The Washington Post

Mike Holmgren says Redskins ‘absolutely’ should change their name

(Gregory Shamus / Getty) (Gregory Shamus / Getty)

Mike Holmgren became the latest NFL A-lister to say the Redskins should reconsider their name, telling a Seattle radio station that the team “absolutely” should make a change.

This happened during a wide-ranging interview with Sports Radio KJR, in which the longtime league executive and former Super Bowl-winning coach offered some serious thoughts about the Jim Irsay situation.

“Maybe I should ask you what you think of the Redskins controversy next,” host Dave Mahler quipped.

“Well you know what, I think they’ve got to change the name,” Holmgren said, and he wasn’t kidding around.

“Really?” Mahler asked.

“Oh yeah,” Holmgren said.

“You think they should change the name of the Redskins?” Mahler asked.

“Absolutely,” Holmgren said. “Because of what it signifies and what it means to so many people. I’m not talking football fans; I’m talking about Native Americans and all that. Yeah. Just change the name. Big deal. Change the name.”

“Have you always thought this, or is it maybe just recently that you kind of came to that conclusion, that opinion?” Mahler asked.

“No, I think I’ve always felt that way,” Holmgren said. “You know, I’m an old history teacher. And I think if you read enough of that stuff and you see how people were treated, I think it’s the right thing to do. Now, apparently 50 Senators also agree with me.”

“Does that pressure mean more to [Roger] Goodell?” Mahler asked. “Because we’ve heard other politicians over the years come out and complain about the Redskins name, but does it get to a point for Goodell where the heat is just so hot that he has no choice but to do something?”

“No, I don’t think from Senators, no,” Holmgren said. “No. Now from other owners, perhaps. The people that pay his salary. From a personal level, he might feel a certain way; I don’t’ know that. But I don’t think he feels that heat at all. I think the only kind of heat that comes from any of that stuff is once in a while [when] people talk about anti-trust. But again, the NFL has [defended] itself many many times along those lines. So no, I don’t think he feels it at all.”

Holmgren joins a list of people like London Fletcher, Jason Taylor, and John McCain who have questioned the name in recent weeks.

Dan Steinberg writes about all things D.C. sports at the D.C. Sports Bog.



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