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Rick Reilly: I felt I quoted my father-in-law accurately, he disagrees

Redskins Getty Images

As the Washington Redskins’ nickname has become an increasingly polarizing topic in the football world, it also became a polarizing topic in the family of ESPN columnist Rick Reilly. Last month Reilly wrote a column defending the Redskins’ name and using as the basis for his defense the fact that his Native American father-in-law doesn’t have a problem with the name. That became embarrassing for Reilly when his father-in-law accused Reilly of misquoting him and said that he does, in fact, think the Redskins should change their name.

For his part, Reilly has posted a message on Twitter saying that he thought he quoted his father-in-law accurately.

“While I stand by the reporting in my Sept. 18 column about the Washington Redskins nickname controversy, and felt I accurately quoted my father-in-law in the piece, clearly he feels differently,” Reilly wrote. “This is an incredibly sensitive issue, and Bob felt he had more to say on the subject after that column was posted on ESPN.com. We’ve spoken and cleared this up. I admire Bob and respect his opinions, and he’s welcome to express them. Bob and I are good and I’m looking forward to my next steak with him.”

It’s hard to see how Reilly can “stand by the reporting” if the person whose opinion Reilly used as the basis of the column says that Reilly completely misunderstood their conversation. Reilly ascribed to his father-in-law the words, “The whole issue is so silly to me,” suggesting that his father-in-law thinks it’s silly that anyone is offended by the term “Redskins.” But his father-in-law says that what he actually said is that it’s silly that the Redskins are clinging to a name that they know many Native Americans find offensive. That’s an enormous difference, even if Reilly did transcribe the words his father-in-law spoke accurately.

In a follow-up to his original column, Reilly wrote that while he previously opposed the Redskins name, “I’ve grown to understand that it’s not up to me. It should be an issue decided by Native Americans.”

Count Reilly’s father-in-law as one Native American who thinks the Redskins should change their name.

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65 Responses to “Rick Reilly: I felt I quoted my father-in-law accurately, he disagrees”
  1. kd75 says: Oct 12, 2013 12:23 PM

    That should make for an uncomfortable Thanksgiving…

  2. nagaswan says: Oct 12, 2013 12:23 PM

    It is really unfair to take racist imagery away from racist people. They already aren’t allowed to express their true feelings in public.

  3. bluebongzilla says: Oct 12, 2013 12:24 PM

    If they change the name in the face of pressure from ever-offended PC people I will lose the little bit of respect I still have for Dan Snyder and the Washington Redskins. If they change it to anything else, it should be the Washington Lameasses.

  4. kd75 says: Oct 12, 2013 12:25 PM

    And Rebecca Lobo’s husband Steve Rushin has no problem with the name Giants…

  5. romosmicrodongs says: Oct 12, 2013 12:25 PM

    90% of native americans support the name, MSM wants to wipe the native american from the history books as they represent a symbol of resistance to the manifest destiny empire

  6. dbarnes67 says: Oct 12, 2013 12:26 PM

    I’ve heard that Snyder has agreed to change the name. From now on they will be called the D.C. Redskins.

  7. adamjac78 says: Oct 12, 2013 12:26 PM

    IMHO people need to let things be. It’s the name of a sports franchise. How is it disrespectful or degrading to anyone? Where does this end? The problem is that most of society has been pussified by politically correct BS. Mind you, I’m a liberal clinical social worker. Political correctness has gone way too far, as did the phoney outrage associated with it.

    Hopefully Snyder stands his ground and doesn’t give into the PC BS.

  8. nagaswan says: Oct 12, 2013 12:29 PM

    This officially means that ESPN does not check sources correct?

  9. roanboon says: Oct 12, 2013 12:39 PM

    Maybe his father-in-law simply changed his mind after the interview.

  10. bobzilla1001 says: Oct 12, 2013 12:46 PM

    Rick Reilly has a history of being inaccurate since he joined ESPN. His inflammatory remarks about the late Joe Paterno being among those inaccuracies. Unlike “Bob,” Joe isn’t around to set him straight.

  11. gettingpwned says: Oct 12, 2013 12:54 PM

    @bobzilla1001:
    rick reilly is a tool, no question about it. but you’re using paterno as a counterpoint to reilly’s credibility? eesh…

  12. shatho1 says: Oct 12, 2013 12:55 PM

    If the Oneida Nation wants the name changed then they can pay for it and all the sports memorabilia that goes with it if not then they just need to back off

  13. kd75 says: Oct 12, 2013 12:55 PM

    When STeve Rushin got on bended knee to propose, Rebecca Lobo must have been like “Where’d you go?”

