By Mike Florio
One of Goodell’s lieutenants provided something definitive on Friday.
“The team name is not a slur,” NFL V.P. of labor policy and government affairs Adolpho Birch said in a phone appearance on ESPN’s Outside the Lines.
“The team name is the team name as it has been for 80-plus years,” Birch said. “And what we need to do is get beyond sort of understanding this as a point-blank situation and understand it more as a variety of perspectives that all need to be addressed, that all need to be given some weight, so that at the end of it we can come to some understanding that is appropriate and reflects the opinions of all.”
That sounds good, but it’s impossible to reflect the opinions of those who think it’s a slur while also keeping the name. There’s no middle ground. Those who believe it’s a slur want it to change. Those who don’t believe it’s a slur want to keep it. And the ongoing controversy is causing the ranks of the undecideds to shrink.
By Matt Banks
The question everybody should ask themselves is, would you call a Native-American a Redskin to their face?
I’ll take that hesitation as a no.
The fact of the matter is that this issue isn’t going away. There will be a cloud over the Washington organization until it’s handled properly. The public needs to continue to shed light on the blatant disrespect Birch, Goodell and Snyder have cast down on a entire group of people.
It's particularly a slur when it hits Native ears. The NFL can't wish away the effect with their feeble attempts to overrule the dictionary.
To use an analogy, suppose you belong to the Fraternal Order of Bullets. You honor the noble bullet for its role in freeing America from tyranny.
Now you shoot a bullet into the air as part of your order's weekly celebration. It comes down and hits someone.
You can't claim that a bullet is harmless when you honor it. Or that you didn't intend to hit anyone when you fired it. Those claims are irrelevant.
The only thing that matters is the person you injured. His pain outweighs any of your idiotic reasons for bullet worship. Telling us the bullet shouldn't hurt doesn't change the fact that it did hurt.