Goodell: It's the name of a football team

January, 31, 2014
Jan 31
12:40
PM ET
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell didn’t answer the question, but instead steered a query about the Washington Redskins' nickname controversy back to comments that are consistent with those he has made over the past year.

Goodell was asked during his annual state of the NFL news conference Friday if he would “feel comfortable calling an American Indian a redskin to his or her face.”

He did not answer that question. But he did tell reporters in attendance (and, well, anyone watching on SportsCenter): “I’ve been spending the last year talking to many leaders in the Native American community. We are listening. This is the name of a football team, a football team that’s had that name for 80 years and presented the name in a way that honors Native Americans. We recognize that there are some that don’t agree with the name, and we listened and respected that.

“If you look at the numbers, including in the Native American community, in a Native American community poll nine out of 10 supported the name. Eight out of 10 Americans in the general population would not like us to change the name. So we’re listening and being respectful for people who disagree, but let’s not forget this is the name of a football team.”

Here are two polls on the name change. The United Nations was addressed on the matter. Draw your own conclusions.

John Keim

ESPN Washington Redskins reporter

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