Tony Dungy, ‘Meet the Press’ on Redskins name

October 7, 2013

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The Redskins were off this weekend, but the name change debate rolled on. And with President Obama weighing in, the debate received a few prominent forums, including an A-1 story in The Post, and lengthy discussions on both NBC’s Meet the Press Sunday morning and NBC’s Football Night in America Sunday evening.

Last thing first: during the network’s pregame show before Sunday night’s 49ers-Texans broadcast, Peter King reported that he was told Daniel Snyder remained “resolute” on the topic, and that “he will not change the name.”

“I’m told there will be no discussion of the team’s name at the ownership meetings, either now or at any point in the future,” Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio added. “If this ever goes down, I’m told to expect Commissioner Roger Goodell and a handful of select owners to approach Daniel Snyder privately.”

“I hope Daniel Snyder does reconsider and change it,” analyst and former Super Bowl-winning coach Tony Dungy said. “The Redskins nickname is offensive to Native Americans. In 2013, we need to get that name changed. … We need to do that. I hope Snyder changes his mind.”

The Meet the Press piece, which came at the end of the program, went over familiar ground, quoting fans on both sides, vocal opponents of the name (like D.C. Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D) and Ray Halbritter of the Oneida Nation) and a vocal supporter in former Redskins center Jeff Bostic. Since it was the closing segment of the show, host Savannah Guthrie then turned to her panel for a “lightning round” discussion.

“Steve Inskeep, change the name or keep it?” she asked the NPR host.

“Well, I think that you want something really scary as a football team name, so the Washington Debt Limits would be a much better thing to do,” Inskeep joked.

“Way to tie it all together,” Guthrie said. “Mike Murphy?” she said, asking the GOP strategist.

“Well, what’s next, the Minnesota Nonviolent Vikings?” he cracked. “Unless we get a casino [in] trade, I say balderdash.

“I think if you change it, you ruin the parallelism of the Cowboys/Redskin rivalry, and you can’t lose that,” National Review’s Rich Lowry said.

U.S. Representative Marcia Fudge (D-Ohio) ended the discussion by advocating a name change.

Dan Steinberg writes about all things DC sports at the DC Sports Bog.
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Dan Steinberg | October 4, 2013