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Bruce Allen responds to the Senate

Mike Shanahan AP

The back-and-forth continues regarding the only NFL team name that has sparked a reasonable debate as to whether the name should change.

Earlier this week, 50 Senators sent a letter urging the NFL “to formally support and push for a name change for the Washington football team.”  On Friday, the Redskins responded with a letter from G.M. Bruce Allen to Senator Harry Reid.

While addressed to Reid, the letter targets a much different audience.  Allen hopes to give supporters of the team’s name ammunition for any arguments that may come up at Memorial Day weekend get-togethers, and also to persuade any of the shrinking group of undecideds to see things the team’s way.

Nothing contained in Allen’s letter will influence Reid or any other opponents of the name to change their position, in part because most of what Allen writes already has been said.

First, Allen explains that the term “Redskins” originated as a Native American expression of solidarity.  Second, Allen explains that the team’s logo was designed by Native Americans.  (The contention that the logo was designed and approved by Native Americans has been contested by one of the Native American groups that supposedly was involved.)  Third, Allen explains that an “overwhelming majority of Native Americans do not find the name offensive,” citing a 10-year-old poll that shows nine percent of Native Americans believe the term is offensive.  (His letter doesn’t cite a January 2014 poll, previously touted by the team, which as we explained at the time actually shows a dramatically accelerated erosion of support for the name.)

Fourth, Allen claims that the “vast majority of Americans are in favor of keeping the name,” citing an Associated Press poll that says 83 percent of Americans are in favor of keeping the team’s name (which means 17 percent don’t, which hardly means that a “vast majority” supports the name).  Fifth, and finally, Allen cites the team’s recent efforts, launched in the aftermath of the framing of the debate regarding the team’s name, to “[make] a difference for Native Americans through our Washington Redskins Original Americans Foundation.”

None of this changes the fact that, at some point within the past year, the NFL and the franchise have conceded that reasonable minds may differ on whether the name constitutes a slur.   The question becomes whether the NFL wants to continue to tolerate, indefinitely into the future, circumstances where one of the league’s 32 teams carries a name about which a reasonable debate exists as to whether the name is offensive.

Allen’s letter seems to backtrack on the notion that reasonable minds may differ, and that some may be legitimately offended by the name.  Allen’s letter instead seems to be intent on proving that the team’s position is right, and that those opposed to the name are wrong.

None of this will quiet those who are opposed to the name.  If anything, efforts to tell them that they’re wrong will serve only to embolden the opposition, ensuring that it will continue until the day the name changes.

With 50 Senators simultaneously calling on the league to change the name, it’s hard not to think that day is coming sooner than anyone may have imagined.  It seems like the team plans to delay the inevitable as long as possible by regurgitating the same arguments that have done nothing to slow the growth of a movement that, if the name doesn’t change, eventually will no longer represent a minority view.

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146 Responses to “Bruce Allen responds to the Senate”
  1. brianlee720 says: May 24, 2014 10:49 AM

    Cowboys are more offensive to native americans

  2. mykpfsu says: May 24, 2014 10:51 AM

    My letter would have gone something like this “I’d like to respond, but don’t want to lose my place in line at the VA.”

  3. ufanforreal says: May 24, 2014 10:52 AM

    Associated Press poll that says 83 percent of Americans are in favor of keeping the team’s name (which means 17 percent don’t, which hardly means that a “vast majority” supports the name)
    ——————————————————
    I would say 83% is a big majority at least that’s the way it figured when I went to school.
    The way the world is today majority doesn’t rule the decisions much anymore.

  4. purplengold says: May 24, 2014 10:53 AM

    Senators and others like them should be required to wear a standard suit with patches from all of their sponsors as NASCAR drivers do. We could then perhaps shame them into focusing on far more serious problems involving the general welfare of the people they are supposed to serve.

  5. raider316 says: May 24, 2014 10:53 AM

    Doesn’t the Senate have more important things to do that to worry about the name of a sports team being offensive.

  6. eagles512 says: May 24, 2014 10:55 AM

    So when someone comes out for the name, let’s pick apart every little thing they say. But if you’re against the name, you’re 100% correct.

  7. denverwally says: May 24, 2014 10:56 AM

    83 to 17 isn’t a vast majority? When an election is won by 55-45% its considered a landslide. I think you would have to concede that 83-17% a super mega maxi-landslide, at the minimum.

  8. glenne81 says: May 24, 2014 10:56 AM

    I am not leaning one way or the other on this subject. But to be far, if you were to Score 83% in any Poll on any subject it would be fair to say you received the “vast majority”.

  9. markpugner says: May 24, 2014 11:01 AM

    This is pretty dumb. Seriously when was redskin ever used as a slur? Does anyone alive even remember? Whenever anyone thinks of the word ‘redskin’ all they think of is a football team. It seems like it only became a slur a year ago because some offended white person said so.

  10. redislander10 says: May 24, 2014 11:01 AM

    “Allen claims that the “vast majority of Americans are in favor of keeping the name,” citing an Associated Press poll that says 83 percent of Americans are in favor of keeping the team’s name (which means 17 percent don’t, which hardly means that a “vast majority” supports the name).”

    I disagree with the idea that 83% is not a “vast majority”. If 83% is not a “vast majority”, then just what exactly does it take?

  11. metalhead65 says: May 24, 2014 11:01 AM

    glad to see with the VA scandal to go along with the rest of the mess this country is in the senate has it’s priorities in order and are worried about the name of football team. I am sure they and the rest of the liberals ruining this once great nation are so proud of themselves. one question for you guys though what besides waging this war over a name are you doing to better the lives of native Americans? any ideas how solve the poverty and substance abuse problems that plague the reservations? the poor education and high crime rates? hey at least they won’t have to worry about the name of a football offending them right?

