Tony Dungy on Washington: “It’s not hard to change the name”

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Washington coach Ron Rivera believes that now isn’t the time to discuss whether the team’s name should change. Hall of Fame coach Tony Dungy believes that time already has come and gone; Dungy tells William C. Rhoden of ESPN.com’s The Undefeated that Dungy already has stopped using the name on the air.

“It’s not hard to change the name,” Dungy told Rhoden. “When I’m on the air, I try to just refer to them as Washington. I think it’s appropriate. If the team doesn’t want to change, the least I can do is try not to use it.”

Appearing on 670 The Score in Chicago earlier this week, Rivera defended the name in part by saying that the name was always the name when he was growing up, and it’s simply what the name is and has been for decades.

Dungy, who is older than Rivera and has been in and around football longer than him, isn’t swayed by that thinking.

“You can say, ‘This has been a historic name and we’ve used it for this team for X number of years, but in this day and age, it’s offensive to some people, so we’re going to change it,'” Dungy told Rhoden. “I don’t think that’s hard.”

It’s not hard. Especially not now. Beyond being the right thing to do in this moment of racial reckoning and awakening, a new name could energize the team and attract new fans. To the extent that some fans would disavow the franchise if it dares to abandon a dictionary-defined slur as its primary method of identification, are those really fans that any franchise should want?

81 responses to “Tony Dungy on Washington: “It’s not hard to change the name”

  1. Washington Generals. Or the Washington Snyders.

    Both sum up their futility over the last couple decades. Make it happen.

  2. In order to be a human, you have to be willing to be offended. There is zero chance that any given name won’t offend someone – especially someone looking to be offended.

  3. Tony is about as classy a guy as you will ever meet. My family knows him well. They have gone some very serious personal tragedy and I have the utmost respect for him. With that said I don’t agree with him here. Years ago a group was up in arms about changing the FSU Seminoles. What was ironic is the FL Seminole tribe stepped in and said back off we have a great relationship with the school and are proud to be a part of it. My point is, are native Americans really offended. If so ok have the conversation. But are they? Are Irish people offended by the “fighting” Irish of Norte Dame? That can easily be presented as drunk Irish fighting etc. Reality is soon we will be down to Blue team versus Green and then someone will be offended by the color Blue…..

  4. All that matters to Lil’ Danny is the $$$. He’ll say no until he becomes convinced that he will double his money in gear/paraphanelia sales, between the “collector” status that the old logo materials will have (in true “Going Out of Business” fashion), he will milk for at least a year, and the new logo materials.

  5. Tony who????? lol Oh I remember he was a pretty decent regular season coach.. and then his playoff record exposes him.

  6. Cool story. Free speech, and he owns the team. He’ll do it and deal with the consequences, or he’ll not do it and deal with the consequences. What he won’t do, and what no one should ever do, is allow him/themselves to be bullied into making a derision they don’t agree with. That is their right, and hurt feelings don’t make that untrue.

  7. If we are going change names, let’s start with the Buccaneers, historically a slur directed at white low lifes. When a Native American picked the name, Redskins was never intended to be a slur and has never been used as a slur in the last 150 years. It is two things now — a well recognized team name and a convenient scapegoat for a few people who like to get self righteous.

  8. This really isn’t the hill Snyder should be making his stand. He has the right to keep it, but the league also has the right to start putting pressure on to change the name. Maybe a draft pick every year that increases a round until it’s changed should do the trick. Just like with the Kap situation, everyone is entitled to their opinion or beliefs, but those opinions and beliefs do not come with freedom from any resulting consequences.

  9. Just change the name already…that way the cancel culture can go find SOMETHING else to whine about.

  10. Again, I have to ask why wasn’t this an issue in the 70s during the George Allen era? Why wasn’t this an issue during the Joe Gibbs era in the 80s & early 90s? What good does the changing the name after all these years accomplish? It accomplishes nothing.

  11. Maybe Dungy can talk about how he could never build a defense and wasted Peyton Mannings career?

  12. If I find it offensive for them to change the name, does that cancel out you being offended by the name? Who determines which persons “offended” is more important, or more offended, than someone else’s “offended”? Im just asking. I think they should change the name, but just saying. Liberals in America arrogantly believe they are the authority on everything, and everyone else comes after them. Which is wild considering they are the party of equality, as long as you agree with them…

  13. I think more people would be offended by a name change than those that are “truly” offended by the Redskin name. Take away the attention seekers who are pretending to be offended…and I doubt many people care about the name.

  14. Tony is right, it isn’t hard. The hard part is admitting that the way you have perceived societal issues wasn’t in the best interest of us all. The hard part for most proud adults, and children for that matter is admitting that you are wrong.

  15. Nor is it hard to say “it’s not hard.” Wow, that sure was easy to say. While we’re at it, developing a vaccine for some virus isn’t hard, either. After all, USA does still stand for the Utopian States of America, right? Carry on, Mr. Dungy.

