Washington Redskins’ Name-Change Debate Hits Home - My9 New Jersey

Washington Redskins’ Name-Change Debate Hits Home

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The debate over whether or not to change the NFL Washington Redskins' name rages on. Some believe its offensive and politically incorrect to refer to Native Americans as “redskins”. Well, now this controversy has become local news in New Jersey and New York after legendary New York Giants quarterback and current announcer Phil Simms said he's going to try to avoid offending people during broadcasts this year and will not use the Redskins name while calling games.

Offensive Lineman Barrett Brooks played for both the Eagles and Giants before winning a Super Bowl with the Steelers. He said that the name change is long overdue.

“I don't think they are overreacting. It's something that is very sensitive to a race, an ethnic group of people and it's totally out of order to even use the name now,” he said.

Before Phil Simms spoke out, former Cowboy's player Michael Irvin and others have made similar comments opposing the Redskins name, but like so many things, the opposition often seems divided along racial lines.

Barrett says that Phil Simms being an established Caucasian player takes the debate to a new level.

“With him being a Caucasian, being a white-guy, it even holds more weight just because he's not a minority just complaining about it, he's a Caucasian that's complaining about it, so I think it does carry a lot of weight,” he confirmed.

Football fans on the other hand have mixed opinions on the name-change. Shira is a long time Redskins fan and she said that people are being too sensitive and there is history in the name.

“I think we live in a very politically correct world and at a certain point you have to say enough is enough, when can you stop saying this is offending somebody,” she said.

It's tough to get a real feel for how Native Americans feel about the Redskins because there are polls being quoted by both sides claiming to have Native American support. The Ramapough Lenape Native American's in New Jersey have said in the past that it's not so much about the name, but about the symbols and characters used to illustrate Native American's that can be offensive.

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