The Washington Redskins posted a strange article on the team’s website Monday with the headline, “We Are Very Proud To Be Called Redskins.”
The article highlights the quote in its first paragraph, which comes from a high school athletic director in Coshocton, Ohio. It also boasts that “almost as many” high school teams use the “Redskins” nickname as the “Cowboys,” while more use the name than the “Giants.”
Redskins.com found that there are almost as many schools using the name Redskins as Cowboys, as only 75 schools use the name Cowboys, and interestingly just 19 use the name Giants.
The high school’s athletic director and principal are the only two people cited in the story.
The article comes amid renewed scrutiny over the team’s name and calls to change it. The Redskins were targeted during a recent daylong symposium at the Smithsonian about racial stereotypes, to which they were invited but chose not to attend. Washington Mayor Vincent Gray also pointedly referred to the franchise as “our Washington football team” in his recent State of the District speech, avoiding the Redskins nickname.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell was asked about his thoughts on the nickname during the week leading up to the Super Bowl, but he didn’t give any hints that he would make a push to change it.
“Growing up in Washington, I do understand the affinity for that name with the fans,” Goodell said, according to The Washington Post. “I also understand the other side of that. I don’t think anybody wants to offend anybody. This has been discussed several times over a long period of time. I think [Redskins owner] Dan Snyder and the organization have made it very clear that they’re proud of that heritage and that name and I believe fans are, too.”