  14. jerryreesespieces says: Oct 12, 2013 12:55 PM

    Rick Reilly is the worst.

  15. cuda1234 says: Oct 12, 2013 12:56 PM

    So now this non-issue that liberal media outlets are trying really, really hard to turn into a real story is an”increasingly polarizing topic”? How about a relentless attack against a private business?

  16. assuredmutualdestruction says: Oct 12, 2013 12:58 PM

    I used to be liberal, but the direction of the country that they’re taking us in seems more divisive to me now. Anyone who disagrees is automatically labeled a racist and that’s what is becoming offensive to me as an American. We are not overcoming our past, we are wallowing in it. The name controversy over the Redskins is just the latest media driven attempt to continue to divide us.

  17. kd75 says: Oct 12, 2013 12:58 PM

    When Shaq got on bended knee to propose, his wife said “Wow, you are still taller than me.”

  18. boon613 says: Oct 12, 2013 1:01 PM

    I’m Native and I’m more offended that the Redskins are called “Washington” but play in Landover, Maryland..

  19. stull60060 says: Oct 12, 2013 1:01 PM

    No Rick Reilly. The name of the team is not up to Native Americans. It’s up to the OWNER and NO ONE ELSE.

  20. ttommytom says: Oct 12, 2013 1:02 PM

    It’s just a nickname and if deemed offensive, should be changed.

    On the OTHER HAND it’s a nickname based on mud being put on someone’s skin.

    So would the DavyCrockettBeaverHats be offensive to the mountain people of the south? I guess this would have to be considered insensitive too.

  21. osiris33 says: Oct 12, 2013 1:07 PM

    The only thing making this “increasingly polarizing” is a few members of the media who keep bringing it up.

  22. usmutts says: Oct 12, 2013 1:07 PM

    “Hopefully Snyder stands his ground and doesn’t give in to the PC BS.”

    Here’s how he can do that:

    He could walk into a bar filled with Native Americans and shout “Hey all you redskins! It’s me, Danny! The word redskins doesn’t offend me! If it offends you, that’s just bullsh*it, you redskins!”

    Then he can stand his ground.

  23. salscobrakai says: Oct 12, 2013 1:09 PM

    The Mother Ship and misinterpreted interviews. Who’d have have thought it.

  24. bigchief816 says: Oct 12, 2013 1:10 PM

    As a Native American (Cherokee, Creek, Seminole), I don’t care. As an American, I do get frustrated by focusing on what divides us as oppose to what unite us! Life, Liberty, & the Pursuit I Happiness works for me, the rest bogs me down.

  25. bigchief816 says: Oct 12, 2013 1:11 PM

    As a Native American (Cherokee, Creek, Seminole), I don’t care. As an American, I do get frustrated by focusing on what divides us as oppose to what unites us! Life, Liberty, & the Pursuit of Happiness works for me, the rest bogs me down.

  26. rrhess1529 says: Oct 12, 2013 1:13 PM

    So when were done with the RedSkins can we move on to the BlackHawks….

  27. t8ertot says: Oct 12, 2013 1:19 PM

    Washington Warriors

    Keep the mascot, lose the name. Everyone is happy

  28. outlawjerseywhales says: Oct 12, 2013 1:21 PM

    Rick Reilly speak with forked tongue.

  29. mgflolox says: Oct 12, 2013 1:21 PM

    When has Reilly, or for that matter, any of these jock-sniffing wannabes EVER admitted to being wrong about something. I seriously can’t stand any of these sanctimonious self-rightous pricks. And you can quote me.

  30. stlluna7 says: Oct 12, 2013 1:22 PM

    Mr.. Smith grow up and be a man. Stop stirring this crap. I am inclined to be purposely obtuse because there is no middle ground here, except to say that the Indian (not native-american) culture needs to worry about rape on the reservations. Ask the ladies what is more important.

    I dare you to grow and see this objectively. To advocate things more significant than naming streets and community service buildings. Just more tokenism.

  31. jpb12 says: Oct 12, 2013 1:25 PM

    Wonder if he bothered to tell his Father in Law he was planning to use him to make a very public point?

  32. granadafan says: Oct 12, 2013 1:34 PM

    So many people on this thread blasting the “PC crowd” have clearly never experienced any sort of racism or real discrimination in their lives. They have no idea what it’s like to be on the receiving end of racism or flat out discrimination based on race, gender, orientation, etc.

  33. jdhein22 says: Oct 12, 2013 1:35 PM

    Terry Bradshaw is still alive. Get over it.

  34. misterdreamer119 says: Oct 12, 2013 1:39 PM

    riley lies to make money.

