Roger Goodell was a guest on 106.7 The Fan’s “Lavar and Dukes Show” and addressed the growing controversy over the use of the name “Redskins” by the Washington D.C. based football team.
As Keith Olbermann pointed out on his show (see video below), Goodell’s comments are in stark contrast to other comments the commissioner has made in recent months and suggest that a name change may now be inevitable.
Goodell was asked if the league would step in and force the team to change its name (via WashingtonPost.com):
“…I think what we have to do though is we have to listen. If one person’s offended, we have to listen. And ultimately, it is [owner Dan Snyder’s] decision. But it is something that I want all of us to go out and make sure we’re listening to our fans, listening to people who have a different view, and making sure that we continue to do what’s right to make sure that team represents the strong tradition that it has for so many years…we have to do everything that’s necessary to make sure that we’re representing the franchise in a positive way, and that rich history and tradition. And that if we are offending one person, we need to be listening and making sure that we’re doing the right things to try to address that.”
When he was asked in February about changing the name, Goodell would only say that the issue has been discussed “several times over a long period of time” and that the team is “proud of that heritage and that name.”
In June, Goodell wrote a letter to congress that contained even stronger language in defence of the name, writing that for Washington’s fanbase, “the name is a unifying force that stands for strength, courage, pride and respect.”
Olbermann wondered if Goodell’s stance may have changed because he was upset over a recent incident in which the team used a Native American “Chief” that may have lied about his heritage while supporting use of the name as not offensive.
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