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yota691

Obama open to name change for Washington Redskins

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Obama open to name change for Washington Redskins

Published: October 5, 2013 

 
 
 
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In this Sunday, Nov. 18, 2012 photo, Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III prepares to put on his helmet before an NFL football game against the Philadelphia Eagles in Landover, Md. President Barack Obama says that if he owned the Washington Redskins, he would "think about changing" the team name, wading into the controversy over a football nickname that many people deem offensive to Native Americans. Obama, in an interview on Friday, Oct. 4, 2013, said team names like the Redskins offend "a sizable group of people." He said that while fans get attached to the nicknames, nostalgia may not be a good enough reason to keep them in place.

NICK WASS — AP Photo

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By JULIE PACE — AP White House Correspondent

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama says he would "think about changing" the Washington Redskins' name if he owned the football team as he waded into the controversy involving a word many consider offensive to Native Americans.

Obama, in an interview with The Associated Press, said team names such as the Redskins offend "a sizable group of people." He said that while fans get attached to the names, nostalgia may not be a good enough reason to keep them in place.

"I don't know whether our attachment to a particular name should override the real legitimate concerns that people have about these things," he said in the interview, which was conducted Friday at the White House.

An avid sports fan who roots for his hometown Chicago Bears, Obama said he doesn't think Washington football fans are purposely trying to offend American Indians. "I don't want to detract from the wonderful Redskins fans that are here. They love their team and rightly so," he said.

But he appeared to come down on the side of those who have sharply criticized the football team's name, noting that Indians "feel pretty strongly" about mascots and team names that depict negative stereotypes about their heritage.

The team's owner, Dan Snyder has vowed to never abandon the name.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said last month that the league should pay attention to those offended by the name — a subtle change in position for Goodell, who had more strongly supported the name in his previous statements this year.

Lanny J. Davis, an attorney for the Redskins, said the team's fans don't intend to "disparage or disrespect" anyone.

"The name 'Washington Redskins' is 80 years old. It's our history and legacy and tradition," Davis said in an emailed statement in which he also identified himself as an Obama supporter. "We Redskins fans sing 'Hail to the Redskins' every Sunday as a word of honor, not disparagement."

Other professional sports teams have Indian names, including football's Kansas City Chiefs and baseball's Atlanta Braves and Cleveland Indians. Davis referred to fans of those teams and hockey's Chicago Blackhawks in his statement, saying Redskins fans "love our team and its name and, like those fans, we do not intend to disparage or disrespect a racial or ethnic group."

Numerous colleges and universities have changed names that reference Native Americans. St. John's changed its mascot from the Redmen to the Red Storm, Marquette is now the Golden Eagles instead of the Warriors and Stanford switched from the Indians to the Cardinal.

The Redskins' name has attracted a fresh round of controversy in recent months, with local leaders in Washington calling for a name change and some media outlets refraining from using the name. The name is the subject of a long-running legal challenge from a group of American Indians seeking to block the team from having federal trademark protection.

Congressional lawmakers have introduced a bill seeking the same goal, though it appears unlikely to pass.

"What a prudent and wise use of the bully pulpit," Suzan Shown Harjo, a plaintiff in that case, said in an interview Saturday. "I am so glad that he said that and I hope that people hear a reasoned response from the president and will pay attention to this issue."

Harjo said the issue "involves lots of hurt and pain and ongoing name-calling and bullying of our children that goes with this name. We just need to have an end to it."

"There's no such thing as a good stereotype, no matter how well-intentioned, no matter how good people feel about it," Harjo added. "It still has negative ramifications for our people."

"These are relics of the past. They should be consigned to museums and history books and people can feel good about them there," she said. "But they should not be allowed in polite society."

Opponents of the Redskins name plan to hold a symposium Monday at the Washington hotel hosting the NFL's fall meeting.

"We really appreciate the president underscoring what we've been saying," said Ray Halbritter, leader of the Oneida Indian Nation, a tribe from upstate New York that's been campaigning against the name. "There's just no place for a professional football team to be using what the dictionary defines as a racially offensive term."

Halbritter said the NFL and Snyder could "borrow a page from the president" and use a decision to change the team's name as a "teachable moment."

Despite the controversy, an AP-GfK poll conducted in April showed that, nationally, "Redskins" still enjoys wide support. Nearly 4 in 5 Americans don't think the team should change its name, the survey found. Only 11 percent think it should be changed, while 8 percent weren't sure and 2 percent didn't answer.

Obama said he doesn't have a direct stake in the Redskins debate since he's not a team owner. But he hinted that might be part of his post-White House plans.

"Maybe after I leave the presidency," he joked. "I think it would be a lot of fun."

"I'd probably look at a basketball team before I looked at a football team," said Obama, who plays basketball in his spare time, has coached his daughter's basketball team and is a fan of the NBA's Chicago Bulls. "I know more about basketball than I do about football."

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Associated Press writers Joseph White and Darlene Superville contributed to this report.


 

 

Edited by yota691
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It's a sport for heaven sake.  Eighty years no one has had a problem with it, eighty years.  And now that Obama opened his mouth, it becomes as politically incorrect issue.  He said he doesn't have a direct stake in this debate, but we all know the damage he can do when he doesn't have a direct stake.  This administration is pushing the American people in all area's of life.  He's doing it on purpose. 

