Hall of Fame Dallas Cowboys quarterback Roger Staubach was asked for his thoughts on the Washington Redskins nickname controversy in an interview published Thursday by the Charlotte Business Journal in advance of Monday's game between the two NFL franchises.
"If that name is derogatory to the Indian nation, I say get rid of it," Staubach said. "I've never looked at it that way. I've never looked at it like the N-word. I guess there's certain Indian nations that are against it and some that are for it. If the Indian nation decides that, 'Hey, we think this is a derogatory word,' then you probably have to get rid of it. I don't think there's enough people that have stepped forward to want to do that."
Washington owner Dan Snyder has repeatedly said he will not change the name of his team. Snyder infamously told USA Today in 2013, "We'll never change the name. It's that simple. NEVER — you can use caps."
Snyder invited outgoing Navajo president Ben Shelly to sit with him in his owner's box during Washington's Week 6 game against the Cardinals. Shelly finished seventh in the most recent tribal election. His support of Washington's name is at odds with his tribal council, which voted 9-2 to oppose the name.
In June, the franchise had its trademark revoked on the grounds that it was "disparaging to Native Americans."
The chairman of the Federal Communications Commission said in September that his organization would consider punishing broadcasters for using the name on air.
A senator from Washington state also announced she would introduce legislation to strip the NFL of its tax-exempt status as a response to the league's support of the nickname.
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones called the Washington nickname "a great part of the tradition of the league" in a radio interview earlier this week.
In an SI poll of 500 NFL fans, only 25 percent of those surveyed said the name should be changed.
- Dan Gartland