LOUDOUN COUNTY, Va. – The Washington Redskins today released the following statement:
“Over the past few months, we have received hundreds of letters, calls and emails from self-identified Native Americans in support of the name ‘Washington Redskins.’ Their comments make clear why our team name means so much to them and to so many in the Native American community.
It is essential for Redskins Nation to know what the majority of Native Americans really think – in their own words – and why it is so important that we listen to their voices on this issue. We should not turn our back on these Native Americans. Their voices deserve to be heard. We want Redskins Nation and the sports world to know what many Native Americans really think and why our name is their source of pride.”
The following statements were received as emails to Dan Snyder in an unprompted response to the letter he released last fall about the team’s name. More than 7,000 letters and emails were received in favor of the team’s name, including almost 200 from people who identified themselves as Native Americans or as family members of Native Americans. Seven letters were received from Native Americans opposed to the team name. The results are consistent with a 2004 survey taken by the University of Pennsylvania’s National Annenberg Public Policy Center showing that 90 percent of Native Americans said the Redskins name did not bother them and only nine percent found it offensive.
“As a family who is part Cherokee and Blackfoot, we wholly support the Washington Redskins. IT is the name and portrayal of the Native Americans who have been through so much over the decades, we not only feel it would be wrong to change the name of the team, but would also be doing a disservice as well. We believe the Redskins and the logo are not only a source of pride for our Native American ancestors, but also a way to pay tribute to the lives lost and many years of pain and suffering enfured [sic] by our ancestors. It is a constant reminder of the strength of the Native American people.”
- Elizabeth and Adam Bradshaw, Cherokee and Blackfoot (Hampton, Va.)
“As a SKINS fan since mid-60’s and an American Indian descendent I am very proud of the name and our fight song. I do not find them offensive or derogatory.”
- Arthur Dymond, Algonquin (Huntingtown, Md.)
“I have been a Redskins fan my entire life as have my father and my grandfather. I also have ancestors who were Native American, of the Cherokee Nation. … If I thought for a second that the team name was offensive or dishonorable, I would no longer be a fan.”
- J. Barrett Crook, Cherokee (Smithfield, Va.)
ABOUT THE REDSKINS: Headquartered at Redskins Park in Ashburn, Virginia, and owned by Daniel Snyder, the historic Washington Redskins Football Club has won five World Championship titles including the 1937 and 1942 National Football League Championship games, as well as Super Bowls XVII, XXII and XXVI. Founded in 1932 as the Boston Braves in Massachusetts, the team changed its name to the Redskins in 1933 and relocated to Washington, D.C., in 1937. Since then, the team has become one of the most recognizable professional sports franchises in history, featuring multiple Hall of Fame coaches, 19 members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame (with seven others who also were Redskins) and becoming the first team in the NFL with an official marching band and fight song, "Hail to the Redskins." The Redskins have been owned by Dan Snydersince 1999, and beginning in 1997, began playing their home games at FedExField in Landover, Md.