The Washington Times Weekly - - Culture, Etc. -

Wash­ing­ton-area res­i­dents have “a right to feel of­fended by the term ‘red­skin,’” and 73 per­cent said chang­ing the name would ei­ther strengthen their sup­port of the team or would have no ef­fect on it.

The Red­skins’ lead­er­ship is fight­ing back. They point to an AP poll in April show­ing that four out of five Amer­i­cans do not think the name should be changed. In an ar­ti­cle for ESPN, sports­writer Rick Reilly cited sev­eral high schools with ma­jor­ity or over­whelm­ingly In­dian stu­dent bod­ies that use “Red­skins” as their team name.

Ear­lier polls have had sim­i­lar re­sults, though the move­ment to change the name has picked up con­sid­er­able steam. Sev­eral news or­ga­ni­za­tions refuse to use the Red­skins’ name in their sports cov­er­age.

In an Oct. 9 let­ter to fans, Red­skins owner Daniel Sny­der said he is sen­si­tive to con­cerns but be­lieves the name is meant to honor, not dis­par­age, Amer­i­can In­di­ans.

“I re­spect the feel­ings of those who are of­fended by the team name. But I hope such in­di­vid­u­als also try to re­spect what the name means, not only for all of us in the ex­tended Wash­ing­ton Red­skins fam­ily, but among Na­tive Amer­i­cans, too,” he wrote. “I re­spect the opin­ions of those who dis­agree. I want them to know that I do hear them, and I will con­tinue to lis­ten and learn. But we can­not ig­nore our 81-year his­tory, or the strong feel­ings of most of our fans as well as Na­tive Amer­i­cans through­out the coun­try. Af­ter 81 years, the team name ‘Red­skins’ con­tin­ues to hold the mem­o­ries and mean­ing of where we came from, who we are, and who we want to be in the years to come.”

The Red­skins or­ga­ni­za­tion had no fur­ther com­ment Mon­day and re­ferred to Mr. Sny­der’s let­ter.

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