ARLINGTON, Tex. – Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones defended Redskins counterpart Daniel Snyder against allegations of insensitivity because of Snyder’s insistence that he will not change the team’s name.
Prior to Sunday night’s game between the Redskins and the Cowboys, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and Jones held a question-and-answer session with fans at AT&T Stadium.
Goodell was asked by a Redskins fan about the name controversy, and the commissioner maintained the same line that he understands how fans feel strongly about the name. He referenced his D.C. roots and recalled singing “Hail to the Redskins” in celebration of the team’s accomplishments.
Goodell added that the league and Redskins officials do need to listen to concerns regarding some groups’ belief that the name is offensive in nature. He expressed confidence that Snyder, who last week issued a letter on the topic to Redskins ticket holders, was taking the concerns seriously.
“We need to listen, we need to engage, and we need to try to understand what it is,” Goodell said. “If it’s an element that’s just trying to create change, that’s one thing. If it’s another that is really insulted, we need to be able to deal with that.”
Jones piped up, coming to Snyder’s defense.
He told the group, “Dan’s a personal friend of mine, and he’s not insensitive, at all. He’s very sensitive,” Jones said. “And he’s weighing the very things that [Goodell] just talked about.
“[Snyder is] weighing the enormous sentiment towards the tradition, the one that says the reason we have them is because we think so much of our team,” Jones continued. “In a way, it’s a badge of honor. And there’s certainly different opinions.”
Jones concluded his statement, saying “It would be a real mistake – a real mistake – to think that Dan, who is Jewish, has a lack of sensitivity regarding somebody’s feelings. I promise you that.”
Have a Redskins question? E-mail Mike Jones at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “Mailbag question” for him to answer it in The Mailbag on Tuesday.
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