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Roger Goodell doesn’t anticipate Redskins changing name

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell on Tuesday indicated he cannot envision a scenario where Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder will change the team’s nickname.

The Redskins’ controversial team name has once again became a matter of great interest in light of the announcement Monday that MLB’s Cleveland Indians would cease using Chief Wahoo as a symbol in its team branding beginning in 2019.

Goodell, speaking on ESPN Radio’s “Golic & Wingo” program, made note of how Snyder has steadfastly refused to even consider changing the team’s name. And Goodell cannot see Snyder reversing course anytime soon.

“I don’t see him changing that perspective,” Goodell said of Snyder.

Unlike MLB commissioner Rob Manfred, who assumed a prominent role in ushering in the Indians’ removal of Chief Wahoo as a symbol, Goodell does not appear interested in coercing Snyder to change the team’s name. In fact, Goodell mentioned that Synder has attempted to foster an environment for dialogue concerning the issue.

“The interesting thing is that Dan Snyder has really worked in the Native American community to understand better their perspective,” Goodell said. “And it’s reflected mostly in a Washington Post poll that came out [in May 2016] that said nine out of 10 Native Americans do not take that in a negative fashion, the Redskins’ logo or the Redskins’ name, and they support it.”

As an ESPN report notes, a poll conducted by The Washington Post in 2016 found that of 504 Native Americans asked, 10 percent deemed the name as offensive. A similar poll 10 years earlier yielded similar results.

Snyder, instead of caving to mounting pressure over the years, seems to get more and more emboldened whenever the Redskins’ name becomes a matter of debate or stirs controversy. To say having Goodell as an ally on the issue is extremely beneficial to Snyder cannot be overstated.