Former Chicago Bears coach and ESPN commentator Mike Ditka described the controversy surrounding the Redskins' name as "so much [expletive] it’s incredible," in an interview with RedskinsHistorians.com
Ditka's remarks were transcribed by the Washington Post:
“What’s all the stink over the Redskin name?” Ditka said. “It’s so much [expletive] it’s incredible. We’re going to let the liberals of the world run this world. It was said out of reverence, out of pride to the American Indian. Even though it was called a Redskin, what are you going to call them, a Brownskin? This is so stupid it’s appalling, and I hope that owner keeps fighting for it and never changes it, because the Redskins are part of an American football history, and it should never be anything but the Washington Redskins. That’s the way it is.
“Its been the name of the team since the beginning of football. It has nothing to do with something that happened lately, or something that somebody dreamed up. This was the name, period. Leave it alone. These people are silly — asinine, actually, in my opinion.”
Richman suggested that non-Redskins fans and people outside the D.C. area are the ones driving the controversy about the name.
“It’s all the political correct idiots in America, that’s all it is,” Ditka said. “It’s got nothing to do with anything else. We’re going to change something because we can. Hey, listen, I went through it in the 60s, too. I mean, come on. Everybody lined up, did this. It’s fine to protest. That’s your right, if you don’t like it, protest. You have a right to do that, but to change the name, that’s ridiculous. Change the Constitution — we’ve got people trying to do that, too, and they’re doing a pretty good job.”
Ditka also said he supports Redskins owner Daniel Snyder defending the name.
“I admire him for it,” Ditka said. “Really, I think it’s tradition, it’s history, it’s part of the National Football League. It was about Sammy Baugh and all the guys who were Redskins way back then. I didn’t think that Lombardi and Halas never had a problem with it, why would all these other idiots have a problem with the name? I’m sorry. I’m not very tolerant when it comes to the liberals who complain about everything.”
More: Granddaughter of first Redskins owner wants team name changed
The Redskins have increasingly come under scrutiny with charges from lawmakers and media members that the name is offensive toward the Native American community.
In May, a letter signed by 50 U.S. senators and endorsed by majority leader Harry Reid urged NFL leadership to press for a name change.
- Chris Johnson