Obama weighs in on Redskins name change; team attorney calls him ignorant

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Photo Credit: Sportsgrid

In an outrageous display of his mixed-up priorities, President Obama is publicly advocating that an NFL football team change its name. Yet, he had nothing to say when 88-year-old Delbert Belton, a white WWII vet, was beaten to death by black youths in Spokane, Wash., gaining national media attention.

In an interview with The Associated Press, Obama said names such as “Redskin” offend “a sizable group of people.”

“I don’t know whether our attachment to a particular name should override the real legitimate concerns that people have about these things,” he said Friday in a White House interview with AP.

Native American leaders, aided by progressives, have for months now been calling on the Washington Redskins to rename the team. The Non-Disparagement of American Indians in Trademark Registrations Act of 2013 co-sponsored by U.S. Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-D.C., would prevent the term “Redskins” from being used as a trademark, The Hill reported.

Those fighting to get the team to change its name plan to hold a symposium Monday at the Washington hotel that will host the NFL’s fall meeting, and they appear to have at least some reason to think they can win, according to the AP.

“Numerous colleges and universities have changed names that reference Native Americans,” the AP reported. “St. John’s changed its mascot from the Redmen to the Red Storm, Marquette is now the Golden Eagles instead of the Warriors and Stanford switched from the Indians to the Cardinal.”

But Dan Snyder, who owns the Redskins, vows never to change his team’s name.

Lanny Davis, the team’s attorney, issued this statement on Saturday:

“As a supporter of President Obama, I am sure the President is not aware that in the highly respected independent Annenberg Institute poll (taken in 2004) with a national sample of Native Americans, 9 out of 10 Native Americans said they were not bothered by the name the ‘Washington Redskins.’ The President made these comments to the Associated Press, but he was apparently unaware that an April 2013 AP poll showed that 8 out of 10 of all Americans in a national sample don’t think the Washington Redskins’ name should be changed.

“The Redskins respect everyone. But like devoted fans of the Atlanta Braves, the Cleveland Indians and the Chicago Blackhawks (from President Obama’s hometown), the fans love their team and its name and, like those fans, they do not intend to disparage or disrespect a racial or ethnic group. The name ‘Washington Redskins’ is 80 years old – its history and legacy and tradition. The Redskins’ fans sing ‘Hail to the Redskins’ every Sunday as an expression of honor, not disparagement.”

African American quarterback, Robert Griffin III, is also tired of the brouhaha, according to this tweet:

 

No matter who defends the Redskins, “fundamental change” is in the air, and it is frighteningly perpetual. No tradition seems safe from progressives, however sacred, however beloved, however American.

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