  12. thirdistheworrd says: May 24, 2014 11:01 AM

    The story can be spun any way you want (and no, it won’t change anything within the debate) but if you read the letter, you’ll see that Allen kind ofs hits all over harry reid. Moreover since when has 83 perecent not been “a vast majority”? Its hard enough to get 8 out of 10 people to agree on pizza toppings, and in this day and age, I can’t remember the last time 83% of Americans agreed on any social or political issue, ever.

  13. dangerturtle says: May 24, 2014 11:02 AM

    83% sure sounds like a vast majority to me.

  14. deepthreat says: May 24, 2014 11:02 AM

    So an 83% majority isn’t “vast”… OK

  15. takeittothehizzy says: May 24, 2014 11:02 AM

    83 percent of Americans are in favor of keeping the team’s name (which means 17 percent don’t, which hardly means that a “vast majority” supports the name).

    What? Maybe they didn’t teach Florio the meaning of vast in law school but 83% is a vast majority in my book.

  16. dwarftosser says: May 24, 2014 11:02 AM

    The one thing 100% of Americans agree on is that congress should stop wasting time trying to regulate the NFL.

  17. concro123 says: May 24, 2014 11:03 AM

    Why tf is congress putting so much energy into changing a sports team’s name? They should be focusing on issues that actually matter (healthcare, economy, environment). Smh never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups

  18. dryheaveone says: May 24, 2014 11:03 AM

    Please….I thought Allen’s letter was spot on…politically correct nonsense is all this is. END OF STORY (and no I’m not a Redskins fan)

  19. scamp516dp says: May 24, 2014 11:03 AM

    What about Patriot’s

  20. ampats says: May 24, 2014 11:03 AM

    Where is all the outrage about the Cleveland Indians and numerous other teams with questionable names?

    I’m glad to see our Senators focusing their time and energy on the Redskin name as opposed to issues that they were elected for.

  21. germanvampire says: May 24, 2014 11:07 AM

    More manufactured outrage.

  22. yate3097 says: May 24, 2014 11:07 AM

    $ 17,000,000,000,000 in national debt and our Senate is focused like a laser on the issue of our times – the name of a football team that plays for 4 months out of the year. Must be election season.

  23. thingamajig says: May 24, 2014 11:08 AM

    83% vs 17% IS a vast majority.

  24. chicagobtech says: May 24, 2014 11:08 AM

    A law will get ramrodded through Congress, it’ll hit the President’s desk, it’ll get signed…and then it’ll be a trip through the federal courts. It’ll end up at the Supreme Court, who will find that bad taste is not actually illegal. Money will be spent, time will be wasted, teeth will be gnashed, but in the end nothing will have changed.

  25. jimmysee says: May 24, 2014 11:09 AM

    Times change. Attitudes change. Public opinion changes. And conservatives moan and groan about it.

  26. thestrategyexpert says: May 24, 2014 11:10 AM

    The NFL will indeed tolerate this indefinitely, maybe get a letter with 536 signatures on it and that could get them to blink. That would be a 100% turnout rate of Senators, Congressman, and an autopen from the President since he probably wouldn’t have time to do it in person.

  27. njoberg says: May 24, 2014 11:10 AM

    an Associated Press poll that says 83 percent of Americans are in favor of keeping the team’s name (which means 17 percent don’t, which hardly means that a “vast majority” supports the name). like the team plans to delay the inevitable as long as possible by regurgitating the same arguments that have done nothing to slow the growth of a movement that, if the name doesn’t change, eventually will no longer represent a minority view.

    How does 17% represent a minority view?

  28. njoberg says: May 24, 2014 11:11 AM

    Oops majority 😳

  29. dukeearl says: May 24, 2014 11:12 AM

    In spite of the childhood game Cowboys and Indians.. that really wasn’t the case.
    Indians mainly fought against the army.
    But don’t let the truth get in the way of making excuses for the NFL team

  30. juanweiner says: May 24, 2014 11:14 AM

    Why doesnt the senate do something about the NFL’s support of women abusers and owners with substance abuse problems? Id say those are a tad more serious than a name that offends the thin skinned.

  31. astilgy says: May 24, 2014 11:15 AM

    When an national poll is conducted, how often are you going to get a larger margin of support than 83 – 17? That seems, in my opinion, to be more than just the “vast majority” Especially given how divided our country is on topics like this.

  32. mrsryansfamoustoejam says: May 24, 2014 11:16 AM

    It’s now time for the Redskins organization and everyone else to just ignore the imbeciles and sycophants whining about the team’s name.

  33. motleytrap says: May 24, 2014 11:19 AM

    Why don’t they go after the 49ers. Isn’t that more offensive?

    Take a look at the atrocities committed against Native Americans during the California Gold Rush.

  34. kansacity88 says: May 24, 2014 11:19 AM

    Can someone please explain what the word ‘vast’ means, then? Because if it’s not over 80% then I am either old or ‘vastly’ uneducated!

  35. itsnotforme says: May 24, 2014 11:19 AM

    Maybe congress should just shutdown until this issue is resolved. If their focus is on this, rather then healthcare, social security, financial issues and other governmental issues, then why did anyone vote those 50 bozo’s into office?

    This name and many other similar names are used by numerous colleges and high schools across this country. So, where does it stop? Chiefs, Siminoles, Warriors, Patriots, Beavers, Ducks, and so on.

    Acutally I’m offend that USC uses the name Trojans. I find that sexually oriented and very offensive. LOL

  36. thirdistheworrd says: May 24, 2014 11:21 AM

    eagles512 says: May 24, 2014 10:55 AM

    So when someone comes out for the name, let’s pick apart every little thing they say. But if you’re against the name, you’re 100% correct.
    ______________
    They keep pushing the idea that this ten-year-old poll is worthless, but where is one poll citing that the 50 senators are correct in declaring the name offensive? What’s really offensive is the idea of one ethnic group feeling like they are more capable of speaking for a minority than the minority is.

