Diversity group calls for NFL to change 'Redskins' nickname
The Fritz Pollard Alliance, a civil rights organization with close ties to the NFL, has called for the league to change the Washington Redskins' nickname.
"As the NFL continues to move in the direction of respect and dignity, one of its teams carrying this name cuts glaringly against the grain," a letter from the group co-signed by its chairman and former Washington lineman John Wooten said, according to The Washington Post. “It hurts the League and it hurts us all."
The group, named after the NFL's first black coach, "advocates for policy changes in the NFL hiring practices and working in partnership with the NFL to create opportunities for minority candidates," according to its website. Earlier this month, the group filed a complaint with the NFL over Washington's search for a new general manager.
Opposition to the team's nickname is nothing new but has increased dramatically in recent years.
In June, the franchise had its trademark revoked on the grounds that it was "disparaging to Native Americans." The franchise is currently fighting that ruling in court.
A SI poll in September found that 25 percent of fans thought the name should be changed.
NFL broadcasters used "Redskins" 27 percent less often during telecasts this season, according to a Deadspin study. In September, the FCC said it would consider punishing a Washington radio station for using the nickname. In December it announced that station would not be punished because the name is not profane.
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.
Washington owner Dan Snyder infamously told USA TODAY in 2013, "We'll never change the name. It's that simple. NEVER — you can use caps."
- Dan Gartland