NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has responded to the 10 members of Congress who urged him to change the name of the Washington Redskins last month.
In a letter first published by Deadspin, Goodell says “Redskins” isn’t the racist nickname it appears to be. He described the name as “a unifying force that stands for strength, courage, pride and respect.”
His main reasons for defending the name:
- The team was originally called the “Braves” — which has a positive connotation
- It wasn’t meant to be derogatory when it was changed to “Redskins”
- Only 11% of Americans want the name changed, according to one poll
- Only 10% of Native Americans find the name offensive, according to one poll
- A judge once ruled that it isn’t racist
Having an entire race of people as a mascot for a professional sports team seems like the definition of racial degradation. But Goodell is standing by it.
Here’s the full letter (via Deadspin):
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.