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The Washington Redskins huddle around Robert Griffin III #10 during the NFC Wild Card Playoff Game against the Seattle Seahawks at FedExField on January 6, 2013 in Landover, Maryland.
Washington D.C. councilman David Grosso has put forth a new resolution asking the city’s pro football team to change its name. Though there’s some debate as to the origin of the term ‘Redskins’, the phrase has often been described as offensive to Native Americans.
Team owners have refused to address the issue, however, and a recent poll by the AP shows that 79% of Americans nationwide support the name and don’t think the team should be forced to change it.
American Indian advocate Susan Shown Harjo has stated that “it’s not up to the offending class to say what offends the offended.” Is she right? Or does a widespread community of football supporters have more stake in a name that represents their team and their traditions?
Ray Smith, Founder and Editor of SonOfWashington.com, a Washington Redskins blog.
Kevin Blackistone, Sports Journalism Professor at Philip Merrill College of Journalism at the University of Maryland.