The executive director of the NFL Players Association said Thursday that the Washington Redskins name conveys “racial insensitivity,” while the team launched a social-media effort aimed at rallying support behind the franchise, per the Washington Times.
NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith made a statement to The Post in response to a letter sent by Native American groups to all NFL players this week, urging them to support a name change for the ‘skins.
Smith didn’t say he’s pledging any action by the players or the union, saying his conversations on the matter with the team and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell should remain secret.
“I have conveyed my thoughts on this issue both to Roger and to the team,” Smith said in the statement. “They understand our position and I believe that those conversations are most effective when they can remain private. As I have stated publicly, though, I do not believe anyone should inflict pain, embarrass or insult, especially given the racial insensitivity of the term ‘Redskin.’
“As you know, I grew up here and like all Washingtonians I became a fan of this team,” the statement continued. “The beauty of sports and of the Washington football franchise is that it will always have the ability to bring this community together, regardless of what decision is made about the team name.”
The NFL is getting lots of pressure to take action against the Redskins much like the NBA is coming down hard on Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling.