The Washington Redskins are currently in the midst of a long standing dispute on changing the name of their franchise. Many former players, coaches, and NFL personalities have expressed their beliefs that the team should change their name.
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One notable group that has been left out of the dispute is the NFLPA. That changed today when union Executive Director, DeMaurice Smith made a statement saying the name conveys ‘racial insensitivity’ (Courtesy of ProFootballTalk):
"I have conveyed my thoughts on this issue both to Roger and to the team. They understand our position and I believe that those conversations are most effective when they can remain private. As I have stated publicly, though, I do not believe anyone should inflict pain, embarrass or insult, especially given the racial insensitivity of the term ‘Redskin.’ As you know, I grew up here and like all Washingtonians I became a fan of this team. The beauty of sports and of the Washington football franchise is that it will always have the ability to bring this community together, regardless of what decision is made about the team name."
This issue goes far beyond the football field, and any political misstep could hurt the NFL’s image badly. For change to occur, it is time for Redskins players themselves to speak out either for or against the name.
While it is certainly a tough situation to be in, it seems that the name causes more controversy than good. If the players agree with that sentiment, and believe that the name is racially insensitive, it may be time to change the name for the betterment of the entire NFL and the Washington franchise.