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Redskins respond to Obama

The SportsXchange

The Washington Redskins responded to President Barack Obama's remarks that the team should consider changing its name because it is offensive to many people.

Team attorney Lanny Davis issued a statement Sunday arguing that a poll conducted in 2004 indicates the name "Redskins" is acceptable to most Native Americans.

"As a supporter of President Obama, I am sure the President is not aware that in the highly respected independent Annenberg Institute poll with a national sample of Native Americans, nine out of 10 Native Americans said they were not bothered by the name the 'Washington Redskins,' " Davis said. "The President made these comments to the Associated Press, but he was apparently unaware that an April 2013 AP poll showed that eight out of 10 of all Americans in a national sample don't think the Washington Redskins' name should be changed.

"The Redskins respect everyone. But like devoted fans of the Atlanta Braves, the Cleveland Indians and the Chicago Blackhawks, the fans love their team and its name and, like those fans, they do not intend to disparage or disrespect a racial or ethnic group. The name 'Washington Redskins' is 80 years old -- its history and legacy and tradition. The Redskins' fans sing 'Hail to the Redskins' every Sunday as an expression of honor, not disparagement."

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said early in the season that it is up to team owner Dan Snyder to decide if he wants to change the name.

"If one person's offended, we have to listen," Goodell said. "And ultimately, it is Dan's decision. But it is something that I want all of us to go out and make sure we're listening to our fans, listening to people who have a different view, and making sure that we continue to do what's right to make sure that team represents the strong tradition that it has for so many years."

However, Snyder said in May that he has no plans to change the name of the team.

"We'll never change (it)," he said. "It's that simple. Never -- you can use caps."

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