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Religious leaders speak out against “Redskins” name

Washington Redskins team owner Dan Snyder is pictured before the Washington Redskins vs Dallas Cowboys NFL football game in Landover Reuters

A large group of Washington, D.C., religious leaders have become the latest to openly campaign against the use of the name “Redskins.”

In a letter signed by leaders of Lutheran, Episcopal, Methodist, Baptist, United Church of Christ, AME, Presbyterian, Unitarian, Jewish, Buddhist and Muslim faith groups, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and team owner Dan Snyder have been called upon to change the name.

“As faith leaders in our nation’s capital, we feel we must take a stand on an important moral issue at the forefront of local and national consciousness: the offensive and inappropriate name of Washington’s NFL team,” the letter states. “The derogatory term ‘redskin’ offends many Native Americans and others in this country. This word, defined in the dictionary as a slur, should not be publicly marketed and celebrated in America, which is built on the ideals of respect and inclusion.”

Rev. Graylan Hagler, who recruited 60 religious leaders to join him in signing the letter, told USA Today all of the religious leaders he spoke with agree about the cause, although some declined to sign the letter because their faith groups have no formal position about the “Redskins” name.

“If you use that word about a group of people, you characterize them as less than human,” Hagler said. “You have stripped them of their humanity and taken away the likeness of God that is within all of us.”

Goodell has said the decision on the team’s name is up to Snyder, and Snyder has said he will never change his mind. Those who oppose the name may never stop pressuring Snyder to reconsider.

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41 Responses to “Religious leaders speak out against “Redskins” name”
  1. codenamez says: Dec 5, 2013 9:35 AM

    Wow, Dan Snyder did the unthinkable. He actually got all religions to get along and work together… against him.

  2. howiefeltersnatch says: Dec 5, 2013 9:41 AM

    Religious ‘leaders’ like to speak out about a lot of things. Just ask Jeremiah Wright.

  3. delhommed says: Dec 5, 2013 9:44 AM

    Leave them (The Redskins) alone!

  4. sfm073 says: Dec 5, 2013 9:59 AM

    Words are only offensive when you allow them to be.

  5. thegenoatkinsdiet says: Dec 5, 2013 10:17 AM

    Cue the “Keep your religion out of my sports” comments…

  6. nflofficeadmin says: Dec 5, 2013 10:20 AM

    Daniel, everyone knows your name… mazel!

  7. brettfavresmidget says: Dec 5, 2013 10:25 AM

    Sounds political…time to take away their tax-exempt status.

  8. greymares says: Dec 5, 2013 10:31 AM

    I still prefer Washington “Ratskins”

  9. ddaniels11 says: Dec 5, 2013 10:39 AM

    So many bigger things to worry about in this country, than a football teams name

  10. bennyb82 says: Dec 5, 2013 10:44 AM

    Well this apparently is not going away.

  11. fancyleague says: Dec 5, 2013 10:54 AM

    Save us Tomlin!!!

  12. pfic15 says: Dec 5, 2013 11:07 AM

    Dear “leaders”. Turn the other cheek.

  13. johnnyoclock says: Dec 5, 2013 1:11 PM

    Lenny Bruce once opined that if everyone dropped the N-word 10 times a day everyday, the word would therefore have no meaning, and be gone forever.

    Do we want certain offensive words gone, or do we want them because they can be used as currency?

    I think society wants offensive words and has no desire to actually get rid of them. Getting rid of those things means there’s no money in them.

    The churches in question are abusing this to get more money (and currency in good publicity which, let’s face it, is what they need now. Count all 60 religious leaders as joinng racial usery as this site is).

    Celebreties have attempted (fruitlessly) to use this to get more money through free publicity.

    PFT has paid bills and put kids through college through abusing this.

    Just saying, those claiming they want things gone, well let’s just open our minds to the possibility that they really don’t. They need them there because if certain words disappear, a money reservoir is gone.

    The money comes in keeping things around, so you can speak out against them to cash in. You can’t be Superman if there is in fact no Lois Lane.

  14. doctorrustbelt says: Dec 5, 2013 1:13 PM

    daniel snyder is gonna lose.

  15. doctorrustbelt says: Dec 5, 2013 1:18 PM

    daniel snyder (and the fans that don’t see the problem) are gonna make things worse for the franchise.

    I have never disliked the NY Giants… but… their receivers have become so annoying that I cheer against them (even when they are playing Dallas).

    daniel snyder and his washington franchise are already MUCH MORE annoying (and wrong) than the NY Giants wide receivers.

    THE POINT: Putting off the inevitable by not doing the right thing in a proactive way will ‘discolor’ the washington franchise for decades.

  16. phinatic29 says: Dec 5, 2013 1:29 PM

    easy solution, still waiting for it to gain momentum.

    Simply Change the logo on the side of the helmet to Mike Shanahan’s profile.

    It becomes much more palatable when you call a Caucasian man “Redskin”.

    Mike’s skin does seem to have a red tint. Redskin works fine.

    Case closed.

  17. jacksonjames4 says: Dec 5, 2013 1:53 PM

    I hope you all croak

  18. daysend564 says: Dec 5, 2013 2:09 PM

    Well played guys. You got a muslim in there, now it will be fully backed by Obama. He’ll do everything in his powers and beyond (even break constitution) in getting this name overturned.

