On the heels of the Cleveland Indians announcement Monday that they will retire their Chief Wahoo logo starting in the 2019 baseball season, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell on Tuesday told ESPN he doesn't believe the Washington Redskins will follow suit in regard to their controversial nickname.
Speaking about Redskins owner Dan Snyder, Goodell noted on the "Golic & Wingo" show, "I don't see him changing that perspective."
What did a Oneida Nation representative say to the Redskins after the Cleveland Indians' move?
The news from Goodell came after Change the Mascot issued a statement by Oneida Nation representative Ray Halbritter who wanted the Redskins to follow the Cleveland Indians' example, ESPN reported.
"Cleveland's decision should finally compel the Washington football team to make the same honorable decision," the statement read in part, according to ESPN. "For too long, people of color have been stereotyped with these kinds of hurtful symbols — and no symbol is more hurtful than the football team in the nation's capital using a dictionary-defined racial slur as its team name. Washington owner Dan Snyder needs to look at Cleveland's move and then look in the mirror and ask whether he wants to be forever known as the most famous purveyor of bigotry in modern sports, or if he wants to finally stand on the right side of history and change his team's name. We hope he chooses the latter."
It wasn't the first time Snyder and the Redskins faced outside pressure to change the team name — but they have remained resolute. Team president Bruce Allen said in 2015 that the team wouldn't change its name even if doing so would help it secure a new stadium, ESPN said.
And Snyder once told USA Today that he'll never change the nickname and "you can use caps," the network said, adding that Goodell doesn't appear in any hurry to pressure the owner.
"Dan Snyder has really worked in the Native American community to understand better their perspective, and I think it's reflected mostly in a Washington Post poll that came out in [May 2016] that said over nine out of 10 Native Americans do not take that in a negative fashion, the Redskins' logo or the Redskins' name, and they support it," Goodell told "Golic & Wingo."
What else did the Post poll say about the Redskins' name?
The Post poll used hundreds of interviews with Native Americans. Nearly three-quarters of poll responders — 73 percent — said the term “Redskin” itself is not disrespectful, and 78 percent of Native Americans said the Redskins mascot issue is largely or entirely unimportant.
How did a Supreme Court ruling affect the issue?
The Supreme Court last year ruled in favor of an Asian-American music band initially denied a trademark right because their band name included a racial epithet, saying the intention of the band's name was not to insult or offend — and the Department of Justice followed suit by shutting down its case against the Redskins.