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Washington Redskins defend name after President Obama comments

The government may be shut down but that didn’t stop President Barack Obama from weighing in on the Washington Redskins’ name change saga. Over the last couple of months people have been calling for the Redskins to change their name because it is offense to Native Americans.


In perfect political fashion President Obama did not choose a side in this battle. President Obama stated;

“I don’t know whether our attachment to a particular name should override the real legitimate concerns that people have about these things. I don’t want to detract from the wonderful Redskins fans that are here. They love their team and rightly so.”

Smart move by Obama who basically said while the name could be offensive to Native Americans it is not the Redskins intention to be offensive.

Today CBSSports’ Ryan Wilson passed along the Redskins’ response to President Obama;

As a supporter of President Obama, I am sure the President is not aware that in the highly respected independent Annenberg Institute poll (taken in 2004) with a national sample of Native Americans, 9 out of 10 Native Americans said they were not bothered by the name the “Washington Redskins.” The President made these comments to the Associated Press, but he was apparently unaware that an April 2013 AP poll showed that 8 out of 10 of all Americans in a national sample don’t think the Washington Redskins’ name should be changed.

The Redskins respect everyone. But like devoted fans of the Atlanta Braves, the Cleveland Indians and the Chicago Blackhawks (from President Obama’s hometown), the fans love their team and its name and, like those fans, they do not intend to disparage or disrespect a racial or ethnic group. The name “Washington Redskins” is 80 years old — its history and legacy and tradition. The Redskins’ fans sing “Hail to the Redskins” every Sunday as an expression of honor, not disparagement.

Barack Obama may be the President of the United States but he can not rule on this matter. The power to change the team name solely resides with team owner Dan Snyder. Snyder told USA Today back in May that the team “will never” change their name.

– John McAuliffe (@John_Mac310)