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.