Joe Gibbs on Redskins: 'It would be wrong to change the team's name'

'I never, ever thought of it as anything negative, it’s all been a positive,' Gibbs said. (USATSI)
Hall of Famer Joe Gibbs coached the Washington Redskins for 19 seasons, from 1981-1992, and then from 2004-2007. During that time, he won 62 percent of his games, including three Super Bowl titles. Last week, Gibbs was asked about a topic that's been in the news pretty much every week since the offseason: If the Redskins should change their name.

“One of the best things that I saw on that [issue] was that Rick Reilly article that came out about two or three weeks ago,” Gibbs told WNEW’s Cameron Thompson (via the Sports Bog). “I think that says it probably the best."

This is where we point out that Reilly's take on the Redskins name was widely panned, including this takedown from The Nation's David Zirin, who called the column "irredeemably stupid."

Gibbs continued: "For me, from the time I grew up as a young kid running around the hills of North Carolina, the only football team we could get was the Redskins. So from that time on, everything I’ve known or been a part of has been Redskins. I never, ever thought of it as anything negative; it’s all been a positive. I think that’s what I reflect on: I reflect on the song, the games and everybody being loyal Redskins people. ...

“So, in your your mind, it would be wrong to change the team name?” Thompson asked.

“It would be wrong to change the team’s name,” Gibbs said.

Team owner Daniel Snyder has made it clear that the name is staying.

"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] it's that simple. NEVER -- you can use caps."

Meanwhile, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said earlier this month that "If one person's offended, we have to listen."

"And ultimately, it is Dan [Snyder]'s decision," Goodell continued. "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."

CBS Sports Writer

Ryan Wilson has been an NFL writer for CBS Sports since June 2011, and he's covered five Super Bowls in that time. Ryan previously worked at AOL's FanHouse from start to finish, and Football Outsiders... Full Bio

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