  37. kravenm3 says: May 24, 2014 11:21 AM

    This article reminds me of the words of Rush guitarist, Alex Lifeson, while being inducted into the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame………

    “Bla, bla bla bla bla. Bla bla bla. Bla bla bla bla bla bla bla. Bla bla bla bla, bla bla bla bla. Bla bla. Bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla. Bla bla, bla bla bla.”

  38. bullcharger says: May 24, 2014 11:22 AM

    Only one point matters. Is it a racial slur that is offensive to Native Americans or not. It doesn’t matter how the word originated, it doesn’t matter who designed the logo and it doesn’t matter what percentage of Americans want it to remain the same. A 10 year old poll isn’t good enough. To me it seems clear it is a slur, but maybe it isn’t. That should be the only deciding factor it should be obvious if they speak to Native Amrican groups.

  39. willycents says: May 24, 2014 11:25 AM

    Hey folks, it is election year. Notice the letter signed by all democrats? They are just trying to corner the minority votes.

  40. russwack says: May 24, 2014 11:27 AM

    I’ll bet that way more than 17% object to hose 50 senators.

  41. higheriqthanyou says: May 24, 2014 11:28 AM

    Interesting, if a name like this referenced African Americans it would have been rightly changed 20 years ago.

  42. sasquash20 says: May 24, 2014 11:29 AM

    We got people broke and hardly scrapping by but 50 senators think this is a real problem. That is the problem I have. Lets work on real issues and stop with the crap

  43. wickerskin says: May 24, 2014 11:29 AM

    I would really like to see a poll conducted of Native Americans which asks:

    Are you more offended by:

    (A) the continued use of “Redskins” as the mascot of the Washington DC football team

    or

    (B) Non-Native Americans telling you what you ought to be offended by

    Based on the many discussions i’ve had on the subject with Native Americans here in New Mexico, I am pretty sure the results would be well above 90% being more offended by the latter.

  44. hogue34 says: May 24, 2014 11:31 AM

    Which hack ESPN guy will not say Redskins? He will only say “The Washington Professional Team”
    I think it is Feinstien.

  45. bullcharger says: May 24, 2014 11:31 AM

    thingamajig says:
    May 24, 2014 11:08 AM
    83% vs 17% IS a vast majority.

    ———–

    It’s a dumb stat…. Only 2% of Americans are Native Americans. That means every Native American could be against it even if 98% of Americans want it to remain the same. It doesn’t matter what non-Native Americans think. It’s not offensive to them.

  46. stevez51 says: May 24, 2014 11:31 AM

    Now to be worried about changing the name of redskin potatoes…..

  47. edenprairieballer says: May 24, 2014 11:32 AM

    *50 DFL Senators

  48. frownupon says: May 24, 2014 11:32 AM

    What percentage of Senators signed the letter? Is that a vast majority. Does write about anything else. Maybe the Senate should look into the VA problems first or other real issues.

  49. gafraidh says: May 24, 2014 11:33 AM

    Maybe they should just change the team logo to a potato.

  50. ufanforreal says: May 24, 2014 11:34 AM

    If you don’t like a show on TV for whatever purpose you change the channel. if you don’t like the name of a team don’t watch football.

  51. MostlyRight says: May 24, 2014 11:34 AM

    A vast majority, I’d estimate around 83%, of the PFT commenters seem to agree that 83% represents a vast majority.

  52. rabiddenial says: May 24, 2014 11:34 AM

    Shut up

  53. bullcharger says: May 24, 2014 11:38 AM

    thirdistheworrd says:
    May 24, 2014 11:21 AM
    eagles512 says: May 24, 2014 10:55 AM

    So when someone comes out for the name, let’s pick apart every little thing they say. But if you’re against the name, you’re 100% correct.
    ______________
    They keep pushing the idea that this ten-year-old poll is worthless, but where is one poll citing that the 50 senators are correct in declaring the name offensive? What’s really offensive is the idea of one ethnic group feeling like they are more capable of speaking for a minority than the minority is.

    ————————-

    A white American that is not offended by the name will certainly be supportive of keeping it. That doesn’t meant it isn’t offensive. The team needs to properly engage the Native American community and decide whether it offensive or not.

  54. stunzeed5 says: May 24, 2014 11:39 AM

    BTW, I’ll be watching the Chicago BLACKHAWKS tonight versus the Los Angeles Kings. Wait, Chicago is screwed, they have an Indian as their logo plus have BLACK in their name! Ooooooo I’m telling the senator, I’m offended! So many mouth-breathers in this country….

  55. rugermini14 says: May 24, 2014 11:41 AM

    Tell Harry Reid to get his own house in order by having the people that work in D.C. to pay their taxes before involving themselves in something that government has no business in.

  56. lanzurrah says: May 24, 2014 11:42 AM

    It’s a slur.

  57. FoozieGrooler says: May 24, 2014 11:47 AM

    Just change the team logo to a small round potato.
    Problem solved.

  58. engymass says: May 24, 2014 11:47 AM

    Even if the name didn’t have any racial link, I always thought it was “tacky and creepy” if left by itself.

  59. osiris33 says: May 24, 2014 11:48 AM

    concro123 says:

    Why tf is congress putting so much energy into changing a sports team’s name?
    —————————————————
    “Congress” isn’t. Democrats are. The reason? Because every single signatory to that letter receives huge contributions from the rich Indian casino owners, and because democrats want to talk about ANYTHING except our still born economy, the VA scandal, Benghazi, our collapsing foreign policy, and 25 million new customers on food stamps on their watch.

  60. bullcharger says: May 24, 2014 11:49 AM

    If everyone agreed it was a racial slur there is no way it would remain.

  61. higheriqthanyou says: May 24, 2014 11:53 AM

    I imagine a “vast majority” of those in the South who were not black at one point supported slavery.

