Bob Costas' Speech Renews Redskins Name Controversy - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Bob Costas' Speech Renews Redskins Name Controversy

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(Photo: MGN) (Photo: MGN)

EDEN, Md.- For Washington Redskins fans across the country, the name is nothing more than a harmless moniker for their favorite team. But once again, the name is in the spotlight after Bob Costas made a public denunciation of the team name during the half-time show for Sunday Night Football. This follows comments from President Barack Obama last week that he would change the name if he were the owner of the team.

Management of the Redskins team has meanwhile vowed to keep the team name, saying that it is a badge of honor for the Native American community. But Costas' rhetoric was more critical.

"Redskins can't possibly honor a heritage or a noble character trait," he said. "Nor can it possibly be determined a neutral term. It's an insult. A slur."

His critical opinion is shared by many Native American groups which have protested the team name for years. In Eden, Norris Howard, who is the paramount chief of the Pocomoke Nation, sits in his backyard, overlooking the beautiful creek that passes his home. He said the name, while innocent seeming has negative consequences.

"It's been around so long that people have gotten so used to the name that they don't pick it up as being anything that would cause other people to be sensitive about it," he said.

But despite this common belief, he said that many do get offended by the name. He understands it isn't meant in a derogatory way, but that it is easily perceived that way.

"If someone directed it in a derogatory way I would be very offended," he said.

Others though such as Jerry O'Neill, said the name shouldn't be a concern.

"I see no absolutely no problem whatsoever with the Redskins," he said. "I think we ought to keep the name."

O'Neill, who is a devoted Redskins fan said that the name is more of a celebration of their long history then a demeaning nickname.

"I would be proud of it I think if I was an American Indian," he said.

Howard said that pride was not a part of it though, and that there was a more negative feeling associated with the name to him.

"I think it's just human nature that nobody likes being characterized in a negative way," he said.

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