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NBC's 'Today' Spurs National Debate Over Redskins' Name Change

September 17, 2013

Goodell, Trask, and Murphy; now, according to Carson Daly’s report on NBC’s Today, a growing list of protestors are putting pressure on Redskins owner Dan Snyder to change his team’s name: journalists. Several media outlets, most recently the Washington Post, have refused to write the word Redskins in their reporting.

In NBC’s Orange Room, which monitors social media and allows NBC to connect with their audience, Daly listed some of the media that will not write the word: Sports Illustrated, USA Today, Slate, Mother Jones,, The Kansas City Star and The Washington Post.

In fact the Post’s editorial board denounced the name, “the team’s name is a racial slur of Native Americans so offensive that it should no longer be tolerated.”

Before the Redskins-Packers game on Sunday, members of Native America tribes showed up to protest the use of the name. Protestors held signs and braved the bad weather to show their disapproval of the use of the name. “We support effectively removing all race-based stereotypes,” said Barb Munson, a member of the Oneida Tribe of Indians of Wisconsin, to

Earlier this year, Snyder said that he would “never” change the team name. Reasoning that the name is a symbol of great tradition for lifelong fans. But recently, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell seemed to evolve his stance on the use of the name. He told Washington, D.C. radio station 106.7 The Fan, "if we are offending one person, we need to be listening and making sure that we're doing the right things to try to adress that."

Daly also reported that the name use spurred a nationwide debate. He said that there was “a spike in the interest over the use of the name Washington Redskins” in some parts of the country prompting NBC to monitor the amount of attention in the topic across the country. 

Arizona, Wisconsin, New York and D.C. were mentioned as the top states in the U.S. where the rise of interest in the name change debate stems from. However, a survey showed that 60 percent of the network’s viewers did not think that the Redskins should change their name. But, the network does plan to continue monitoring the interest in the debate and to have that discussion again in their Orange Room.

The team lost on Sunday to the Packers, 38-20. They are 0-2 this season.




Michael Madrid's picture
Michael Madrid
Submitted by Michael Madrid on

I've been going back and forth on this issue on with fans who DON'T think the name should be changed. I've heard it all, from "the team is honoring American Indians," to "Washington doesn't mean it as a racial slur."

The fact remains, people whose head would explode if the team were named the Washington Blackskins or the Washington Kikes, or the Washington Chinks have no opinion on whether Redskins is derogatory toward Native Americans.

How can this be? I personally HATE the notion that I have to explain to my grandchildren that yes, they ARE speaking of them and no, it's not a nice term to use. Washington has a long reputation of turning a blind eye to any suffering on the part of Indians, but it's time we don't allow this to happen. This is the 21st century. Are we not intelligent enough as a nation to know when we're belittling someone's culture or heritage?