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Loudoun Chairman Defends ‘Redskins’ After Costas Calls Name 'An Insult, A Slur’

Owner Dan Snyder recently wrote in letter asking those offended to “try to respect what the name means.”

The Redskins name keeps popping up in headlines.
The Redskins name keeps popping up in headlines.

The Washington Redskins have been criticized about the team’s name before. It’s nothing particularly new.

However, more so than in years past, it has garnered comments from a range of people from congressman and Native Americans to national commentators and local politicians to the team’s owner and the owner of its arch rival in the NFC East.

Last night, during the Loudoun Board of Supervisors meeting, Board Chairman Scott K. York (R-At Large) weighed in, saying he was defending a local business. While he didn’t identify the person by name, York was clearly directing his comments at NBC’s Bob Costas.

During halftime of the Washington-Dallas Cowboys game Sunday night, Costas called the name “an insult, a slur, no matter how benign the present-day intent.”

York said when Costas “opened up his pie hole” he didn’t understand the history of the name, created at a time when Native Americans played for and coached the team.

“It’s just a shame the one individual who for apparent reason doesn’t understand the history and tradition and wants to stick his nose in something,” York said.

Costas’ remarks appeared to come in part as a response to Redskins’ owner Dan Snyder’s letter to season ticket holders. In the letter Snyder defended the name, pointing not only to the Native Americans tied to the team when the name was changed from the Boston Braves to the Boston Redskins, but also to the nostalgia of holding his father’s hand during games at RFK stadium.

“The name was never a label. It was, and continues to be, a badge of honor,” Snyder wrote in the letter. “I’ve listened carefully to the commentary and perspectives on all sides, and 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.” 

In the letter, Snyder pointed to a survey that found 90 percent of Native Americans do not find the name offensive. He also pointed to a study that found 11 percent of Native Americans would like the name changed.

Snyder’s comments followed remarks made by President Barack Obama, in which he said he would consider changing the name if he were the team's owner. 

"I've got to say that if I were the owner of the team and I knew that there was a name of my team – even if it had a storied history – that was offending a sizeable group of people, I'd think about changing it," Obama said during an interview with the Associated Press.

Earlier this year, ten members of congress urged the team to change its name.

Snyder received support from an unlikely source: Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, who said prior to the game Sunday that Snyder is "not insensitive at all" and is "weighing the enormous sentiment towards the tradition ... ," according to a story in the Washington Post.

The Post has also reported on a contest to find a new logo for the team.

What do you think? And regardless of your thoughts on the name, what do you think the chances are of it changing in the next 10 years? Twenty years?

