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Bruce Allen: No plans to change Redskins’ name

Redskins GM Bruce Allen with owner Daniel Snyder on the sideline before a game against the Vikings Oct. 14 (Ray Saunders/The Washington Post)
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Redskins General Manager Bruce Allen said Thursday that the team has no plans to change its name despite ongoing controversy and a recent spike in debate about whether it is offensive to Native Americans.

Speaking to reporters in Richmond after the groundbreaking ceremony for the team’s new training camp site, Allen said the Redskins do not see any reason to change the name.

“We’re not a new franchise. We’re 81 years old. … There’s nothing that we feel is offensive, and we’re proud of our history,” Allen said, according to 106.7 The Fan’s Grant Paulsen.

He added, “It’s ludicrous to think that in any way we’re trying to upset anybody.”

Speakers at a recent forum at the National Museum of the American Indian condemned the name and demanded it be changed. Washington Mayor Vincent Gray also has raised the issue and three Washington Post columnists criticized the name in recent weeks.

On their Web site this week, the Redskins referred to a number of high schools that use  “Redskins” as their team name and interviewed one school official about the name. But Allen’s response on Thursday was the most recent by a team official.

Allen also said that quarterback Robert Griffin III continues to make progress in his rehabilitation from reconstructive knee surgery. The team is hopeful that Griffin can return by the start of the season, but will let doctors decide, he told reporters.

Allen also said that field turf is not a possible solution to the sometimes poor condition of the playing surface at FedEx Field. But he acknowledged that the Redskins missed an opportunity to re-sod the field just before their Week 10 bye and would not make that mistake again.