Roger Goodell Insists Washington Redskins Won’t Change Name After MLB’s Indians Ditch Chief Wahoo
If you thought the National Football League might follow Major League Baseball’s lead when it comes to controversial Native American mascots, think again.
On Tuesday, just one day after the Cleveland Indians announced they are phasing out their infamous Chief Wahoo logo, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell went on ESPN’s Mike & Trey and insisted the Washington Redskins will not be changing their name or logo.
Here’s the transcript of his remarks, via the Washington Post:
I think the interesting thing is [Washington owner] Dan Snyder has really worked in the Native American community to understand better their perspective. I think it’s reflected mostly in a Washington Post poll that came out [in May 2016] that said over nine out of 10 Native Americans do not take that in a negative fashion, the Redskins’ logo or the Redskins’ name, and they support it. The focus that we’ve had is, ‘In any way is this insulting to the Native Americans?’ and I think that poll is overwhelmingly positive that they don’t [find the name offensive]. I think the Redskins have done a tremendous amount of work here and I think Dan continues to believe in the name, and I don’t see him changing that perspective.
Of course, a lot of people have blasted the methodology of that Washington Post poll Goodell cites, the most common critique being that it did not verify whether respondents were actually Native American. Furthermore, a lot of the “work” Dan Snyder has done in the Native American community has entailed funding so-called “grass roots” organizations that are actually run by the team’s PR firm.
That’s not to say you have to agree with me that “Redskins” is an offensive name. Reasonable people can disagree, even on this. But please, don’t believe a word Goodell or Snyder says about any it. For them, it’s not a matter of honoring a proud people or respecting tradition. It’s about money. If they thought they would make more money by changing the team’s name, they would do it in a heartbeat.
Hat Tip – [Deadspin]