Redskins owner: 'We will never change the name of the team'

By Ryan Wilson |

Dan Snyder couldn't be more clear: the Redskins name is here to stay. (USATSI)
Last month, an Associated Press poll found that 79 percent of the 1,004 respondents favored the Redskins keeping their name.

Whether the poll results would have had any bearing on owner Dan Snyder's feelings on the matter is up for debate. But this much is not: The Redskins name is staying put. Forever.

"We will never change the name of the team," Snyder told USA Today this week. "As a lifelong Redskins fan, and I think that the Redskins fans understand the great tradition and what it's all about and what it means, so we feel pretty fortunate to be just working on next season."

There's currently a federal trademark lawsuit against the team. Should the Redskins lose that, would Snyder then consider a name change?

"We'll never change the name," he reiterated. "It's that simple. NEVER -- you can use caps."

The Redskins naming issue has been an ongoing debate in recent years. Detractors argue it's not the organization's job to determine intent, particularly if a subset of the population takes offense. Proponents, meanwhile, say it's the latest example of political correctness run amok.

The Redskins have taken strides to defend the nickname, even going so far as to point out other football programs that share the moniker.

And NFL commissioner Roger Goodell was asked about the issue at his annual Super Bowl press conference in February and he seemed uninterested in spending too much time on it.

"I do know that, growing up in Washington, I do understand the affinity for that name with the fans," Goodell said at the time. "I also understand the other side of that, and I don't think anybody wants to offend anybody, but this has been discussed several times over a long period of time. I think Dan Snyder and the organization have made it very clear that they're proud of that heritage and that name, and I believe the fans are, too.”

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