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