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NFLPA won’t get in the middle of Redskins name issue

Winston Getty Images

With nearly half the Senate sounding off on an issue relating to the National Football League — specifically, the name of the franchise based in Washington — I wondered whether the NFL Players Association has a position on the topic.

The union’s president, free-agent tackle Eric Winston, answered that question on Thursday’s edition of PFT Live.  For now, the union plans to stay out of it.

“Any time you have a group of people that feel like they’re being slandered, that something is offensive to them, I think it’s important to have that conversation and I think it’s important to keep that conversation going and to find ways to make sure everybody feels that they’re not being discriminated against,” Winston said.  “I think it’s disappointing when you have that kind of situation where people are offended.  So I think they should be heard.

“I think their concern should be addressed, but at the end of the day, as players, we don’t own the team and we can’t force a team owner to change the name and that’s not something we’re going to get in the middle of, either.  I think any time you have someone that feels like they’ve been offended, that they’re being slandered, that there’s a derogatory name against them, I think it’s important to have that conversation and to continue to have that conversation until both sides feel good about where they’re at.”

The problem is that there’s no middle ground; either the name changes or it doesn’t.  Unless and until one side or the other changes its mind, the debate will continue.  It’s a debate in which the union doesn’t intend to take a position.

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33 Responses to “NFLPA won’t get in the middle of Redskins name issue”
  1. thestrategyexpert says: May 22, 2014 9:03 PM

    It’s not a debate right now. Snyder has held firm to his position and nobody has applied any substantive pressure or incentive for him to change his steadfast position.

    But if you choose to get in the middle of a guy like Dan Snyder and Roger Goodell thinking you are going to control the situation, then you might be a monkey. There is no place to play in the middle ground for the monkey unless one side makes a mistake or is knocked out of the game. Be patient or force the action, or nothing changes.

  2. giantsfanlewis says: May 22, 2014 9:07 PM

    Luckily in november half of the senators who decided to take issue with this rather than real issues will be gone. Btw to correct that senator who said its hard to get 50 ppl to agree on anything in congress. Yea talking about the repub party. Dems always seem to be voting party lines

  3. h0c2000 says: May 22, 2014 9:08 PM

    Maybe Donald Sterling can buy the team. Maybe they’ll have a position then.

  4. draftazoid says: May 22, 2014 9:23 PM

    One big win for the Redskins!

  5. bcraze says: May 22, 2014 9:23 PM

    If it’s really that big of an issue and there are fifty Senators that agree, why don’t they put their money where their mouth is and pass a law to replace the name? Certainly they could buy one more vote from one of the Democratic holdouts.

  6. djstat says: May 22, 2014 9:28 PM

    The hypocracy of the issue is this: Many players were rightfully upset about Donald Sterlings remarks. Most players do not care about the name of the Washington DC football team because it has no impact on them.

    If the players were consistent they would speak out…

    Winston is going to remain homeless for doing his job as NFLPA Prez.

  7. jwil444 says: May 22, 2014 9:33 PM

    nothing to see here, move along………..

  8. Robert says: May 22, 2014 9:37 PM

    Washington Reddogs 2015-2016, bring back the beer as well.

    Heck, use the Red Dog beer logo as opposed to the Redskin on the helmet, or create it’s own.

    Washington can keep it’s colors, no harm, no foul

    Washington Reddogs vs Philadelphia Eagles

  9. getsome99 says: May 22, 2014 9:48 PM

    Figures. Funny how these NFL players talk a lot smack about NFL owners and how much better the NBA is because of their owners. At least the NBA PLAYERS spoke out against Donald Sterling.

  10. pilonflats says: May 22, 2014 10:01 PM

    ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

  11. bartpkelly says: May 22, 2014 10:24 PM

    I think if a few players said they are forced to play under a team name they feel is racist and goes against their beliefs, then the NFLPA ‘may’ get involved.
    Since drafted players don;t have a choice for which team to play (without holding out) they may have a case there but I don’t think players will do that.

  12. rooster357 says: May 22, 2014 10:36 PM

    Why????

  13. iamthegreatcornflorio says: May 22, 2014 10:54 PM

    As a Chiefs fan, I find the name Eric Winston vastly more offensive than “redskins.”

  14. ivanpavlov0000 says: May 22, 2014 11:00 PM

    Kind of a cowardly thing for the NFLPA to refuse to take stand.

  15. buffalodiehard says: May 23, 2014 12:23 AM

    “…until both sides feel good about where they’re at.”

    Has Eric Winston paid ANY attention to this issue?

    His answer was a massive cop out.

  16. 1phillyphan says: May 23, 2014 1:45 AM

    Then why isn’t the “Vikings name and logo offensive? Never did any so called Viking ( which btw they never called them selves that) ever wear horns on the side of the head dresses..its offensive..gimme a break, the name has been there for years..and its just now an issue..? the real crime is the team itself in DC..they haven’t been relevant for years..thats offensive !!,,50 congressman..isn’t there bigger issues in this country to worry about..like bring our troops home?

