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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?

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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