City Desk

NFL Boss: Pigskins Name Isn’t Racist

NFL Says Washington Football Team Name Isn't Racist

The National Football League has spoken: It doesn't consider the racial slur used by our local football team as its name to be racist.

"The Washington [Pigskins] name has thus from its origin represented a positive meaning distinct from any disparagement that could be viewed in some other context," NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell wrote to 10 members of Congress who have asked the league and team owner Dan Snyder to change its name. (Indian Country Today first reported Goodell's response, and Deadspin noted it today, too.)

Exactly what "other context" Goodell was referring to, his letter didn't say, though we could take a guess. He did include some transcripts of interviews with some Native Americans who don't consider the name offensive in his response.

Meanwhile, someone—possibly the Pigskins—has hired Republican pollster Frank Luntz to conduct a focus group tomorrow on the name and management of the team. One question on a Web survey intended to find possible respondents is: "In a word or phrase, please describe the ownership of the [Pigskins]."

If you're attending the focus group and need some background on the team's ownership, this might help.

Read Goodell's letter, via Deadspin, after the jump.

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Illustration by Carey Jordan

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  • Eric

    I for one, love the idea of politically correct transplants who majored in social justice coming into my home city and telling us to change the name because they are offended by it.

    Good for Dan Snyder not giving into the babies at WCP and Dcist.

  • Mike Madden

    @Eric:

    I was born in the District, as was my father and his father. My dad, as it happens, played clarinet in the team's marching band in 1964. I grew up in Rockville during the Gibbs era and always went to a game or two at RFK every season. So if you've got a problem with transplants, that's between you and them. But I don't know why you're not bothered that the team we both root for uses a racial slur as its name.

  • Typical DC BS

    We're not bothered Mike, and the VAST MAJORITY ARE NOT BOTHERED, because it's a privately owned team being beset by politically correct nonsense. Making up your own name (pigskins, really?) is childish.

    Glad Dan Snyder is thumbing his nose at the holier than thou crowd.

  • Typical Oblivious Response

    I must have forgotten that private entities are above the laws of basic decency. Can't wait to start rooting for the Washington N***ers, as my team pride is obviously more important than their history of genocide. So what that redskins refers to the government paying for scalps and body parts of Native people?
    I'd love to see Dan Snyder walk onto the Pine Ridge Reservation and address someone as a redskin. Surely they'll understand he's 'honoring' them. It doesn't matter if he can find a few Natives that 'say it's ok', it's not ok with me and many others. You didn't grow up being called 'redskin' and 'prairie n***er', I did. Enlighten yourself.

  • noodlez

    YO E-A TRUE SKINS FAN DON'T BASH OTHER SKINS FANS BECAUSE THEY HAVE THEIR OWN MONIKERS FOR D.C.'S FOOTBALL TEAM WHETHER THEY ARE IN SE DC OR ANCHORAGE, ALASKA!

    SOME FOLKS CALL THEM "THE BURGUNDY & GOLD" AND OTHERS CALL THEM "THE SKINS" AND THAT DOESN'T MAKE THEM ANY LESS OF A FAN! ALSO, GOOD MONEY WOULD HAVE MAD MIKE BEING MORE A NATIVE WASHINGTONIAN THAN YOU. FYI-WE ONLY BASH THEM COWBAMMAS FANS!

    @TYP-WHERE ARE YOU COMING FROM WITH THAT WACK POST?? GIANTS ARE CALLED THE G-MEN, FALCONS CALLED DIRTY BIRDS. EVEN OUT NATIONALS ARE CALLED NATS!
    IT'S NOT CHILDISH IT'S TERMS OF ENDEARMENT.
    LIKE WHEN I CALL YOU DOOFUS!

    HTTR!

  • Typical DC BS

    Sorry noodlez - the politically correct nonsense needs to be called out. I can take it as well as dish it out - bring it!

    As far as Typical Oblivious' response, your "history" lesson reveals your ignorance regarding the term "redskin" and where it came from, champ. Try again. And "basic decency" has laws? Since when - when you and the rest of the liberal weenies decided what's appropriate fro us?

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