|ESPN.com: NFL||[Print without images]|
Washington Redskins owner Daniel Snyder told USA Today the team's name will not change.
"We will never change the name of the team," Snyder told the newspaper in an interview this week. "As a lifelong Redskins fan, and I think that the Redskins fans understand the great tradition and what it's all about and what it means, so we feel pretty fortunate to be just working on next season."
The team's nickname has faced a new barrage of criticism for being offensive to Native Americans. Local leaders and pundits have called for a name change. Opponents have launched a legal challenge intended to deny the team federal trademark protection. A bill introduced in Congress in March would do the same, though it appears unlikely to pass.
"We'll never change the name," Snyder told USA Today. "It's that simple. NEVER -- you can use caps."
A recent Associated Press-GfK poll showed that nationally, "Redskins" enjoys widespread support. Nearly four in five Americans don't think the team should change its name, the survey found. Only 11 percent think it should be changed, while 8 percent weren't sure and 2 percent didn't answer.
David Grosso, a member of the Washington D.C. Council, said he plans to submit a resolution calling on the Redskins to change their nickname because it is "racist and derogatory" and suggested "Redtails" in honor of the Tuskegee Airmen, a pioneering group of African-American pilots who served the United States in World War II, as a replacement.
Although 79 percent favor keeping the name, that does represent a 10 percent drop from the last national poll on the subject, conducted in 1992 by The Washington Post and ABC News just before the team won its most recent Super Bowl. Then, 89 percent said the name should not be changed, and 7 percent said it should.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.