Last Updated:November 25 @ 06:33 pm

Goodell defends Redskins name

By USA Today

The nickname of the Washington pro football team is "a unifying force that stands for strength, courage, pride and respect," NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said in a letter to 10 members of Congress who had urged him to reject the name.

Goodell's letter, dated June 5, was released Tuesday by U.S. Rep. Betty McCollum, D-Minn., and Delegate Eni Faleomavaega, D-American Samoa, who roundly criticized the commissioner's stance in a joint statement.

McCollum, co-chairwoman of the Congressional Native American Caucus, called Goodell's defense of the name "twisted logic" and "a statement of absurdity." Faleomavaega, a member of the House Committees on Natural Resources and Foreign Affairs, said, "Goodell has completely missed the point. ... It is time for the NFL to stop making excuses for itself and fully embrace its so-called commitment to diversity."

Goodell's letter came in response to a May 13 letter from 10 members of Congress who asked him to "take a stand against the use of the word 'redskin' as the Washington franchise's name."

Goodell said in his letter that the team's name "from its origin represented a positive meaning distinct from any disparagement that could be viewed in some other context" and was never "meant to denigrate Native Americans or offend any group."

McCollum said, "Goodell's letter is another attempt to justify a racial slur on behalf of (Redskins owner) Dan Snyder and other NFL owners who appear to be only concerned with earning ever larger profits, even if it means exploiting a racist stereotype of Native Americans."

Goodell's letter cited opinion polls suggesting that the public at large, and many American Indians, are not offended by the name. He also cited a court ruling that upheld the use of the name in a trademark disparagement case. A renewed version of that case is being considered by the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board, part of the U.S. Patent Office.

Goodell's letter said, "As you correctly recognize, the issues raised with respect to the Washington Redskins name are complex, and we respect that reasonable people may view it differently, particularly over time. ... The National Football League takes seriously its responsibility to exemplify the values of diversity and inclusion that make our country great."

McCollum asked: "Would Roger Goodell and Dan Snyder actually travel to a Native American community and greet a group of tribal leaders by saying, 'Hey, what's up, redskin?' I think not. ... Indian children, families and elders are Americans, and just like all racial, ethnic or religious groups, they deserve to be treated with respect and dignity, not as a demeaning caricature or mascot. That shouldn't be too much to ask of the NFL."

Roger Goodell says the Redskins nickname has a positive meaning.

Jerry Lai, USA TODAY Sports


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  1. capricorn1Comment by capricorn1
    June 12, 2013 @ 11:41 am

    as far as i am concearned every politician with a D after his name is an enemy of the state.
    these people are not your mom and dads democrat party,they are communist infiltraitors,and they will take over this country without tanks,planes,soldiers,and bombs.
    they already have our schools and your children are being indoctrinated into the soviet ideology.
    this bs of changing football mascots and college teams mascots has gone to far.i am not a godell fan at all but at least he is making some sort of effort to stop it.

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  2. wedeyComment by wedey
    June 12, 2013 @ 1:39 pm

    This country is in a mess with all the scandals and they are worrying about political correctness. How’s come for as long as they have been redskins has that not been offensive and now it is. Then why don’t we change the name from Reds, Indians, etc. I wouldn’t mind it if they called a team the old short women of which I am. Like someone said redskins, and reds could also mean potatoes. Maybe if the people quit worrying so much about minor things, they could get something done. The only name I agree with is politicians are scum bags and we should not change that either. Kudos to Goodell.

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  3. Jack ReacherComment by Jack Reacher
    June 12, 2013 @ 2:28 pm

    It appears that there are mounting amounts of people with their hands growing out of their own butts.

    How much more do the Indians, (that’s right, Indians), want from us pale-faces? You pay no taxes, you pay nothing for education, you get money from our government based on the color of your skin? And you want us to change the name of the Washington Redskins?

    Perhaps we should call them the “Washington Leeches”

    Just a comment, not racial profiling.

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  4. Another Paul AndrewsComment by Paul
    June 12, 2013 @ 2:45 pm

    Good to know that THIS is how our democrat senators are spending OUR tax dollars… wasting the time WE PAY THEM FOR on frivolous accusations about decades-old decisions re naming a football team.
    THANKS, DEM’S! We can ALWAYS count on you to WASTE OUR MONEY, AND THE TIME OF OTHER DECENT CITIZENS who are forced to listen and prepare responses to your IDIOTIC RANTS.

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  5. freedixieComment by freedixie
    June 12, 2013 @ 3:08 pm

    Good for Goodell! Hey Congress, you are a bunch of gutless, traitorous cowards and crooks who can’t keep your noses in your own business, which at the moment seems to be spying on ALL of us. This whole name change thing is PC gone overboard. Shut your face, Congress. We are sick of your stupidity.

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  6. faaqComment by faaq
    June 12, 2013 @ 3:12 pm

    If these morons in Congress have nothing better to do with their time than worry about trivial things like this, maybe it’s time they all step aside and step down.

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  7. gritchieComment by gritchie
    June 12, 2013 @ 3:26 pm

    Come on, Roger. If there’s a single Native-American who’s bothered by the name “Redskins,” the NFL should require that it be changed. You’d damned sure be all over it if it was the Yellowskins, Brownskins, or, God forbid, Blackskins.

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  8. waltcComment by waltc
    June 12, 2013 @ 3:33 pm

    McCollum asked: “Would Roger Goodell and Dan Snyder actually travel to a Native American community and greet a group of tribal leaders by saying, ‘Hey, what’s up, redskin?’ I think not.

    Hey McCollum, would you show up at a Scandanavian community and greet the city council by saying “hey, what’s up, Viking”? I think not. Or how about a mining community and refer to them as 49er’s? Or drop by a Texas cattle ranch and say “what’s up Cowboys”?

    Yet I don’t hear anyone asking those teams to change their team names. Are the Native Americans a privileged class?

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  9. p3driverComment by p3driver
    June 12, 2013 @ 3:36 pm

    Meanwhile, another scandal breaks in Washington, DC, while these demon-crats turn a blind eye to it because it involves HIllary’s old State Department. Check out the Honduras coverup in which two women, two men were killed by our guys in their country. State says “ain’t nothing to see here, just normal stuff.”

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  10. justinphilpotComment by justinphilpot
    June 12, 2013 @ 5:34 pm

    i find it ironic that our elected representatives have nothing better to do that worry about the name of a football team.
    come on guys, you have a president who would turn this country into a 3rd world socialistic want to be. you have an attorney general who would make many career criminals look like choir boys. you have an economy so bloated it makes 5 day old dead cow look plum slim.
    you have illegal immigrants flooding over the border like lemmings into the sea and you are worried about offending the Indians who once owned this country but your fellow congressmen screwed the living **** out of.
    give me a break. give the country a break too. resign and go on welfare where you belong.

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  11. BillzillaComment by Billzilla
    June 12, 2013 @ 6:20 pm

    Congress seems to be inhabited by clueless morons!

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    • Jack ReacherComment by Jack Reacher
      June 12, 2013 @ 9:35 pm

      When did we upgrade? I thought we were still at the “ridiculously incompetent”, level.

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