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RG3: Redskins players 'advised' not to discuss team's nickname

By Will Brinson | NFL Writer

RG3 has been advised not to talk about the Redskins nickname.
RG3 has been advised not to talk about the Redskins nickname. (USATSI)

Everyone has an opinion on whether or not the Redskins nickname is appropriate. But the actual members of the Redskins team have been "advised" not to share that opinion publicly.

Robert Griffin III said as much Wednesday noting that, via Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press, he "can't really dive into" the subject of the Redskins nickname.

"I can't really dive into that. I'm not Native American," Griffin said. "I'm sure I have a little bit of blood in me. But we're not at that authority to know what to do in that."

It's not too surprising the team's told the players to keep their opinions on the down low. The Redskins have adamantly defended their usage of the nickname; general manager Bruce Allen backed Washington's name as recently as February.

"There's nothing that we feel is offensive," Allen said. "And we're proud of our history."

Owner Dan Snyder -- less than six months ago -- was even more emphatic.

"We will never change the name of the team," Snyder said in May. "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."

So, yeah, it's not surprising at all that these guys are issuing an edict (or an "advisory," ahem) to players saying not to discuss the nickname. If RG3 comes out against Redskins it would look real bad for the team.

They're already facing a sea change from the outside, though. Multiple media members decided not to use the nickname when discussing the team. Roger Goodell wrote a letter to Congress defending the name back in June (following Snyder's comments) but the last time he commented on the subject he was significantly less emphatic about the league's stance.

"If one person's offended, we have to listen," Goodell said. "And ultimately, it is Dan [Snyder]'s decision. But it is something that I want all of us to go out and make sure we're listening to our fans, listening to people who have a different view, and making sure that we continue to do what's right to make sure that team represents the strong tradition that it has for so many years."

Technically it is Snyder's decision and he probably doesn't care what the public or his players think. But it would be nice if they were allowed to express their opinions in public anyway.

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