  35. dolphins4 says: Oct 12, 2013 1:45 PM

    Rick Reilly’s father in law is probably old so he could have said something and forgot what he said.

  36. therick5000 says: Oct 12, 2013 1:48 PM

    Every post I make about this topic gets deleted so I assume I am on the right path when I say this site is nothing but a sounding board for the NFL itself. When it comes to the nickname Redskins, they obviously want it changed and are using this biased site to get their message out.
    Also, if you follow the posts about the concussion issue, they seem to defend the league in its handling of the matter over the years, when the proof is out there that they looked the other way. I will agree they’re doing a good job of handling the matter now…

  37. elwaysmilehighdenver says: Oct 12, 2013 1:52 PM

    Wow! What is the sports world coming to when a network or journalist misquotes a person or source to create news instead of reporting it?

  38. jerrod777 says: Oct 12, 2013 1:58 PM

    The Redskins name was not a big issue until ProFootball Talk started bringing it up constantly. While I respect most of the reporting on this site, it seems that somebody here has an agenda to get rid of the Redskins name. I hope I am wrong, but this site seems to be very biased on this issue.

  39. cowartsh says: Oct 12, 2013 2:08 PM

    Red Mesa redskins in the heart of Navajo nation. That’s all that needs to be said

  40. aoc57 says: Oct 12, 2013 2:20 PM

    Count Me as one who thinks they shouldn’t.

    Me and Rick Reilly’s father- our opinions carry the same weight.

  41. abninf says: Oct 12, 2013 2:20 PM

    More importantly, when with the first gay player on an active roster come out? I thought there was going to be about 8 at once a few months ago?

  42. doctorrustbelt says: Oct 12, 2013 2:27 PM

    Republicans want to change the Redskins name to the Washington Anti-American Obstructionist Losers.

  43. dartwick says: Oct 12, 2013 2:31 PM

    Its not at all hard to understand how he can “stand by his reporting.”

    Its more than possible that his father in law developed a more nuanced veiw on the subject AFTER he became the national face of Americans Indians who are cool with the “Redskins” name.

    Politicians do this all the time.

  44. doctorrustbelt says: Oct 12, 2013 2:33 PM

    ricky reilly lost all credibility due to his ostrichesque reporting of lance armstrong.

  45. realitypolice says: Oct 12, 2013 2:37 PM

    romosmicrodongs says:
    Oct 12, 2013 12:25 PM
    90% of native americans support the name, MSM wants to wipe the native american from the history books as they represent a symbol of resistance to the manifest destiny empire

    ====

    You’re quoting an unscientific 10 year old poll that took a minuscule sample size.

  46. WACANHFL says: Oct 12, 2013 2:40 PM

    I used to be conservative, but the direction of the country that they’re taking us in seems more divisive to me now. Anyone who disagrees is automatically labeled a socialist/communist and that’s what is becoming offensive to me as an American. We are not overcoming our past, we are wallowing in it. The name controversy over the Redskins is just the latest conservative driven attempt to continue to divide us as not one country but as one that is White only, Black only, Native only, Hispanic only etc..

  47. realitypolice says: Oct 12, 2013 2:42 PM

    rrhess1529 says:
    Oct 12, 2013 1:13 PM
    So when were done with the RedSkins can we move on to the BlackHawks….

    Look, I couldn’t care less whether they change the name of the team or not, I really couldn’t.

    But this particular argument drives me nuts. When you name your team after an Indian Tribe, you are saying you want your team to be identified with a proud warrior tribe.

    Redskin, on the other hand, is NOT the name of an Indian Tribe. It is a derogatory term, invented by WHITE people, specifically intended to insult native americans.

    Have whatever opinion you want, but at least understand the difference.

  48. blueballzny says: Oct 12, 2013 2:52 PM

    Did you ever think that Rick Reily did report his father-in-law accurately and that the father in law is full of manure? Maybe the father in law would have been vilified if his true feelings were published and Reilly is backtracking to help protect him. That’s why Reily “stands by the reporting”.

  49. monkeesfan says: Oct 12, 2013 3:03 PM

    Again, what case is there to not use the Redskins name? The opponents nowhere make any case.

  50. monkeesfan says: Oct 12, 2013 3:04 PM

    WACANNFL – conservative? You’re ignoring the obvious big-time, pal – conservatives are exactly the opposite of what you’re claiming – liberalism is the one pushing division.

  51. securb2013 says: Oct 12, 2013 3:08 PM

    rrhess1529 says:
    Oct 12, 2013 1:13 PM
    So when were done with the RedSkins can we move on to the BlackHawks….