Dustin Hilton October 17, 2013 at 04:36 PM
http://nmai.si.edu/sites/1/files/pdf/seminars-symposia/WaggonerWEBSpr2013.pdf http://deadspin.com/redskins-indian-chief-defender-not-a-chief-probably-590973565 http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/eye-on-football/24092567/poll-59-percent-see-why-redskins-name-is-offensive-to-native-americans http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2013/10/13/effort-to-defend-redskins-name-continues-to-backfire/
oldtowner October 17, 2013 at 07:58 PM
wow....Scott York....now there's a piece of work.... real classy.....perhaps he should shut his own "p-hole." The term "redskin" is definitely offensive and a racial slur. Dan Snyder is an egomaniac.....the team name will change eventually. I am boycotting the Washington football team by not watching any of their games on TV. Quite frankly, Snyder has been a jerk for a long time, so I have no positive feelings anymore for the team. Feel sorta sorry for the players.....perhaps they are being cursed by an old Native American and that's why they can't win.
Average Joe October 18, 2013 at 09:51 AM
Not to be insensitive in any way but why would a football team call themselves the Redskins? Is it because the native American was a sissy? Was it because the native American was weak? I believe the team was called the Redskins because they were a proud, powerful people. The native American had strong traditions and family bonds. I believe the team was named the Redskins out of respect for the people. Why is there no team called the teletubbies? Because no one want to be associated with what the teletubbies stand for. There is far more respect and pride in the name than many people understand.
oldtowner October 18, 2013 at 11:02 AM
yeah, Avg Joe.....read some history....we sure did "respect the people." We treated them like crap back then....still do....and then rub it in with an offensive racist name. And pls tell me just what the "teletubbies" stand for.....?
kdk gmail October 18, 2013 at 11:06 AM
There are way more important things to worry about. We could go into detail about many names of football teams that could possibly be offensive to someone. Its time to let this dog lie and move onto job creation and middle class families who are struggling and infrastructure. Our bridges are collapsing, people are hungry, people are suffering and we discuss the Redskins name. Give me a break. All of you should be ashamed including Costos and the President. Mind your own business (which means do your job)
oldtowner October 18, 2013 at 11:09 AM
No, it's Dan Snyder who should be ashamed....did you see what Charles Krauthammer, conservative columnist, said about the Washington football team name? Google it..... And btw, I'm also very concerned about the issues you mentioned.....
born and raised VA October 18, 2013 at 11:56 AM
Native Americans have been so marginalized and discounted you would think they would embrace a characterization of themselves in mainstream culture as strong and tough, the characteristics the DC football team attempts to portray. Yet, some Native Americans feel it's a derogatory slur, which of course is their right to feel that way, but I would just ask them how prevalent and relevant are Native Americans in our current consciousnesses and culture? The only time the average American thinks of them is probably when they pass an Indian casino. If the Native Americans want to take away the Washington Redskins Logo that for many in this area is a symbol of pride than more power to them. I just ask this simple question. Does anyone think that a fan of the Washington Redskins thinks less of Native Americans because they root for a team with the portrait of a Native American on the side of their helmet? Does the name Redskins or the logo reinforce any Native American stereotypes? Being as unbiased as I can I can't see any except...and this is stretching it, the stereotyped of the untamed savage. But even then I don't think of the Redskins as untamed or savage, sometimes their play-calling is atrocious and maybe they don't want to be associated with such a dismal team but that is another matter all together. In this one case I think the Native Americans who are spearheading this campaign for victimization are misguided. Have we finally reached the point where when any person is offended we flip the world upside down to accommodate them? BTW, the term oldtowner is very offensive to me, for many of my people the term harkens to a time when Virginia was overrun by a self-important, self righteous flatulent hoard of politically correct imbeciles. So please change your username. thank you.
Chris October 18, 2013 at 12:18 PM
Thank you! I am native american and a Redskins fan. I do not want a name change and I disagree with all of this! If we are forced to change our name then the state of Oaklahoma needs to be renamed too as it means "red men" Most NA get offended at the term Chiefs as it is an honor and is an earned right.
born and raised VA October 18, 2013 at 01:02 PM
Chris, Thank you for educating me. I had no idea that Oklahoma actually means Red Men. I would think Native Americans would have more beef with characterizations and depictions like Chief Wahoo. The logo of the redskins is very stoic. Maybe the liberals in this country think if they change the name of the football team all the maladies affecting native communities will suddenly be gone, like poverty, education, and drug use. Or maybe that white guilt they have been shouldering for knowingly living on stolen lands from natives will be lightened.
John Strother October 19, 2013 at 10:48 AM
It seems very strange that only 11% of the Native Americans feel this way. From my understanding, many Americans have Native blood in their line. I for one have it on both sides of my family blood lines. I do not find it as a slur in any means what so ever. This is beating a dead horse to keep bringing it up. My neck turns red when I am out in the sun too long, makes my skin red, does that make me a redneck or a redskin? Makes me also wonder, about redskin potatoes, would these so called leftists prefer to call these potatoes something else? Sure sounds like it to me. Just because the potato is called a redskin, does this slur the Native Americans? Nope, so sorry this is boring.
oldtowner October 19, 2013 at 04:35 PM
John Strother: Are you nuts? You folks who continue to support this are amazing....the excuses you come up with....ridiculous....Potatoes? get over it....at some point in the not to distant future, the name will be changed; just wait until some football player says he doesn't want to play under the racial slur of the name
Average Joe October 19, 2013 at 05:13 PM
Oldtowner, now who is nuts. You tell me someone is going to turn down a multimillion dollar contract and a chance to play in the NFL because of a team name. My grandmother had the beautiful brown skin of the Native American. You can see some of it in my father but unfortunatly I look white. I like the name Redskins. If statistically only 11% of the Native American want the name changed, that would indicate that 89% do not want the name changed. so why such a push to go against the majority? Should the majority not be heard? How is that fair?
oldtowner October 19, 2013 at 05:17 PM
blah blah blah....Speaking of the "majority", I think they want gun control. Are you hearing them?
Average Joe October 19, 2013 at 05:27 PM
Oldtowner, are you saying you lost the argument and had to change the subject from Redskins to Gun control? Where do you get your statistics? http://espn.go.com/nfl/story/_/id/9689220/redskins-name-change-not-easy-sounds an ESPN study shows that the majority of Native Americans in their study show that "Indian names" do not bother them. If you read the article, you will find that they are proud of the name. The Question even is asked how are you going to tell the students of one high school (91% Native American) that the name they have worn on their chest for 104 years has been a joke the whole time?
joe brewer October 20, 2013 at 06:08 AM
Call the offense the Redskins and the defense the Indians.
oldtowner October 20, 2013 at 02:07 PM
good, Joe Brewer As for Average....I did not lose any argument.....eventually you will; it seems these days that folks pick and choose which poll they cite, as long as it seems to support what they want....polls can be designed to get you the results you want. The bottom line is the term is offensive and should not be used.....except to refer to potatoes, not people.
John Strother October 23, 2013 at 07:20 PM
I am a redskin redneck, oldtimer hides behind a screen name. go figure, He blasts at folks that voice their own thoughts. Go figure, he must be what he calls everyone else.
John Strother October 23, 2013 at 08:03 PM
oldtowner, I am respected in many counties of this fine state of Virginia, you I bet are not even respected in your own neighborhood. I am Cherokee, I know my family history all the way back to 1630. You are a fool that needs to be hauled into court to answer to charges or slander and defecation of character towards others. I ran a business for 35 years, I held a very top security clearance, did you? I am well known in many counties and by many very well to do folks, I bet you can't say the same. I've even helped some to achieve wealth when they were so broke that they almost lost everything. So in short, Oldtowner, you are something someone stepped on and can't get off the bottom of their shoes. Now un plug your computer and go watch some other football team. I can care less of what you thing and now am bored of your words.

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