    Didn’t make it right.

  62. andrewluck12 says: May 24, 2014 11:54 AM

    Senators should be worrying about this liberal created nonsense. Its always about an agenda. Its sad that general manager of a football has to take time away from building a competitive team to respond to a bunch of incompetent politicians

  63. 1jwbucs says: May 24, 2014 11:57 AM

    I believe it is high time the sorry ass U. S. Senators stop beating the drum of Political Correctness, Amnesty for Illegals and playing the racism card… and get their focus on the core business of returning America to Greatness! If you are not in Washington to improve this country then resign, step down and stop being a freeloader on public money…. Forcing a professional sports franchise to change a name that is legendary, along with being synonymous with Greatness has zero contribution to the job of serving “We The People”.

  64. nyoazz says: May 24, 2014 12:02 PM

    Chiefs is more offensive than Redskins.
    Just sayin’.

  65. higheriqthanyou says: May 24, 2014 12:04 PM

    Hard to believe so many on here replace thought with a simple regurgitation of conservative talking points.

  66. qdog112 says: May 24, 2014 12:05 PM

    ” citing an Associated Press poll that says 83 percent of Americans are in favor of keeping the team’s name”
    **********************************
    All that shows is that you don’t vote on what’s right and wrong. If you take a poll, 83% might also think slavery is still a good idea.

    Would we accept the Carolina Niccas or the Atlanta Rednecks as NFL team names? Harry Reid is a buzz word for Senate hate. This is not about Harry Reid to divide sensible people.

    How long can we deny the fact that our history involves many names we should be ashamed of? This one was usually linked with “dirty savage, murdering ***skins”. Noway to sugarcoat it.

  67. ghostofgilchrist says: May 24, 2014 12:07 PM

    Were I Native American, I’d be more offended by President Andrew Jackson’s mug on the $20 bill.

  68. shakespeare22 says: May 24, 2014 12:08 PM

    Some white guy said the Somali pirates are offended by the name of the Tampa Bay football team. Let’s get them next.

  69. skinsfanct203 says: May 24, 2014 12:09 PM

    So I’ve been a Redskins fan my whole life and a Florida State Seminoles fan my whole life. The different between Braves, Chiefs, Seminoles and Redskins is only one is a derogatory term.

    And even if only the minority find it it’s offensive it’s enough that find it offensive to make a change. This country was designed to protect the minority that don’t have the power to fight for themselves.

    Is the team name really that important that the rest of you fans would be upset if it changed? Would it make you love the team any less? For me it’s no. The Washington football team will be my passion regardless of what they’re called. And maybe we can follow suit with the Wizards and get some sweet new jerseys out of it.

  70. bullcharger says: May 24, 2014 12:11 PM

    ufanforreal says:
    May 24, 2014 11:34 AM
    If you don’t like a show on TV for whatever purpose you change the channel. if you don’t like the name of a team don’t watch football.

    ————–

    So someone can call their new store the N-word grocery store and if people don’t like it they just shouldn’t go there? I don’t think so. You can rightfully argue it isn’t a racial slur, but if it is then people have a right to say something about it.

  71. dontcensormebro says: May 24, 2014 12:15 PM

    higheriqthanyou says: May 24, 2014 11:53 AM

    I imagine a “vast majority” of those in the South who were not black at one point supported slavery.

    Didn’t make it right.
    ———————————-

    The same could be said about a “vast majority” who voted a celebrity wannabe into the office of the presidency in 2008.

  72. skinsfanct203 says: May 24, 2014 12:15 PM

    It is a racial slur.

  73. bigdawg24 says: May 24, 2014 12:15 PM

    The KC Chiefs were named after a former Mayor of Kansas City Harold Roe Bartle, who’s nickname was “The Chief”.

  74. bigdawg24 says: May 24, 2014 12:16 PM

    I think the team name “Yankees” is offensive.

  75. footballfan14 says: May 24, 2014 12:19 PM

    First, I want to say I appreciate PFT and love what it does.

    Second, 83% is definitely a majority. If 83% was against it you would say that is a majority. Just because you don’t agree with someone doesn’t mean they are always wrong. Everyone can be wrong, including you!

    My third comment is that this name was created by a Native American, not sure what the question about his heritage is. Unless there is definite proof he isn’t Native American then show me.

    My dad is of Cherokee Indian descent and his mother is like 1/4. Neither of them found it offensive. My dad is still alive and is a huge Redskins fan. His question, and mine, is how come this wasn’t brought up 30 or 40 years ago? There are a lot less 100% Indians and those with Indian in their blood now than ever before.

    How come it seems white people are the ones pushing this train the most? I don’t see any major Native Americans out there pushing this. It’s our congress of just white men and women. What is the political gain by doing this because it’s obvious that the Native Americans aren’t the ones driving this train?

  76. dartwick says: May 24, 2014 12:19 PM

    Im not in favor of the name.

    But…. 87% is what I consider a vast majority. I suspect most people agree with me.

  77. dartwick says: May 24, 2014 12:20 PM

    83% I meant.

  78. thegreatgabbert says: May 24, 2014 12:22 PM

    Native Americans have become so downtrodden that when they have to fill in their race on a form they write “Slur”.

  79. footballfan14 says: May 24, 2014 12:22 PM

    Also, go look up the term “Oklahoma”. It is a name that is considered a slur and offensive. How come a state was named something that is a slur and how come folks aren’t up in arms about it? Not being sarcastic here. I just want to know because it seems to be a witch hunt on the Redskins and if we are going to force their name to change then PETA is going to want all teams not to be named after animals, Oklahoma change it’s name, and there are some towns out there who have offensive names. Again, not being sarcastic but just pointing it out. It seems like some people just can’t be happy and have to make up something to complain about. I have talked to many Indians and none of them are offended but it seems these white men over 40 or 50 are and they are driving this train. Why aren’t Indians upset?