    *******************
    Some of you still don’t get it. The Blackhawks were a tribe same as the Seminoles. Chiefs and Braves were positions of hierarchy in those tribes…Redskins is a derogatory racial slur and has nothing to do with indian culture.

  52. htowntexan says: Oct 12, 2013 3:11 PM

    They need to call beers at the stadium fire water and have a small pox day to get the pc police off their back.

  53. dcapettini says: Oct 12, 2013 3:23 PM

    In other news, Rick Reilly reports that the University of California has decided to change their nickname from the Golden Bears to the Yellow Peril.

  54. babyjesus69 says: Oct 12, 2013 3:24 PM

    Haha! Rick Reilly can’t even report correctly on family conversations! He’s always been a joke and a little hater. Try watching Steve Young when they’re on the set together. Young despises him.

  55. watermelon1 says: Oct 12, 2013 3:25 PM

    I think the obvious solution to this is not to change the redskins name, but to change every other team’s name to something racist or bigoted. Then everyone can enjoy complaining about team names, not just those selfish redskins.

  56. darrett71 says: Oct 12, 2013 3:37 PM

    Seriously. Even IF, the term Redskin is actually a racial slur (FYI Indians called Europeans “Pale Skins”), when was the last time anyone heard used as a racial slur? The ONLY time I ever hear the word Redskins, its to describe the football team. Unlike the “N” word.

    TBH, I never grew up hearing the word as a insult and to add to this ridiculous “outrage”, the ONLY reason they are called Indians is because Columbus thought they were from India and he had found his passage to the Far East. So calling them Indians is actually an insult too since they are the wrong race.

    Pssssst… I am 1/4 Cherokee Indian, so don’t think I am just some racists WASP either.

  57. greg2geez says: Oct 12, 2013 3:39 PM

    Don’t go throwing stones. There isn’t a writer on this blog with a leg to stand on when it comes to criticizing others for their journalistic integrity.

  58. helix828 says: Oct 12, 2013 4:37 PM

    therick5000 says: Oct 12, 2013 1:48 PM

    Every post I make about this topic gets deleted so I assume I am on the right path when I say this site is nothing but a sounding board for the NFL itself. When it comes to the nickname Redskins, they obviously want it changed and are using this biased site to get their message out.
    ===================================

    You aren’t the only one. As soon as I let it be known that I am a Native and support the Redskins on the issue, and that half the people from my rez were actually Skins fans, everything I posted was deleted within 5 mins.

    What’s the point in writing articles and then silencing the very people you allegedly are offended for?

  59. stunzeed5 says: Oct 12, 2013 4:55 PM

    Yawn….it isn’t polarizing….except to the sheeple who are suddenly “OMG IM OFFENDED!”.

  60. manzoa says: Oct 12, 2013 5:02 PM

    Again with the PC nonsense. Look people just don’t care about this issue. In a recent poll that was reported in the newspapers just last week, nearly 90% of those polled were neither “offended” by the name Redskins, nor did they think the name of the team should be changed. We keep hearing about polls conducted among Native Americans that show the same thing, but these polls are being characterized as “non-scientific”, “old”, etc by left wing losers and whiners who want another class of victims to rally to their cause. “Victimhood” is the only refuge for the left wing political class that has no ideas or reason for being without it.

  61. northstarnic says: Oct 12, 2013 5:05 PM

    “Bob and I are good and I’m looking forward to my next steak with him.”
    I bet I know who’s buying.

  62. racyman57 says: Oct 12, 2013 6:44 PM

    I consider myself to be fairly liberal, but if the name is being used to represent the team, in a positive way, i.e: fighting spirit of Native American warriors, I don’t have an issue with it. It’s similar to African Americans using the “N” word, due to what context they perceive it to be used in, but bashing white people for using the word. I don’t buy into that hypocrosy, but I do think the context is what matters. Anyway, that isn’t for me to decide, as I’m not a Native American and I haven’t walked in their shoes. I do think we can carry the PC too far, at times.

  63. xxakshunxx says: Oct 12, 2013 8:08 PM

    Change it to the Blackskins or Whiteskins because obviously people think Redskins isnt racist at all

  64. skins1970 says: Oct 12, 2013 9:03 PM

    There are people on this site saying they are Native Americans and not offended by the name Redskins but yet people are ignoring them and only commenting and agreeing with the few that want the named changed

  65. bigdaddy44 says: Oct 12, 2013 10:25 PM

    Reilly most likely quoted his father-in-law correctly, then the father-in-law backpedaled out of embarrassment to a politically correct position.

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