  17. defscottyb says: May 23, 2014 1:58 AM

    Why do the Redskins always get singled out? You never hear one peep about the Chief’s, Braves, Indians, Warriors, Blackhawks, Seminoles just the Redskins. If anything, Native American’s should be most offended by the Indians. It’s Native American not Indian. That’s like calling an African American a Negro or a Colored person. I guess because the Skins have the most money out of them all and they play in Washington? Plus it’s an election year and Dems have to “care” to get votes from minorities.

  18. dallascowboysdishingthereal says: May 23, 2014 2:52 AM

    Winston speaks like a true politician. He talks without really saying anything.

    The Redskin name is a tribute to native Americans not a slander. Move on.

  19. seattlenative57 says: May 23, 2014 2:54 AM

    The stated position on this issue of the NFLPA could not be more cowardly. Of course the players could impact the impasse by speaking out. They’re just too scared, I guess.

    The other disgrace in this matter is the team location in the nation’s capitol. This is really disturbing. No wonder most Americans have lost faith in our “lawmakers”. They can’t even outlaw racism in their own neighborhood.

  20. PK says: May 23, 2014 6:55 AM

    The policy of catering to something as subjective as a groups “offense” is a slippery slope. Be careful what you wish for.

  21. Success Matters says: May 23, 2014 7:37 AM

    WHAT?!! Must have read that wrong.. The NFLPA has something to say about everything. They complain about how much water is in the toilette but on a racial issue they don’t take a stand.

  22. cfballfan1 says: May 23, 2014 8:40 AM

    Smart decision by the NFLPA. The tacit coercion and intimidation tactics by the pro-PC crowd should be repelled at every turn.

  23. politicallyincorrect says: May 23, 2014 8:51 AM

    Hail to the Redskins!

    I wish the NFLPA had the brains and integrity to voice support for the name and declare war on ignorance.

  24. dwinsgames says: May 23, 2014 9:36 AM

    Look at the direction that society is going regarding discrimination and it is clear that a name change is a matter of WHEN not IF.

  25. mdpgc says: May 23, 2014 9:40 AM

    Passing laws for name changes…..please get out of here with that nonsense. Pass a law that states that people shouldn’t be harassed by police officers and fake police in New York as well other states for just walking down the street. Pass a law that states that every person has a right to eat and work in this country. The real issues are real-life issues, real-life needs, and I think it’s time that people focus on the reality!

  26. icematrix69 says: May 23, 2014 9:56 AM

    The difference between the REDSKINS name and what Sterling did is Intent. There is no intent to discriminate or offend when concerning the Redskins name. Only someone looking for something to be offended about can come to that conclusion….. Lunacy at its finest!

  27. crewchief15 says: May 23, 2014 10:05 AM

    My questions is, why can’t the union get in the middle of this? It’s because it has no monetary value to them.

  28. grruffgrruff says: May 23, 2014 10:33 AM

    Seems to me there are plenty more issues more important to the USA for the Senate to be involved in…like maybe health care costs, unemployment etc.

  29. 3highlow says: May 23, 2014 12:21 PM

    It’s time. Washington Warriors has a nice ring to it.

  30. tomthumbsblues says: May 23, 2014 3:35 PM

    “I am a red man. If the Great Spirit had desired me to be a white man he would have made me so in the first place. He put in your heart certain wishes and plans, in my heart he put other and different desires. Each man is good in his sight. It is not necessary for Eagles to be Crows. We are poor… but we are free. No white man controls our footsteps. If we must die…we die defending our rights.” – Sitting Bull,

    And contrary to what Florio says, …. of course there is middle ground. They could officially just be known as ” Washington ” with the same logo.
    Unofficially they would still be the Redskins, by almost all of the fans, and still most in the media.

  31. politicallyincorrect says: May 23, 2014 7:22 PM

    Hail to the Redskins!

    Nothing but misery and misfortune to all ignorant enough to think this name is offensive or that this is an issue!

  32. chuck197931 says: May 23, 2014 10:24 PM

    Redskins ,when being used by any team, personifies and shows great admiration for the Redskin Warriors of the 1700’s-1800’s. The very warriors that were greatly feared by the new settlers in the Americas. When any team uses a term/name used throughout a period of history, they choose it based on admiration, the strength, and other virtues associated with such a name . The Washington Redskins name only, and should only, be viewed as honoring the Native Americans ancestry. PERIOD!
    If any Native American should think otherwise, then maybe their perception is one of bigotry.

  33. rightwingredskin says: May 24, 2014 9:49 AM

    Redskin was a term used to describe the red warpaint that Native Americans would put on before going into battle. It’s not even a term that derived from “red skin”… These liberal clowns are doing what they do best… Trying to divide people and create issues instead of doing their jobs in the Senate to fix issues.

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