Roger Goodell believes Washington Redskins owner Daniel Snyder is doing his due diligence when it comes to listening to the public about the franchise's controversial name, and he continues to stand behind the name due to strong public support.
Speaking at the annual NFL meeting of owners in Orlando, the commissioner said the issue as it relates to Native Americans has been around for a long time. Mike Jones of The Washington Post provided the response about the subject as it currently stands:
Goodell said Redskins name controversy been around for years and Snyder being responsible listening but public support for name overwhelming— Mike Jones (@MikeJonesWaPo) March 26, 2014
Bart Hubbuch of the New York Post added Goodell indicated 90 percent of the team's fans are in favor of keeping the name the same despite the controversy. In turn, he continues to support Snyder when it comes to staying the course:
Goodell says the Redskins name isn’t an issue because “90 percent of Redskins fans support the nickname.” Oh, well, in that case ...— Bart Hubbuch (@HubbuchNYP) March 26, 2014
The commissioner also said the general public is supportive of the Redskins name, according to Andrew Abramson of the Palm Beach Post:
Goodell: General population also supports Redskins name.— Andrew Abramson (@AbramsonPBP) March 26, 2014
Goodell's comments come after Snyder announced the team created a new foundation in order to support Native American causes.
John Keim of ESPN reports executives for the organization traveled around the country to different reservations to meet with tribes to get a better idea of the needs in those communities and how they could help fill the voids:
The Redskins, under heavier siege over the past year to change the name, announced Monday night that they were starting a foundation called the Washington Redskins Original Americans Foundation. The goal, the team said, is to provide resources to help Native American tribes throughout the country.
He also provided remarks from general manager Bruce Allen about any people who may criticize the team for trying to gain support instead of simply trying to help Native Americans:
If anyone says that, they're insulting Native Americans. And I would take offense at that on their behalf. They obviously don't know what they're talking about.
Goodell and Snyder have continued to remain firmly behind the Redskins name, which makes it tough to imagine a change in the foreseeable future. Hopefully the foundation continues to provide support where it's requested regardless of any lingering controversy.
What's your opinion of the Redskins team name?
Ultimately, however, while widespread opinion is a factor, the thoughts of Native Americans is more important than Redskins fans as a whole or the general population. Their view should carry far more weight when it comes to future decision-making on the subject.
The ESPN report included comments from the CEO of the National Native American Law Enforcement Association, Gary Edwards, who said tribe leaders are far more worried about other life issues than the name of a football team.
Whether that view is the same throughout the Native American population is unclear.