Apr 26, 2012; New York, NY, USA; NFL commissioner Roger Goodell introduces Robert Griffin III (Baylor) as the number two overall pick to the Washington Redskins in the 2012 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

Roger Goodell Defends Washington Redskins Name


NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has been receiving letters from congress regarding the nickname of the Washington Redskins, and he took the time to respond in a letter of his own (which you can read here). Goodell has previously said that he doesn’t believe there are any malicious intentions with the Redskins name and he reiterated those thoughts in his latest response.

“As you may know,” Goodell wrote in a letter, “the team began as the Boston Braves in 1932, a name that honored the courage and heritage of Native Americans.  The following year, the name was changed to the Redskins — in part to avoid confusion with the Boston baseball team of the same name, but also to honor the team’s then-head coach, William ‘Lone Star’ Dietz.  Neither in intent nor use was the name ever meant to denigrate Native Americans or offend any group.

“For the team’s millions of fans and customers, who represent one of America’s most ethnically and geographically diverse fan bases, the name is a unifying force that stands for strength, courage, pride and respect.”

Goodell does go on in the letter to admit the issues surrounding the nickname of the team are “complex”, but the fact that the Redskins have the commissioners support in this issue goes a long way.

Many may want the Redskins to change their name, but it isn’t going to happen anytime soon and it with the NFL commissioner and team owner behind the Redskins name, it could be a very long time until a change comes — if ever.

What do you think, FanSiders? Should the Redskins nickname be an issue and should the name be changed? Share your thoughts in the comments section.

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Tags: Roger Goodell Washington Redskins