May 23, 2014

Redskins respond to senators' letter

Redskins continue to defend team name in letter

By Mark MaskeThe Washington Redskins continued to defend their team name in a letter sent Friday to a top Capitol Hill lawmaker.

The letter from Redskins executive Bruce Allen to Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.), the Senate majority leader, calls the team name “respectful” toward Native Americans.

“Our use of ‘Redskins’ as the name of our football team for more than 81 years has always been respectful of and shown reverence toward the proud legacy and traditions of Native Americans,” Allen wrote in the letter, which was released by the team.

Reid was among the 50 Democratic Senators who wrote letters Thursday to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell urging him and the league to endorse a name change by the Redskins.

“The Washington Redskins are one of the NFL’s flagship franchises,” Allen wrote in his letter to Reid. “We have played in 11 NFL Championship games and have won five World Championships. With over 81 years of tradition created by thousands of alumni and millions of fans, the Redskins team name continues to carry a deep and purposeful meaning.”

Allen wrote that the team name “originated as a Native American expression of solidarity” and its logo “was designed by Native Americans.” He cited polling to write that an “overwhelming majority of Native Americans do not find the name offensive” and that the “vast majority of Americans are in favor of keeping the team name.”
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