Don't call Ted Nolan the R-word.

Ojibwa Hockey Legend Ted Nolan Doesn't Like the R-Word

June 19, 2013

In a column posted this afternoon, The Buffalo News's Tim Graham writes about talking to former Buffalo Sabres head coach Ted Nolan, Ojibwa, about the R-word. In short, Nolan does not like it.

"There are certain things you can't call black people or Chinese people or Jewish people. We as Native Americans, or First Nation people as we're called in Canada, we find it offensive," Nolan said. 

"Sure, the Redskins name has been around for generations," Nolan said, "but when you're a person of that race and someone calls you a redskin, they don't know why they're saying it, where the word comes form or what the word means."

Graham wrote a column last week in which he committed to never again writing or saying the R-word that Washington uses as its nickname. "I believe it's a slur, and Merriam-Webster agrees with me by definition," he wrote.

"I was interested in what Nolan had to say because he's one of the most prominent Native American sportsmen in recent decades and easily the most notable around Western New York."

Nolan was named NHL coach of the year with the Sabres in 1997 and later led the New York Islanders to the playoffs. He's now coach of the Latvian national team that will play in the 2014 Winter Olympics. His son, Jordan Nolan, won the Stanley Cup with the Los Angeles Kings last year.

Read Graham's entire column, "Go ahead and tell Ted Nolan your theories on why the R-word is OK," by clicking here.



Marsha Flett's picture
Marsha Flett
Submitted by Marsha Flett on

Ted Nolan is one of my favorite people! I watched him coach the Sabres with so much pride! My mother's family is Mohawk and to know another Native American is so outstanding in his profession is simply beyond words. I was devastated when he was run out of Buffalo...and the Sabres management has gotten what they deserve.