Washington Redskins

Roger Goodell Comments on Outrage Surrounding Washington Redskins' Nickname

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 25:  NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell speaks at the podium in the first round of the 2013 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall on April 25, 2013 in New York City.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Al Bello/Getty Images
Patrick ClarkeCorrespondent ISeptember 12, 2013

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has appeared to have softened his stance on the Washington Redskins' nickname and what it stands for.

According to CBS DC's Chris Lingebach, Goodell spoke with Lavar Arrington and Chad Dukes over the radio on 106.7 The Fan on Wednesday and discussed the importance of keeping tradition alive as well as being respectful of different points of view when it comes to the controversial Redskins moniker. 

Less than three months after telling members of Congress that the Redskins' nickname was a "unifying force that stands for strength, courage, pride and respect," Goodell had the following to say regarding the ongoing controversy, per Lingebach:

Well as you guys know, I grew up in Washington, so the Colts were my team early on and then I became a Redskins fan. I know the team name is part of their history and tradition, and that’s something that’s important to the Redskins fans.

I think what we have to do though is we have to listen. If one person is offended, we have to listen.

Goodell was also asked whether the decision to keep the nickname or rename the team would be left up to Washington owner Daniel Snyder. The commissioner took a sensitive approach to the question:

Ultimately it is Dan’s decision. But it’s something that I want all of us to go out and make sure we’re listening to our fans, listening to people of a different view, and making sure that we continue to do what’s right to make sure that team represents the strong tradition and history that it has for so many years.

Goodell later acknowledged that the NFL must make sure that it's doing all that it can in order to ensure that no one is offended by the nickname and that the Redskins franchise is "represented in a positive way."

In May, Snyder told USA Today that the franchise would "never" change its nickname, adding fuel to the fire and putting Goodell in a tough spot.

But with Goodell making this issue salient and some notable journalists, including Sports Illustrated's Peter King, making their disapproval of the nickname known by refusing to write or publish it online, the debate is sure to rage on. 

 

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