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Goodell eases stance on Redskins nickname

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell says people need to be sensitive and 'listen' to those who are offended by the name.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. (Seth Wenig/AP)
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. (Seth Wenig/AP)Read more

THOSE OPPOSED to the nickname "Redskins" gained a small victory yesterday when NFL commissioner Roger Goodell appeared to shift his position.

"If we are offending one person, we need to be listening, and making sure that we're doing the right things to try to address that." Goodell said in an interview with 106.7 The Fan.

One person?

There are entire tribes of American Indians that view the nickname as racist and have sought to eradicate its use on all levels, from high schools to the pros.

In April, members of Congress asked Goodell to intervene. A month later he sent them a letter stating, "The Washington Redskins name has thus from its origin represented a positive meaning distinct from any disparagement that could be viewed in some other context. For the team's millions of fans and customers, who represent one of America's most ethnically and geographically diverse fan bases, the name is a unifying force that stands for strength, courage, pride and respect."

That was then.

Yesterday he appeared to backpedal.

"I know the team name is part of their history and tradition, and that's something that's important to the Redskins fans," he said. "And I think what we have to do, though, is we have to listen."

Tell that to Redskins owner Dan Snyder.

In May he told USA Today that the Redskins "will never change the name of the team."

Doesn't sound like he's ready to listen anytime soon.

Covert fans

The Seahawks previously announced they would have undercover police officers in the stands this season to control unruly fans. Now comes news that on Sunday night against the visiting 49ers, those cops will be wearing the jerseys, and other apparel, of the opposing teams.

That might work in Seattle, but in Philly there'd be Cowboys-clad cops fighting for their lives.