As the Washington Redskins continue to come under criticism for a team name that is considered by many to be offensive, it is unsurprising that the team’s general manager sees nothing offensive about it.
Redskins G.M. Bruce Allen said today that the team is not considering changing its name.
“I’m proud to be the general manager of the Washington Redskins,” Allen said. “We represent an iconic sports franchise that’s 81 years old, that involves millions of fans worldwide, that has thousands of alumni. It’s ludicrous to think in any way that we’re trying to upset anybody. . . . There’s nothing that we feel that is offensive, and we’re proud of our history. To suggest that players and coaches and fans are thinking any other way, it doesn’t make sense.”
When Allen says the team is not “trying to upset anybody,” he’s surely right: Players, coaches, team officials and fans aren’t actively hoping to offend Native Americans when they sing “Hail to the Redskins” and put on their Redskins clothing.
But just because Allen doesn’t find the name offensive, that doesn’t change the fact that others do. The National Congress of American Indians released a statement last month calling upon the team to change its name.
“It’s time for the NFL and the Washington football team to join the 21st century and leave the mockery and racism of the past where it belongs, in the past,” the statement said.
The time may come when the Redskins get a new name. But it probably won’t come any time soon, because as Allen’s comments demonstrate, the team is digging in its heels in opposition to change.