Redskins name change: Roger Goodell says team, league must listen to criticism

The Redskins have had their name since the franchise was founded in 1932. Photo: Associated Press

The National Football League must listen to and address people who are offended by the Washington Redskins name, the league's commissioner said Wednesday.

During an appearance on Lavar and Dukes on 106.7 The Fan, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said that the league must respond to people who feel that Redskins is a derogatory term.

"The commissioner has the opportunity to stand up to bigotry again," said the Oneida Indian Nation.

"If one person is offended, we have to listen," Goddell said, according to The Fan's Grant Paulsen. "If we are offending one person, we need to try to do the right things to try to address that."

But it was only at the start of this summer that Goodell announced that any name change was Dan Snyder’s decision to make alone, and that he didn’t see the Redskins name as offensive.

He had strongly come out in favor of the Redskins moniker, and in June, Goodell penned a letter to ten members of Congress saying that the name represented a "positive meaning distinct from any disparagement that could be viewed in some other context."

That letter, which was cosigned by D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, urged the league and team owner Daniel Snyder to change the name because of its perceived offensive nature.

"The name is a unifying force that stands for strength, courage, pride and respect," Goodell said in his letter.

Now, his recent change of opinion has ignited a new fight amongst fans.

Snyder has repeatedly and emphatically defended his team's use of the name, which has been in place since the franchise was founded in 1932. In May, he said that the team would NEVER - his emphasis - change its name.

More recently, a pair of prominent sports columnists, Peter King of Sports Illustrated and Bill Simmons of ESPN, have decided to not use the team's name in their writing.

Meanwhile, while the Redskins play the Packers in Green Bay on Sunday, a group of Native Americans from the Oneida Tribe of Indians of Wisconsin will hold a protest outside Lambeau Field.

Audio courtesy of the Lavar and Dukes Show on 106.7 The Fan.