  16. If the people stated they didn’t like the name Tony for some reason would you change your name ?

  17. If I’m Snyder, I tell the other owners “fine…I’ll change the name. It will only cost you $300 million”. And while they are at it, the Chiefs should as well.

  18. Wipipo stay offended at the slightly inconvenience (see, wearing a mask)00900, but if another group tell you its offended by a DEFINED RACIAL SLUR the excuses come quick, particularly on PFT forums. Classic.

    Right now Washington’s football futility is karma. Change the name and you might actually have a meaningful season.

    Much like the Browns sports writers letting Art Modell into the HOF. Until thats completed, Browns wont’ be anything.

    BTW, Ironic that Washington hires a minority headcoach who is willing to tow the line about its racial slur name. The culture over there stays consistent. Doesn’t matter who they draft or hire.

  19. It won’t stop with the name change, that’s the problem. The Purists will demand that the record books eliminate the old name, old jerseys and paraphernalia that contained the name will have to be re-made or scrapped, the Hall of Fame
    will be protested if they don’t remove old Reskins items, Old Redskins players will need to go on record disavowing the “racist” team they played an won Championships on, and on & on it goes.

    As much as some demand that this must change NOW, we all know it will not be enough. It is NEVER enough.

  20. Why have names? Why are the Chiefs ok but the Redskins arent? Eliminate every one of them if you want D.C. to change theirs.

  21. Might be easy to change the name but throwing 10 to 20 million of profit at a rebrand has a little more sting to it…

    Tony, pony up the cash then maybe Danny will change it.

  22. Vikings were intrusive, pirates were criminals, indians were passive, patriots started a way, giants are offensive, 49’ers were hard on the environment and the steelers polluted the air. I guess there are many teams that will need to change their names..

  23. I’ll venture to guess that Tony Dungy doesn’t have a degree in business or any experience with marketing or branding. Or managing fan loyalty. So he should shut his cake hole.

  24. Simple question: Would anyone name a team “Redskins” today?

    This team is clearly the most obvious outlier in all of pro sports.

  25. IF Roger and the owners are serious about social injustice issues, the name will be changed. If not, nothing.

  26. My point is, are native Americans really offended. If so ok have the conversation. But are they?
    ._—————————-
    It may have peaked a couple years ago, and the answer is still yes.

    ——_———————
    Are Irish people offended by the “fighting” Irish of Norte Dame?
    —+-+——————–
    What offends the Irish has no bearing on this case.

  27. Cowboys killed American Indians
    Vikings got rich on the slave trade
    Buccaneers killed many people in the height of their power
    The list goes on…
    Chiefs
    Redskins
    Blackhawks
    Indians
    Braves
    Rangers

    It’s ridiculous. All the name changes revolving around the word Master. C’mon people…you don’t need to make up things to be offended about. When did people get so soft?

  28. If I entered one of our tribal owned casinos here in town, plunked down $10k at one of the tables while proudly wearing my Wahing Redskins team shirt, there would be zero issues with my choice of clothing.

  29. According to the dictionary:
    dungy
    adjective
    dung′i·er, dung′i·est
    of, like, or soiled with dung; filthy; vile
    Dung stinx. Change the name!

  30. Astonishing to me that people actually want to expend the energy to defend this name. I guess they’re just afraid of change.

  31. The only opinion that matters is The Supreme Court and The Team Owner… Period.

  32. If they do change the name the Skins should steal the old school Washington Capitals name from the MLB being the team doesn’t exist anymore and name the Skins the Washington Capitals or the Washington Senators in a nod to capital hill and the cities global political power/influence. . Or if they want to keep their uniforms and everything change the name to the Indians, go by the Washington Indians.

  33. The old guys afraid of change are ruining the country. But time is not on their side.

  34. Of course, Tony Dungy is a branding expert, so I can trust him implicitly in matters of this type, yes? He has deep experience in rebranding billion dollar corporations, yes?

    Of course, I expect the “the name is offensive” crowd to come at me. Do your worst. I’m not defending or attacking the name. I’m simply asking for Dungy’s creds in regards to it being easy to change the name.

  35. escapedconvict says:
    July 1, 2020 at 12:22 pm
    Change the name.
    Change the culture.
    Change the karma.

    Do it!

    +++

    … That didn’t help the Washington Bullets. They still suck. And it’s been like 20 years.

  36. contaminatedthrillz says:
    July 1, 2020 at 12:04 pm
    The name aint changing!!!
    ===============

    It should be apparent at this point that you can’t expect this to be a guarantee. The demands to change the name aren’t ever going to stop. And usually when a big brand (even the NFL) faces enough pressure about something…

  37. Maybe just change it to Washington Speedbumps. They’ve been getting run over for years now.

  38. I don’t think Dan Snyder ever claimed he would change the name because it was hard. He just said he wouldn’t change it. And he’s backed by a study by the Washington Post who found that 90% of Indians aren’t offended by the name.

