President Barack Obama decided to offer his opinion on the controversial subject known by its name as the “Washington Redskins”.
For years since the team got its name, a handful of native Americans have picketed outside the stadium stating that the name is derogatory.
I have been a Washington Redskins fan since 1983, when I had a chance to meet Joe Jacoby, Russ Grimm, Jeff Bostic, a.k.a. the “Hogs”.
I have never heard a single fan ever express their disdain for the name. I own a 45 recording of “Hail to the Redskins” and still sing when the team scores.
Instead of butting in where his opinion doesn’t matter, shouldn’t the President focus on re-opening the government? Once again, his priorities seem focused on appeasing small interest groups rather than solving big picture problems.
WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama says he would “think about changing” the Washington Redskins‘ name if he owned the football team as he waded into the controversy involving a word many consider offensive to Native Americans.
Obama, in an interview with The Associated Press, said team names such as the Redskins offend “a sizable group of people.” He said that while fans get attached to the names, nostalgia may not be a good enough reason to keep them in place.
“I don’t know whether our attachment to a particular name should override the real legitimate concerns that people have about these things,” he said in the interview, which was conducted Friday at the White House.
An avid sports fan who roots for his hometown Chicago Bears, Obama said he doesn’t think Washington football fans are purposely trying to offend American Indians.
“I don’t want to detract from the wonderful Redskins fans that are here. They love their team and rightly so,” he said.
Read the rest here on ESPN.
Lanny Davis, who serves as Counsel to the Washington Redskins, fired off this response. You may recall that Davis was the Special Counsel to President Bill Clinton -
“As a supporter of President Obama, I am sure the president is not aware that in the highly respected Annenberg Institute poll (taken 2004) with a national sample of Native Americans, 9 out of 10 Native Americans said they were not bothered by the name the “Washington Redskins.” The president made these comments to the Associated Press, but he was apparently unaware that an April 2013 AP poll showed that eight out of ten of all Americans in a national sample don’t think the Washington Redskins name should be changed.
“We at the Redskins respect everyone. But like devoted fans of the Atlanta Braves, the Cleveland Indians and the Chicago Blackhawks (from President Obama’s home town ), we love our team and its name and, like those fans, we do not intend to disparage or disrespect a racial or ethnic group. The name “Washington Redskins” is 80 years old – it’s our history and legacy and tradition. We Redskins fans sing ‘hail to the Redskins’ every Sunday as an expression of honor not disparagement.”
Join WOW – the Women of the Washington Redskins here.