  80. skinsfanct203 says: May 24, 2014 12:23 PM

    You can drop that comment as much as you want about Pirates and Yankees. You’re not actually offended by it and Native American ARE. It is a racial slur. If we follow your point then we can just name a team name any racial slur.

  81. qdog112 says: May 24, 2014 12:25 PM

    willycents says:
    May 24, 2014 11:25 AM
    Hey folks, it is election year. Notice the letter signed by all democrats? They are just trying to corner the minority votes.
    ***************************
    That’s absurd. Only whites vote GOP already. The Dems don’t need to garner minority votes they already have. Have you ever seen a GOP convention? I’m gonna guess you’re not Karl Rove.

  82. hmpennypacker says: May 24, 2014 12:25 PM

    On an issue like this, public opinion is just a distraction. The reason the Redskins should change their name has nothing to do with what anyone thinks now, in the second decade of the 21st century. The reason the Redskins should change their name is the same reason they should have changed it decades ago — the same reason they never should have picked the name in the first place. The word “Redskin” has a well-established history as a racist epithet, and such words have no business being sung and chanted in support of a professional sports team. Simple as that, and it has nothing to do with tradition or fan pride or whether anyone’s still offended by the name today. If the word has ever been used to ridicule or belittle human beings on the grounds of race, what’s the good reason to keep it alive in a glorifying context? Changing it would harm literally no one. It would be an act with no motive but basic human courtesy. – Dan Graziano, ESPN

    Says it all. CHANGE THE NAME!

  83. qdog112 says: May 24, 2014 12:27 PM

    Allen’s father George semed OK, but remember his brother George Allen Jr. is famous for his racial slur. “MACCA”. He’s the wrong guy to listen to on this subject, but I guess he had to.

  84. kabasaman says: May 24, 2014 12:28 PM

    Please, if we let Congress get involved, were all screwed. They can’t do what their paid to do now!

  85. lvass76 says: May 24, 2014 12:32 PM

    Fifty Senators are losers trying to agitate and divide. Fifty senators are drawing attention away from the fact they haven’t passed a budget. If a congressman wants to change the name of a private sports team, let him go out and buy one. “Washington” is the more offensive part of the name of the team. Stop insulting the intelligence of native Americans by trying to make up for every injustice pressed upon them past, present and future by changing the mascot name of a sports team. No one says “Redskins” unless they are talking about the football club. Morons

  86. aceakking says: May 24, 2014 12:34 PM

    The word redskin is offensive. Change the name!

  87. Satanic Hell Creature says: May 24, 2014 12:36 PM

    Times change. Attitudes change. Public opinion changes. And conservatives moan and groan about it.

    Nope, conservatives aren’t fooled by a worthless government that uses things like this to distract us from the real problems in this country. If this wasn’t a mideterm election year, they wouldn’t care at all about the subject. Sadly, liberals will jump all over the subject, like good little followers, and care only about this and not the real problems.

  88. skinsfanct203 says: May 24, 2014 12:37 PM

    Ha from a believer that the Redskins should change their name the Oklahoma comment was eye opening. Had no idea. Surprised the Senators aren’t focusing on that first, but I guess it’s not a hot button, headline grabbing topic for them to get press for. That’s disappointing.

  89. zappa1949 says: May 24, 2014 12:39 PM

    83% for 10% undecided
    Sounds like 7% against

  90. footballfan14 says: May 24, 2014 12:40 PM

    If the name is offensive then how come Native Americans didn’t speak up when it was first made?

    I think congress needs to worry about the VA, Benghazi, unemployment, the fact that more people are on government assistant than ever before, our veterans in general, creating jobs, and helping the middle class and low class, tweaking Obamacare, lower taxes a little bit, getting food and gas costs, keeping us safe, etc over this. This all seems to be a ploy to shift focus away from the bigger issues.

    I say we let the Native Americans vote on this issue. If they vote 60% or more to keep it then we keep it and if they vote to change it then we let them decide the name, not our congress and not those who aren’t Indians. Let the Indians decide. Funny our government didn’t care what Indians think when we came in and took their land at the beginning of our founding but they care now? Again, this is a lame ploy to just shift focus from real issues.

    For the record, I think the name is a little bit offensive sounding but I don’t care if the Indians don’t and it seems like such a small amount even care that we should allow the majority of Indians have the last word on this.

  91. crystalcoastraider says: May 24, 2014 12:44 PM

    What’s next?, The Raiders? They’re Pirates, and we certainly have to be offended by the pillaging, rum drinking, murdering, heathens that they were and we definitely can’t celebrate it! SMH…

  92. brassknuckles47 says: May 24, 2014 12:45 PM

    My reply letter to Senator Reid would read as such:
    “Mr. Reid:
    Please spend less time writing letters and focus upon your daily activities, ie: passing stimulus packages that you never read, gifting $350 billion to solar companies that have gone out of business two years later with their executives running off with our taxpayers money, passing Obamacare, voting against the pipeline resulting in millions of dollars in windfall profits for Nancy Pelosi’s brother-in-law, passing a $14BB employment package that employs 2,000 people in North Dakota for a total of $7MM per job!
    Yes, Mr. Reid, you are too busy ripping-off other Americans to worry about the Redskins American heritage and name change.”

  93. raiders101 says: May 24, 2014 1:00 PM

    First, 83% IS a vast majority. If any politician won 83% to 17% it would be considered a crushing landslide.

    Second, it’s not as difficult as you keep saying to get 50 senators to agree to something when they are all from the same party.

  94. bullcharger says: May 24, 2014 1:04 PM

    Based on the thumbs up and thumbs down I see for different comments, I think the conclusion is that most Americans don’t think “redskins” is a racial slur and therefore think this is an issue of political correctness and is a waste of time for government officials. I think if everyone agreed it was a racial slur that then most people would be supportive of removing it. But the question is how does the majority know it is not a racial slur?