  39. Shut up Dungy…..you are asking a corporation to change a name and likeness simply because “woke” people are mad at the world. Doing so would cost tens of millions of dollars minimum by destroying merchandise, changing anything affiliated with the team, and all because anarchists are mad. When you own the team change it or shut up.

  40. Not gonna happen because the line has to be drawn somewhere. This is a good starting place and I don’t think Dan Snyder is going to cave.

  41. “a new name could energize the team and attract new fans.”

    totally disagree,only winning games does this, not name changes.

  42. arealisticpackerfan says:
    July 1, 2020 at 2:32 pm
    I don’t think Dan Snyder ever claimed he would change the name because it was hard. He just said he wouldn’t change it. And he’s backed by a study by the Washington Post who found that 90% of Indians aren’t offended by the name.

    __________________________________

    Most aren’t offended by kneeling either, but I bet you still want that to stop

  43. Snyder is a well-known cretin. He’ll never change the name unless he is paid big cash. The NFL should simply force the team to change their name. They have the power to do that.

  44. It’s amazing that some people who insist something like “it isn’t hard to change a name”, and yet at the same time insist that it’s too difficult for people to not be bothered by a mere name. As is far too often the case, the people who are demanding change fail to see double standards and hypocrisy in their perspectives. They don’t want what IS right…they want is right to themselves, or even just what feels appealing.

  45. Well thanks Capt. Obvious. Still not gonna happen as long as Snyder owns the team. Unless the league pays him to do it. It’s actually the only thing he’s done right as an owner.

  46. carloswlassiter says:
    July 1, 2020 at 12:59 pm
    Astonishing to me that people actually want to expend the energy to defend this name. I guess they’re just afraid of change.

    —–

    It takes zero energy and money to just leave things as they are. What is astonishing is the amount of energy spent looking for things for which to be offended

  47. Don’t make stupid comparisons in the comments. The Washington team name is the only racial slur being used. I agree cancel culture is getting out of hand but this isn’t about someone deciding to be offended because its the cool thing to do now, it is a racial slur. You can’t sarcastically say that all teams names should be changed because of this or that. None of the other names are a racial slur. Childish to make that comparison…

  48. When it is not necessary to change, it becomes necessary to not change.
    Lucius Cary

  49. When your life is so devoid of purpose, you probably would think that changing a sports team name, state flag or toppling a statue is somehow making a meaningful difference.

  50. They should rename the team to the “Washington Nation” or “Washington FirstNation”. If they were always referred to as “The Nation” then they would really become a national team, not just as D.C. based team.

  51. They want to change the name of Washington DC. There’s no possible name for this team.

  52. Change the name to the Redtails to honor the Tuskegee Airmen. But let’s stop the canceling of every we don’t like. The NY Times is now going after Mt Rushmore for Pete’s sake!

  53. Yes! Call ’em the Redtails! It would honor the Tuskegee Airmen, and turn a horrible negative into a wonderful positive. Just Google the name Washington Redtails and you’ll see an amazing logo that keeps Washington’s burgundy and gold color palette. And, bottom line, Dan Snyder would make millions in new merchandising sales.

  54. How about, Washington Americans? and they can steal the old New Jersey Generals Stars on the helmet logo

  55. Aloha,
    I heard the Redskins are having trouble getting any city or state to come up with money for a new stadium. Possibly because of the name?

    I am fine with cities/states NEVER giving $ to billionaires.Especially, unlike other kinds of businesses that get tax breaks, there is decades of evidence that the city/state never gets a return on its investment.

    This may be the $ that talks.
    Mahalo

  56. The 1849ers aka The 49ers forcibly removed, murdered and raped upwards of 100k Native Americans and non-white people to stake their claims during the California gold rush. Why are they still flying under the radar?

  57. Oklahoma the state name itself, means “red man” in Native American language.

    Do we change that?

    Just change it to “skins” keep the logo and move on. Donate the first year’s profits to Native American charities and communitiies.

  58. Every Single name suggestion in this comment section has been absolutely atrocious.

  59. Washington redtails? Lol this is exactly what Terry Crews was talking about..instead of everyone being treated as equals, how does it make sense to honor African American pilots instead of honoring Native Americans? What if only 90% approve? Will that name have to be changed too?

  60. “Why have names? Why are the Chiefs ok but the Redskins arent? Eliminate every one of them if you want D.C. to change theirs.”

    A Chief is a position in a tribe. What is a Redskin? Its a slur, its a way to describe a group using their skin color in a derogatory way.

    There’s a difference.

  61. So the “Tomohawk” chop isn’t a thing?
    Cleveland Indians using “blackface” characiture?

    I believe the Seminoles actually get money from Florida State to use that name, so no wonder they don’t see an issue.

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