- - Monday, November 18, 2013

I’ve been a Washington Redskins fan my entire life. I’ll continue to be a Redskins fan, not a Bravehearts fan or a fan of any other name of a football team from Washington. The memories of going to Redskins games and donning Redskins apparel has been an integral part of my life. It just would not be the same if a rich tradition of history, a team that has had its name since 1933, were to suddenly take on a new identity.

There are those who think the team name is offensive. In a letter that Redskins owner Dan Snyder sent out to season-ticket holders in mid-October, Mr. Snyder reminded fans of the proud tradition of the franchise. He reminded everybody that the name Redskins was never used by the organization as a derogatory term, but rather to honor the bravery and passion of American Indian tribes from years past. He mentioned surveys finding that only a small minority of American Indians find the term offensive. Mr. Snyder also told a story of how former Redskins coach George Allen personally went to an American Indian reservation to get the team’s logo designed.

But people do not pay attention to that. They hear the team name and think it has negative connotations. Those who think the Redskins should keep their name should not be looked down upon. The team name is more of an honor to the brave American Indian tribes of the past than anything negative. If people continue to pressure the NFL to change the name, effectively wiping out years of childhood memories and traditions, do not expect fans to happily move on. We are Redskins fans, not American Indian haters. And I know I will continue to be just that: a Redskins fan.

JACOB RILL
Westminster, Md.