Eagles guard Allen Barbre has a different perspective on the Washington NFL team’s name because he’s a Native American whose grandfather lives on the Tunica-Biloxi Indian Reservation. And as he prepares to play Washington on Sunday, he won’t use that team name.
“I just don’t say it. I don’t use the word,” Barbre said, via NJ.com.
At the same time, Barbre is careful not to brand those who use the name as racists, saying the choice not to use the word is his own personal opinion and doesn’t necessarily reflect the opinions of his family or the Tunica-Biloxi tribe.
“We’ve never talked about with my grandfather, or any of the family, so I don’t really know how they feel about it,” he said. “I’ve just never let it bother me. I don’t dislike them any more because of their name, or go out and play harder against them. . . . I never really thought of it as being a racist term as a team.”
Barbre doesn’t seem to think the name of an NFL team is among the most important issues facing Native Americans.
“There really isn’t a lot of respect for Native Americans,” he said. “I’m talking about the country as a whole. Native American history, I mean, there’s no month celebrated, there’s not even a day. We have Columbus Day, but there’s nothing to do with Native Americans. I feel there’s no respect given there.”
Changing an NFL team name won’t change that. Still, it’s a name that Barbre respectfully declines to say.