  95. drgreenstreak says: May 24, 2014 1:07 PM

    I am not surprised nor amused by the open displays of racism by other minorities not of Native American descent.
    Some forget where they came from which makes them destined to repeat their previous errors in judgement.

  96. draftazoid says: May 24, 2014 1:11 PM

    I wonder why this article didn’t mention the High School in the Arizona Indian Reservation nicknamed the “Redskins.”:
    Slam Dunk!

  97. officialgame says: May 24, 2014 1:13 PM

    They can keep their name but I would still love to see Danny Boy get scalped by some very angry Native Americans.

  98. raysfan1 says: May 24, 2014 1:24 PM

    @footballfan–
    No, “Oklahoma” is not considered a slur nor offensive. Yes, it is derived from the Choctaw words meaning “red” and “people”–and was used to describe the territory as part of a treaty, with the name suggested by a Choctaw chief and Christian missionary, Allen Wright.
    Obviously he was not trying to be derogatory toward himself.

  99. raysfan1 says: May 24, 2014 1:30 PM

    Here’s reality I’ve seen nobody else mention:
    The Redskins’ team merchandise sales are perennially near the top of the NFL. Congress/the Senate has zero power to make them change their name directly. The other NFL owner, however, can bring a lot of pressure onto the Redskins, but will only do so if they feel the name is hurting their bottom line. Right now, the merchandise sales numbers tell them the Redskins are making them money. Until/unless that changes, all the complaining and protests will fall on deaf ears.

  100. horntoady says: May 24, 2014 1:37 PM

    The name Harry Reed is offensive too, as are the 50 Senators. Lets make a deal..the Redskins change their name and these do nothings in Washington go buy a lunch bucket.

  101. pftbillsfan says: May 24, 2014 1:41 PM

    83 % is a vast majority.

  102. kj777 says: May 24, 2014 1:44 PM

    Political correctness has gone way too far.

  103. jscruisen says: May 24, 2014 1:50 PM

    The Only Thing Offensive Coming Out Of What The Senators Have To Say Is The Senators Themselves! Now There’s 50 Things That Need Immediate Changing!

  104. mikep363839 says: May 24, 2014 1:50 PM

    1% IS TOO MUCH

    If you really think Goodell doesn’t feel pressure to do something and the name won’t change…you’re crazy

  105. psly2124 says: May 24, 2014 1:56 PM

    92% of the population do not approve of Harry Reid. Maybe when he resigns a name change would be considered. Not one second before the resignation would a name change be considered.

  106. pjcostello says: May 24, 2014 1:57 PM

    Unless you’re incredibly biased, 83% represents a significant, VAST majority.

  107. b412 says: May 24, 2014 2:01 PM

    Walk in to a room full of White Mountain Apaches and say “how are all you redskins doing?” Any doubt about how that will be received? I’m a fan, but it’s just a name, change it.

  108. jikkle49 says: May 24, 2014 2:15 PM

    Just politicians grabbing the low hanging fruit so they can pat themselves on the back and tell people what “champions” of the people they are.

    Meanwhile they completely ignore the difficult issues that Native Americans face and actually care about like extreme poverty and a multitude of social issues.

    So they get the name changed and high five themselves at what a great day it is for America while those Native Americans living on reservations wake up to same serious issues they did before.

  109. finfanjim says: May 24, 2014 2:20 PM

    Yes, let’s be progressive! Please change your name to the American Thinskins!

  110. mrlaloosh says: May 24, 2014 2:37 PM

    Snyder will change the name and make a fortune selling Redskins paraphernalia and the new name items. That will make the NFL owners very happy. Revenue sharing.
    The Redskins were the last team to employ an African-American player. George Preston Marshall was an avowed racist. So the Washington franchise has always been and still is rather racist.
    My atheist grandfarther is terribly offended by the name SAINTS. Refuses to watch them play. He’s going you know where!

  111. browns4ever says: May 24, 2014 2:51 PM

    At least the Senate is not spending more $$$ pork we don’t have! Now, if you want to get the attention of the NFL, Senate & Congress should start talking of removing the league’s TAX EXEMPT STATUS, That will surely get Mr. Allen’s attention.

  112. savior72 says: May 24, 2014 2:57 PM

    Funny how none of the Republican Senators were even asked to participate in signing the letter. Makes me wonder what are their motives.

  113. tammsandoval says: May 24, 2014 3:06 PM

    I’m from Taos Pueblo my family loves the Washington Redskins and we know many other families that are fans as well. I don’t understand why everyone opposing the team name thinks its racial slur. Get with the times people! The name is not offensive its a football team name and its not meant to harm anyone or call anyone a redskin. You are all making it sound that way and making it personal. I know for a fact that there are so many natives that love the team name and would be devastated if it were to change. Why are the efforts of the team being bashed on and why are leaders focusing so much energy on this there are much bigger more real issues out there. Stop the nonsense and let the Washington Redskins keep the name and the mascot it was all created with good intentions never bad and stop trying to say otherwise. Go Dan NEVER change the name!!

  114. swedishfish14 says: May 24, 2014 3:15 PM

    The name is very offensive to many Indians. It’s going to change because it is viewed by many Indians as a “racial slur.” The difference between the KC Chiefs and Cleveland Indians is they are NOT “racial slurs.”
    The clock is ticking and I look forward to the NFL doing the right thing.

  115. spurtbball says: May 24, 2014 3:26 PM

    Oh and don’t you think Congress and the press should change the name of their committee-INDIAN AFFAIRS…..and perhaps the media should stop using the term INDIANS—-arent THEY offending the people of the country from India?

