Sarah Beth Hensley, WTOP
Former Washington Redskins Darrell Green and Art Monk speak with WTOP earlier this week in their studio.

Redskins Players Backpedal on Name Change

July 25, 2013

Just to be clear, “in no way” does NFL Hall of Famer Darrell Green want to see the Washington Redskins change its moniker.

On Tuesday, former Washington Redskins Green and Art Monk told Washington’s WTOP-FM 103.5 that the football club should “seriously” consider changing its name if Native Americans take offense to it.

But on Thursday, Green told Washington’s 106.7 The Fan that he does not favor a name change, according to CBS Sports.

“In no way [do] I want to see the Redskins change their name,” Green said. “So that just makes that clear. And I’ll speak for Art, there’s no way he wants it, and I guarantee he didn’t say it, and I know I didn’t say it.”

According to CBS Local in Washington, Green said he was merely suggesting that maybe a discussion should be considered by the football club.

“What my real comment in response to the question was, ‘Does it deserve merit?’” said Green. “And my comments were that, ‘Look, if it offended somebody – if somebody was offended, then I think it merits at least a discussion.’ I mean, goodness, I mean, people should be able to say ‘Hey, you offended me’ and somebody should be able to have a dialogue. Now, where it lands, that’s another thing.”

Professor Theodore Van Alst, director of Yale’s Native American Cultural Center, said he is disappointed that Green and Monk do not favor a name change. He pondered if money plays a role in their recent jump to clear the air.

“There’s a financial piece in [this], too. They want to remain with the club,” he said. “They may have to depoliticize. I wonder if that has something to do with it?"

Van Alst, a Lakota, said it seemed that on Tuesday Native Americans had a pair of stalwart allies in the campaign to abolish the name, but now that support has significantly lessened.

“It seems like their position is somewhat weakened from before,” he said. “We have these sort of waves of momentum that come and go where we think that the conversation is going to get pushed forward.”

Van Alst added that the term ‘Redskins’ is an “egregious slur” and he laments that it remains the name of a professional football team in the nation’s capitol.