  19. 6ball says: Dec 5, 2013 2:14 PM

    .

    You know the old saying, “once you’ve lost the Buddhists you’re on the expressway to hell riding in a handbasket.”

    .

  20. electstat says: Dec 5, 2013 2:37 PM

    “The derogatory term ‘redskin’ offends many Native Americans and others in this country.”

    Primarily the “others”.

  21. tmarlin1221 says: Dec 5, 2013 3:02 PM

    I wonder how snyder would feel if they called a team the J_Wskins ? I bet the anti semitic groups would come by the busload.

  22. indyshepherd says: Dec 5, 2013 3:27 PM

    If the so-called “faith-leaders” want to help, maybe they could speak out against all the derogatory words being used rap-music.

  23. provguard says: Dec 5, 2013 3:32 PM

    Which guy was that? The one that has the 13 mansions and houses and $51 million in their bank account????

    Anyway, everyone knows that the Hawaiians are the chosen people…

  24. indyshepherd says: Dec 5, 2013 3:41 PM

    You realize that this madness won’t stop with the Redskins. The name Cowboys also offends Native Americans as well, correct?

    And the next team to have to change its name will be the Browns because it will be considered racial.

    And then the Saints will be asked to change their name because it offends the atheists.

    And the Giants will be asked to change their name because it offends small people.

    The name Patriots offends non-citizens, etc, etc…

  25. nou04 says: Dec 5, 2013 4:07 PM

    I’m a Cowboy’s fan, but this is ridiculous. How long have they been the Redskins? 60, years? No one complained about it the past 50 or 60, years but now it is an issue?

    Good for Snyder sticking to his guns and not changing the name.

  26. 1historian says: Dec 5, 2013 4:15 PM

    FYI – I am a practicing Catholic.

    It is with considerable pride that I note that “leaders” of my faith have – so far – declined to join with the other religious pinheads in this latest POP.

    (POP, of course, is “Parade Of Pinheads”.)

    Of course I am aware that that is the situation so far. It is entirely possible that the exalted mavens representing POOP – (the) Pompous Order Of Pinheads – will apply pressure that will eventually cause them to cave in.

  27. thelastbesthope says: Dec 5, 2013 5:17 PM

    Let’s ask Daniel;

    “Never”

  28. sillec28 says: Dec 5, 2013 6:34 PM

    The name should be changed – to the Landover Redskins. Why should they be called the Washington Redskins when their home field isn’t in Washington?

  29. onlyoneleft says: Dec 5, 2013 6:48 PM

    Judging by the morals of this country, these faith leaders should have much larger problems on their
    plates. They, have apparently, forgot what their real mission is.

  30. ontheteebox says: Dec 5, 2013 7:37 PM

    Change the name and let’s move on…

  31. raiderapologist says: Dec 5, 2013 7:38 PM

    Charlatans unite. Politicians and religious leaders are proving they don’t have any serious business to attend to.

  32. jimeejohnson says: Dec 5, 2013 7:51 PM

    The opinions of a bunch of football fans means much more than what some religious leaders have to say. After all: football fans are smart while religious leaders believe in an invisible sky being.

  33. jimeejohnson says: Dec 5, 2013 7:52 PM

    Yo, genius football fans: sarcasm intended, especially all you short, fat guys with big heads.

  34. seaeagle707 says: Dec 5, 2013 9:29 PM

    I demand that the Saints change their name at once, because it has religious connotations, and might offend atheists. It is also a term used by all of the aforementioned religious “leaders”, to single out some people to the exclusion of others. It is therefore exclusionary and endorses a form of prejudicial thinking. This just cannot be. Especially by a team that plays in a publicly funded arena.

  35. seaeagle707 says: Dec 5, 2013 9:42 PM

    BTW; when is the U.S. Army going to stop naming its helicopter types after Native American tribes?

  36. Foghorn The IKonoclast says: Dec 5, 2013 10:42 PM

    look who is talking, bulk Hogan himself….

  37. httrgfy says: Dec 6, 2013 1:04 AM

    Stupid. Name stays REDSKINS. Next subject. Fire Shanahan.

  38. RedRuffensor says: Dec 6, 2013 8:38 AM

    The writing’s on the wall. It’s only a matter of time before the name is changed.

  39. skiproberts01 says: Dec 6, 2013 2:04 PM

    They need to tend to their flocks, instead of worrying about names of football teams.

  40. bluebongzilla says: Dec 6, 2013 11:09 PM

    I’m offended that people are so worried about a name and not worried about things that actually matter to native Americans like the high incidence of fetal alcohol syndrome and high unemployment. Change that immediately or you’re all hypocrites.

  41. defscottyb says: Dec 7, 2013 5:10 AM

    howiefeltersnatch says: Dec 5, 2013 9:41 AM

    Religious ‘leaders’ like to speak out about a lot of things. Just ask Jeremiah Wright.
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    OOOOOObama! is a long legged mack daddy that pimps white women and black women… OOObama! -Rev. White. People and groups speak out all the time doesn’t change anything. Let it go.

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