  116. jetnotjets says: May 24, 2014 3:27 PM

    This is all pretty insincere grandstanding by Reid. Where is the outrage over the Cleveland Browns nickname? They weren’t named after Paul Brown, but Joe Louis the “Brown Bomber”. Look it up. It was shortened from the Cleveland Brown Bombers, referencing Joe Lewis and his skin color, in a public naming contest.

  117. hugeredskinsfan says: May 24, 2014 3:39 PM

    raysfan1 says:
    May 24, 2014 1:24 PM
    @footballfan–
    No, “Oklahoma” is not considered a slur nor offensive. Yes, it is derived from the Choctaw words meaning “red” and “people”–and was used to describe the territory as part of a treaty, with the name suggested by a Choctaw chief and Christian missionary, Allen Wright.
    Obviously he was not trying to be derogatory toward himself.

    —————————————————————

    Well, using that argument, when the team was named the “redskins,” that was also not meant to be derogatory. Dan Snyder doesn’t love the name because he thinks it offends people!

    Oklahoma, CHANGE THE NAME!!!!!!

  118. hvoigt21 says: May 24, 2014 3:42 PM

    How come just now it’s come out after all these years that it’s a slur. Because the democrats are trying to control your lives. is anyone listening.

  119. bstngrdn says: May 24, 2014 4:03 PM

    50 US Senators signed this letter and they are all liberal Democrats. I’m offended that two of these people have been elected from my state and instead of doing what they were elected to do, are instead focusing on something that is not the business of the US Senate and has far less to do with the wellbeing of all the people than the things they are not dealing with. It sounds to me like they are trying to get people to forget how ineffective they are.

  120. SparkyGump says: May 24, 2014 4:06 PM

    Change the name to Washington Potomics and keep the logo and colors and move on.

  121. stevenray72 says: May 24, 2014 4:14 PM

    All the names in the Senate that signed the letter offends me!

  122. charger383 says: May 24, 2014 4:55 PM

    Virginia’s Democratic Senators did not sign it. Interesting

  123. defscottyb says: May 24, 2014 5:10 PM

    Most dems only “care” about minorities during an election year. They need their votes. Also, is it just me or aren’t the Indian’s way more offensive than the Skins (Chief Wahoo alone) plus it’s Native American not Indian. That’s like still calling an African American a negro or a colored person.

  124. rcali says: May 24, 2014 5:22 PM

    Well at least somebody has the time to worry about sports teams names and logos. I think I’m glad that I have more important things to do with my time.

  125. rayphinkel says: May 24, 2014 5:27 PM

    83 percent of Americans are in favor of keeping the team’s name (which means 17 percent don’t, which hardly means that a “vast majority” supports the name)
    ********************************************

    Your math seems to be right but your logic doesn’t hold up. If 83% are in favor of keeping the team’s name, that doesn’t mean 17% do not.

    How many of those 17% just don’t care?

    And on a side note.. I’d like to pool my salary with Mike’s and split it 83%/17% since it is essentially even.

  126. coffeeblack95616 says: May 24, 2014 6:07 PM

    Is the theory that we are all more racist against Native Americans because of the name of a pro football team? How is the term red skin any more or less offensive than the simplification of people as being “black” or “white”? People seem to love being victims. Aren’t there bigger issues for both the NFL and the government than this stupid recurring issue?

  127. knew8411 says: May 24, 2014 6:18 PM

    With Washington being such a messed up place, thanks to our congressional representatives, and our politically correct Commander in Chief.
    I would be in favor of taking the “Washington”
    out of the team name and just call them the Redskins.

  128. ufourya says: May 24, 2014 6:25 PM

    Let’s see just how important a supposedly racially offensive subject is to 50 members of the Senate who are Democrats, shall we? Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) apologized not too long ago for referring to President Barack Obama as “light skinned” and “with no Negro dialect” in private conversations during the 2008 presidential campaign.

    “I deeply regret using such a poor choice of words,” said Reid in a statement. “I sincerely apologize for offending any and all Americans, especially African Americans for my improper comments.”

    How many of these 50 were in the Senate when their party was led for 12 years by Senate majority leader Byrd, who was a leader and recruiter for the Klu Klux Klan? Jeez, you can’t own an NBA franchise, but you can be leader of the Dems in the Senate after a career like that?

    Hey, no problem, we’re standing up for the rights of people who say they are offended by the name ‘Redskins,’ and all of this has absolutely nothing to do with averting attention from the dismal record, multiple scandals and budding tyranny of the present administration. You can believe us, we hold the moral high ground. Yeah, right.

  129. ufourya says: May 24, 2014 6:28 PM

    I fully expect the posting I made directly above to be removed. That seems to be the policy here concerning postings that are truthful, yet don’t toe the PC line.

  130. gianthater says: May 24, 2014 6:36 PM

    These r probbely the same senators who would make a back door deal or take a bribe under the table for a vote faster than they can say Redskins.

  131. kst2074 says: May 24, 2014 6:45 PM

    ufourya says:
    May 24, 2014 6:28 PM

    I fully expect the posting I made directly above to be removed. That seems to be the policy here concerning postings that are truthful, yet don’t toe the PC line.
    =================================
    Very well said, the delete my posts all the time only because I disagree with the NBC/liberal point of view. Its really sad

  132. kev86 says: May 24, 2014 7:13 PM

    What would logo of Washington Snyders look like?

  133. JSpicoli says: May 24, 2014 7:17 PM

    Leave it to a leftist to destroy math.

    83 is vastly larger, and a majority of mandate levels, than 17.

  134. critter69 says: May 24, 2014 7:38 PM

    The poll cited with an 83% against a name change was from 10 years ago. Opinions cannot change at all?

    President Bush Sr. had an 80% or higher favorable poll in early- to mid-1991. Wasn’t he considered by most to be invincible? What happened to him in the 1992 general election (less than 2 years later)? Wasn’t he a one term President?

