RICHMOND | Washington Redskins general manager Bruce Allen on Thursday cited the team’s history and benign intent in defending its nickname against claims it is racially offensive.
“I’m proud to be the general manager of the Washington Redskins,” Allen said. “We represent an iconic sports franchise that’s 81 years old, that involves millions of fans worldwide, that has thousands of alumni. It’s ludicrous to think in any way that we’re trying to upset anybody.”
The team is not considering changing its nickname, Allen said.
“There’s nothing that we feel that is offensive, and we’re proud of our history,” Allen said. “To suggest that players and coaches and fans are thinking any other way, it doesn’t make sense.”
The long-running controversy surrounding the nickname recently resurfaced as a topic of media coverage and commentary ahead of a hearing next month in the latest lawsuit to strip federal trademark protection from the name.
Several Native American groups, including the National Congress of American Indians, recently intensified their public criticism of the nickname.
Allen said that in the early 1970s, the president of the NCAI, in conjunction with members of the Red Cloud Athletic Fund, requested the team change it’s logo to the current American Indian head from the “R” that was featured on the team’s helmets.
Allen addressed reporters at the groundbreaking ceremony for the team’s new training camp facility in Richmond.