May 09, 2014

NFL players criticize "Redskins" name

Sherman: No ban for Sterling if in NFLSherman, who signed a $57.4 million contract extension Wednesday with the Seattle Seahawks that makes him the league's highest-paid cornerback, expanded on his comments by saying the league already dropped the ball on racial sensitivity with the way it's handled the debate about the Washington Redskins' name.

"Because we have an NFL team called the Redskins," Sherman said, "I don't think the NFL really is as concerned as they show. The NFL is more of a bottom-line league. If it doesn't affect their bottom line, they're not as concerned."

Sherman also said he was not surprised by Sterling's disparaging remarks about blacks and pointed to the criticism he endured following his nationally televised rant after Seattle beat the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC title game.

"I wasn't really shocked or anything because of what I saw after the incident after the NFC Championship Game," Sherman said. "You've got a lot of racial backlash, and a lot of racist comments that were uncalled for--I can never see a time where racism is called for. So it didn't shock me as much as it would have had I not experienced that personally, had I not seen those things.

London Fletcher started feeling ‘a little bit uneasy’ about Redskins name

By Dan SteinbergAs the Redskins name became a bigger issue in recent months, many players have been asked for their feelings on the controversy. Almost universally, they’ve punted.

But apparently they weren’t all staying quiet behind the scenes. London Fletcher, appearing this week on NBC’s “SportsDash,” was asked about the Redskins name issue in the context of Donald Sterling, and whether it was hard to shut out that potential distraction.

“You know, I spent seven years in Washington and hadn’t really thought a whole lot about it until this past season,” Fletcher said. “You heard more about it in the news, more things were coming out about it. So I started to really look at it, and started to kind of take hold and get a true understanding of what the word Redskin meant. Get a history lesson, in a sense. And I started feeling a little bit uneasy about it. Voiced my concern to General Manager Bruce Allen, and suggested that Mr. Snyder, the owner, should go and speak with some of the Native Americans, just to get their thoughts on it, to find out how they truly feel about the name.”

For a leading player to suggest to the general manager that the Redskins owner should go on a listening tour is, I believe, unique in the franchise’s history.
Former Redskins player Jason Taylor says Redskins name is offensive

By Dan SteinbergAs the Redskins name issue refuses to leave the news, players are increasingly dipping their toes into this long-running debate.

DeAngelo Hall said the team should “probably” change its name before walking those comments back. London Fletcher said he “started feeling a little bit uneasy” about the name during his final season in Washington. And now former Redskins player Jason Taylor has weighed in during an appearance on NBC’s “SportsDash.”

“Well, the players can only do so much,” Taylor said when asked if Redskins players should get involved. “And they can make a stand and let their opinion be known. I think at this point, they need to take a serious look; [owner Daniel] Snyder needs to take a serious look at changing the name. Look, it’s offensive. If you look it up in the dictionary, it’s an offensive term. And I think if you get one segment of people that are offended by it, it warrants some looking at. So I know he said ‘I’ll never change it and you can make those capital letters, I’ll never change it.’ Well, Donald Sterling thought he’d never lose his franchise, too.”

“I like what London Fletcher said earlier in the week,” former NFL fullback Jon Ritchie then said. “He went to Dan Snyder and said ‘Hey, maybe you should actually go and talk to some of these people who are offended.’ I like that. I like that he took that on himself, that he made that his responsibility.

Native Group Thanks Richard Sherman for Speaking Out Against Washington NFL Team NameEradicating Offensive Native Mascotry, a group of Native parents and their allies from across the country, wish to thank Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman’s support for hearing American Indian’s concerns about the offensive slur “Redsk*ns” as the name of Washington NFL team.

We are initiating a social media selfie campaign to thank Richard Sherman and other NFL players who support Native Americans’ fight against stereotyping that Native Mascotry encourages. Native American youth and adults will be talking selfies holding signs saying “Thank you Richard Sherman for #StandingUpToRacism #ChangetheName.”

EONM also encourage Native people and their allies to thank other NFL players including former Redsk*ns players London Fletcher and Jason Taylor.
Comment:  For more on Richard Sherman, see Boastful Cornerback = "Thug"?

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