    In 2004 (the same year the football poll was taken), there was one state with Marriage Equality, and Gallup found that 42% were in favor of ME, 55% against. Today? 17 states, soon to be 19 or more, and less than 43% are against ME, more than 54% are in favor – a complete flip of opinion.

    Early this year, it was considered political ‘knowledge’ and a lock that the GOTP would take over the Senate – almost no one disputed that. Now, it is still probable that the GOTP will take the Senate, but it no longer is an iron-clad given.

  135. tomthumbsblues says: May 24, 2014 8:17 PM

    The poll cited with an 83% against a name change was from 10 years ago. Opinions cannot change at all?

    President Bush Sr. had an 80% or higher favorable poll in early- to mid-1991. Wasn’t he considered by most to be invincible? What happened to him in the 1992 general election (less than 2 years later)? Wasn’t he a one term President?
    ———————————
    That was right after Gulf War. Of course he did.

    The point is if this was an election of the Redskins name it wouldn’t just be a landslide ….. It would be an avalanche.

    You’re right that opinions can change, but the fact is …. they really haven’t on this issue.

  136. goodtogo28 says: May 24, 2014 9:10 PM

    1. i am offended by pit pirates since i was once a boat captain nearly captured by somali pirates. the name has got to go.
    2. i am offended by san jose sharks. i’m a surfer who nearly lost an arm during a surfing competition by a shark. we need to change the name.
    3. i’m from the south and don’t appreciate the name yankees and consider it offensive. the name is racist and has got to go.
    4. i use to be outraged and considered the hartford whalers an insult to my wife every time we went to the beach. thankfully they moved.
    5. i’m a good christian and find the new jersey devils offensive. we need to change the name.
    6. i’m a shepard and lost my cattle due to an attack from a wolf pack. minn t wolves has to change its name.
    7. the most offensive of all the names has to be the ottawa senators. i find that name very offensive since it’s associated with corruption, incompetence, and lack of integrity. the name has got to go.

  137. cfballfan1 says: May 24, 2014 10:41 PM

    I wonder how those who are just recently outraged at the Redskins name feel about Columbus Day parades & celebrations.

  138. tarheel723 says: May 24, 2014 10:50 PM

    Hail to the REDSKINS. Forever.

    They can force them to change the name… But what they can’t do is stop fans who have supported this team their whole lives from wearing REDSKINS gear and singing Hail to the REDSKINS.

    HTTR

  139. belicheckisgod says: May 25, 2014 12:43 AM

    So Redskins is offensive but the Vancouver Canucks is not? The difference is Canadians realize words are only words and they embrace and find pride in what the overly PC American society finds offensive. Is it offensive a team names itself after a term that was used to describe a feared warrior(Native Americans would often put red mud on there face before battle which earned them the name red skins to describe the ones who were most feared) As a Marine I was called a Jar Head or Devil Dog and I was proud, I recognized both were terms created to describe Marines because we had left such impactful legacies every where we went. Time the politicians actual do something in DC (start by funding the VA appropriately), instead of jumping on the soup box to tell a private business what to call themselves .

  140. norcalkush says: May 25, 2014 1:40 AM

    I am half Native American and the term is 100% offensive. This is not some new thing,I remember this issue in the 80s when I was a kid. Natives are such a small minority it never gets traction. If its not a slur I invite you all down to the local watering hole near the closest reservation and say ” Hail Redskins”! And quit with the B.S, what about the Chiefs, Warriors, Braves ect, its not the same. Or “Its Tradition” Yeah tradition of 82 years of ignorance!

  141. tomthumbsblues says: May 25, 2014 2:29 AM

    ” growth of the movement ” to change the name

    Good one.

    2013 AP Poll – 79% keep the name

    2014 AP Poll – 83% keep the name

    It appears the media, politicians, and activist efforts have gone for naught.

    ( Well, technically, a +4 in favor of the Redskins )

  142. grog79 says: May 25, 2014 2:45 PM

    The word “viking” is more offensive than the word “redskin”. Redskin is a word to describe native americans that has since been outdated but was created by native americans to describe native americans. The logo is a dignified native american. The word viking is used to describe scandanavian pirates but has ignorantly been used to describe most northern europeans which is offensive since they are always depicted as warlike plunderers with primitive weapons even though they have made many contributions to the world culture. Their logo is a head with a horned helmet which implies savagery. The biggest insult of all is the fact that their main team color is purple which no scandanavian warrior would have been caught dead in……

  143. bobsnygiants says: May 25, 2014 5:55 PM

    Senate can’t even run a country , tell them to go to . . .

  144. harveyredman says: May 26, 2014 1:11 PM

    Man of color weighing in here…. I have been slurred to my face and behind my back more times than I can count :(

    the recurring theme in each slur is it is meant as an insult.

    How is “Redskin” meant as an insult? If it is not said in an insulting manner, I don’t think it can count as a slur, and thus should be left alone, imo

  145. kazuhank says: May 26, 2014 5:22 PM

    I’m Alaskan Native and think one reason that Native Americans have not had their voices clearly heard is that they are such a small minority. We are less than 2% of the US population, and about half of that number are Native American/Alaskan Native ONLY.

    To compare, we are talking 5 million people total compared to 17 million Asian Americans and 40 million African Americans. We are a tiny (and diverse) minority, with a tiny voice. That said, our voice should still be heard, regardless of our relative numbers.

    My dad doesn’t really care about the issue, but I am offended by the name, and my grandparents didn’t like it.

    I have a lot of other native friends who feel the same. I also know people that live near reservation towns where the term is still actively used as a slur. So even if Native Americans are split (like my dad and I), that would be 2.5 million people offended, and that is a much better sample size than 1000 in an online survey, or 800 people in a 10-year-old poll.

  146. tomthumbsblues says: May 27, 2014 3:33 AM

    There’s no good reason to inject a negative connotation into a teams name, when it was never there in the first place.

    You have to question the motives.

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