The Redskins name controversy has been an ongoing debate, one that has gained steam in recent months. Two weeks ago, President Barack Obama said he would "think about changing" the Redskins team name because it offends “a sizable group of people," although team owner Dan Snyder made it clear in May that "We'll never change the name. It's that simple. NEVER -- you can use caps."
Meanwhile, there have been protests from Native American groups, and some news organizations have refused to use the word "Redskins" when referring to the football team. That includes TheMMQB.com, a subsidiary of SportsIllustrated.com run by longtime NFL writer Peter King.
During an appearance Tuesday on SiriusXM, host Chris "Mad Dog" Russo confronted King about the decision.
“Peter, you've been a huge writer for the magazine SI, you have been around forever now,” Russo said. “You are not a young kid. You have been at the top of your profession for a long time. The Redskins have had that name since 1935 -- when we all know their player/coach was a Native American and that's why they got the name the Redskins -- and now all of a sudden in ... 2013, Peter King or Bob Costas has a problem with it. Where were you ten years ago? Or where we you fifteen years ago? Why now all of a sudden has it dawned on you that the name might be offensive?”
King's response: “I wouldn't say that it dawned on me all of a sudden. It's something that, as I said, over the last two or three years, gradually, I have come to dislike. I just don't like it because it seems offensive. And now that I have the ability to be able to do something about it this year, I did something about it.
"So, if I didn't have this site, if I were still working at Sports Illustrated as just a writer for the magazine, would I have taken this stand? I can't tell you," King continued. "All I know is that having my own site gave me more of the ability to say ‘I'm not going to do this.' And again Chris, you know, I think as adults, there's no shame in changing our mind about something.
"There's no shame in saying, as I've done three or four times with Hall of Fame candidates -- when I've been sitting in that room, and for years I may not have liked the guy or might not favor him for election -- and then one year, somebody says something, or I think about it more. It doesn't have to do with being pressured, it has to do with having an open mind. And I think that having an open mind has allowed me to think about this often over the years, and where as, I used to write it and not really like writing it but just wrote it and put it out of my mind, I just decided I wasn't going to do it anymore.”
Later in the conversation, Russo makes the "Well, how would it go over if we called a team the [Insert city] [Insert racial slur for mascot name]" argument.
"This has been going on for a hundred years and now the media has turned?" Russo asked. "How come Christine Brennan or Bob Costas, or Peter King ... or, you know, Obama, or the Indian groups ... where were they in 1968? Where were they in 1973? Where were they in 2007?
"Now all of a sudden it's a problem. Why? Why now? I don't understand.”
“I can't explain that. I explained what I thought,” King said.
“I have no problem with you, Pete," Russo continued. "No problem. But why was this not a problem with the Native Americans for the last one hundred years, and it's a problem now? That's what I can't figure out.”
“I don't know either,” King said. “I don't know."
You can listen to the entire conversation below.