Last week, former NBA coach Phil Jackson called the term Redskins “highly offensive.” This week, a former NHL coach of Native American origin agreed with the assessment.
“I’d be very offended,” former Sabres and Islanders coach Ted Nolan told Tim Graham of the Buffalo News regarding the prospect of being greeted with a label the D.C. football team insists is an honor.
“There are certain things you can’t call black people or Chinese people or Jewish people. We as Native Americans, or First Nation people as we’re called in Canada, we find it offensive, too,” Nolan said.
“Sure, the Redskins name has been around for generations, but when you’re a person of that race and someone calls you a redskin, they don’t know why they’re saying it, where the word comes form or what the word means,” Nolan said.
“I never did like the word. And that’s where the president of the United States lives. It doesn’t compute.”
With that, Nolan becomes the most prominent Native American with ties to the sports world to speak out against the name. His words could influence other Native Americans to abandon their nonchalance regarding the term, causing opposition to become more organized — and to expand.