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University of Minnesota president wants nothing to do with Skins name

By Josh Katzowitz | NFL Writer

The Redskins name issue isn't going away. (USATSI)
The Redskins name issue isn't going away. (USATSI)

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A few days after Redskins owner Daniel Snyder again tried to defend his team's name, it was revealed that Washington's game against the Vikings this season might get awkward.

That's because the University of Minnesota, which will host Vikings home games this season while a new stadium is built, wants nothing to do with the Redskins moniker when the two teams play Nov. 2.

As the Washington Post reports, University of Minnesota president Eric W. Kaler wrote a letter to U.S. Rep. Betty McCollum (D-Minn.) in which he said the school was working with the Vikings in order to keep the Redskins name from being used in “promotional and game date materials" and during PA announcements.

Kaler's letter was in response to McCollum's letter to Vikings owner Zygi Wilf in which she asked him to condemn the Redskins name. Earlier this summer, McCollum also was critical of commissioner Roger Goodell and his attempt to defend the name in a letter to Congress.

Lester Bagley, the Vikings executive vice president of public affairs, told the Post that the team and school officials met late last month but the team hasn't decided how to handle the school's request.

“We take the issue very seriously, but we're just getting ready for our season and we've been very focused on training camp and the preseason, and to be honest, we don't have a game plan for our Nov. 2 game versus Washington,” Bagley said.

Said Redskins team spokesman Tony Wyllie: “We have met many native Americans from Minnesota who agree with our position and feel we are using the term correctly and honorably."

Earlier this week, here's how Snyder responded to the question about the meaning of a Redskin.

“A Redskin is a football player,” Snyder said. “A Redskin is our fans. The Washington Redskin fan base represents honor, represents respect, represents pride. Hopefully winning. And it's a positive. Taken out of context -- you can take things out of context all over the place -- but in this particular case, it is what it is. It's very obvious.”

It's also very obvious that this issue isn't going away. And it will continue to gain traction and newsprint as long as Snyder stubbornly holds onto the name he loves so dearly.

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