NFL Commissioner: Redskins Name Honors Native Americans

Friday, Jan 31, 2014  |  Updated 2:19 PM EDT
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NFL Commissioner: Redskins Name Honors Native Americans

AP

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

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NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell says the Washington Redskins nickname has been "presented in a way that honors Native Americans.''

Goodell said Friday at his annual pre-Super Bowl news conference that he's been talking to Native American leaders in the past year. But he claimed the vast majority of Americans in general and Native Americans in particular support the franchise keeping the nickname.

Asked if the term was appropriate to refer to a Native American, Goodell said, "This is the name of a football team.''

In the past few months, the debate surrounding the Redskins name has gained momentum, as demands to change the team name have come from the Oneida Indian Nation, the D.C. Council and various media outlets including The San Francisco Chronicle and The Washington Post.

Ray Halbritter, the leader of the Oneida Nation, has taken the lead in the campaign to change the Redskins' name. Halbritter appealed to the U.N. this month to gain their support in changing the name.

Redskins team owner Daniel Snyder has told USA Today that he "will never change the name of the team." Snyder reiterated his intention to keep the name when he met with Goodell in October.

MORE COVERAGE

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