Amidst the Washington Redskins' nickname controversy this offseason, the players that won Super Bowls with the team have been quiet, while the current players on Washington’s roster have been virtually silent.
The only notable former player to speak out on the subject has been Joe Theismann, who believes the name should not be changed.
Green, one of the best cornerbacks to ever play the game, is in agreement with his former teammate. "It deserves and warrants conversation because somebody is saying, 'Hey, this offends me,'" Green said, adding, "Unfortunately in this country, conversations mean legal, dollars, suits."
Their words are important and should be heeded, especially given the fact that these are two men who helped make this franchise the storied and decorated team that it is.
They aren't saying that they personally believe the name should or should not be changed, but at the very least they are open to a new name for the sake of another person’s peace of mind, which is admirable.
In May, several members of Congress sent a letter to Dan Snyder, the current owner of the Redskins, pushing him to change the name. Snyder essentially responded, "Uh-uh, honey."
Snyder told USA Today that he will never change the name of the team and why:
[...] I think that the Redskins fans understand the great tradition and what it's all about and what it means, so we feel pretty fortunate to be just working on next season. ... We'll never change the name. It's that simple. NEVER—you can use caps.
Whether this is Snyder being Snyder or not doesn’t matter because ultimately it’s his call. It’s not like he’s standing alone, though.
For the team's millions of fans and customers, who represent one of America's most ethnically and geographically diverse fan bases, the name is a unifying force that stands for strength, courage, pride and respect.
While it would be prudent to at the very least consider a name change that will make everyone happy, it’s not likely. Snyder has spoken, and with the commissioner backing him, it’s not likely he’ll budge at all.
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