NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell softened his stance on the Redskins name on Wednesday when he said that the NFL had to listen to concerns about the team’s nickname even if only one person is concerned about it.
In an interview on 106.7 The Fan in Washington, Goodell, who grew up in the region as a Baltimore Colts and then Redskins fan, said, “I think what we have to do though is we have to listen.”
“If one person is offended, we have to listen,” he said.
Goodell’s remarks come after Sports Illustrated’s Rep. Peter King (R-NY)’s website decided to refer to the team as the Washington football team. Earlier in the year, in response to 10 members of Congress who wrote him demanding action, Goodell defended the name. Redskins owner Dan Snyder has said he will “NEVER” change the team name and does not intend to sell the franchise.
“Ultimately it is Dan’s decision,” Goodell said of a possible name change. “But it’s something that I want all of us to go out and make sure we’re listening to our fans, listening to people of a different view, and making sure that we continue to do what’s right to make sure that team represents the strong tradition and history that it has for so many years.”
ProFootballTalk believes Goodell’s softer stance on the issue leaves “the door open for action if/when the opposition to the name reaches national critical mass. He senses that the day is coming; the only question is whether it happens before or after he retires from the job he already has held for seven years.”