Edited by pattyangel
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It's a sport for heaven sake.  Eighty years no one has had a problem with it, eighty years.  And now that Obama opened his mouth, it becomes as politically incorrect issue.  He said he doesn't have a direct stake in this debate, but we all know the damage he can do when he doesn't have a direct stake.  This administration is pushing the American people in all area's of life.  He's doing it on purpose.

I'm understand your passion... However, contrary to your statement, many native Americans have made complaints about the phrase "red skin". It's a derogatory utterance and as such they would like to see something else especially because Washington is the nations capital! Just saying

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If Obama Is keeping up with being the politically correct police,  changing the name of a team that is 75% African American to reflect traditional heritage would make them the "Plantation Tenders".  The Native Americans have held on to honor of them being called the Redskins to long anyway and to protect the feelings of the race that tries to stay perpetually offended we can't call them the "Blackskins"

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I dont have a problem with it. But I cant speak for the nations

Believe me when I say 

I have been called worse 

 

Maybe they wouldn't complain as much if they won more games.  :)

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I'm understand your passion... However, contrary to your statement, many native Americans have made complaints about the phrase "red skin". It's a derogatory utterance and as such they would like to see something else especially because Washington is the nations capital! Just saying

It's a sport, a fun loving all American sport with a name that each past and future players were honor to carry.  I would be honor they chose this name out of all the choices they had.  And held it for 80 years mind you.  I would be offended if it was changed.  And to change it after 80 years, because some whimpy sissy person took 80 years to say that its is a derogatory utterance.  The good people of Washington should think for themselves and not let anyone think for them.  Let things be and enjoy the games. 

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I'm understand your passion... However, contrary to your statement, many native Americans have made complaints about the phrase "red skin". It's a derogatory utterance and as such they would like to see something else especially because Washington is the nations capital! Just saying

Edited by bamagirl

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I have many ancestors who were Native to America.  I honestly believe they had many more important things to be concerned with rather than a 'name'.  Besides, why is it 'improper' to use the term red, brown or black when the government in all its ethnicity questionnaires simply has all Europeans listed as 'white'?   

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I would suggest this is just a distraction. Me I am watching the manufactured crisis. That has become a every day occurrence in the cesspool.

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Huh???

 

Man I cannot believe this is a serious concern for anyone, least of all native Americans.

 

To start with, I am not an American, not a sports fan particularly, not political much, and hardly believe that any part of this old world, let alone the supposedly, perhaps formerly, mightiest country on the globe would waste time, energy and resources even thinking about this kind of issue.

 

Red Skins?

Green Bay Packers

The Browns

White Caps (Canada - Soccer, eh?)

The Blues (both Jays and Bombers)

 

And what if we have to change team names? What next? 
Did you know that this B.S. already started decades ago when they had to change the red crayon in the Crayola box? Yup! It used to be Indian Red. T'aint so no mo' Jethro.

 

Maybe metalurgists will be up in arms next and the Silverado will have to go hunting for a new name tag.

 

Or  maybe the manufacturers of tableware will get all out of joint and we will have to refer to false teeth as dentures instead of plates and extra terrestrial flying junk as UFOs instead of saucers. I mean we all have our own little quirks about nomenclature, right?

 

Heaven help anyone who inadvertently uses a word that happens to fall over into the realm of another usage altogether and gets some other super picky person out there wanting to take a kick at the can, eh?

 

I think we were all far better off when a complete usable vocabulary was about seven hundred words and only needed to go up to about nine hundred in cases where the subject that vocabulary had to serve was something so highly specialized that it took several years of intense higher study to even understand the basics sufficiently to make a stab at discussing it.

 

I also wish that the entire population had read that super short story that was written many years ago by ... ah ... I think it was Azimov but I may be wrong. It was a short tale of messages coming to the population of earth, from the race that seeded the planet eons ago. They were returning to correct a major mistake they  made when they seeded the planet on their first visit. They apologized for all the inconvenience and strife and horrible things that one part of the population had visited upon the other part of the population when we were all meant to be the same. Sadly we were left not the same but different in one way, in appearance.  And they were coming back to correct that difference. And when that correction was made, then we could continue on living our lives as fully as they were meant to be lived. Yup, they would be arriviing shortly, and their work would take very little time and when they left, voila, the entire po;ulation of the planet known as Earth would be the same ... as it was always meant to be ... black.

 

Think about it.

 

smee2

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Minority subjecting their beliefs on the majority. I would venture a guess that those offended aren't 'skins fans but political correct police.

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GEEZ!!!!  with everything that is going on, people without jobs, and so on and someone is worried about a name. Oh brother get your brain on things that really matter obutt.

 

Besides we have taken this PC thing way way too far.

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GEEZ!!!!  with everything that is going on, people without jobs, and so on and someone is worried about a name. Oh brother get your brain on things that really matter obutt.

 

Besides we have taken this PC thing way way too far.

Can I get an Amen?

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Sure... get rid of the name Redskins... then, a couple of years from now, it'll be... "hey, how come there's no native American representation in the NFL?!!!   :rolleyes:  They should be proud, now, by their representation.

 

Hey, remember the Bullets changed to the Wizards?!!!   More assault on the 2nd Amendment!  And then all the witches, warlocks and wizards got offended!!!   When does it end?!!! <_<

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Amen!!!!!All I want to here Obama say is "I Quit"!!!

All I want is to say YOUR FIRED!!

And then call security to escort him out of the country!

Edited by Muleslayer

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