Champ Bailey Says “Redskins” Is Just As Degrading As The N-Word And The Team Name Should Be Changed

Posted by | June 11, 2014 .

Champ Bailey



Champ Bailey told USA TODAY Sports on Tuesday that the racial insensitivity of the name is enough to warrant it being changed.

“When you hear a Native American say that ‘Redskins’ is degrading, it’s almost like the N-word for a black person,” Bailey told USA TODAY Sports’ Jarrett Bell. “If they feel that way, then it’s not right. They are part of this country. It’s degrading to a certain race. Does it make sense to have the name?”

Bailey joins London Fletcher, Tre Johnson, Jason Taylor, Art Monk and Darrell Green, among former and current players, to speak out against Washington’s team name recently.

A first-round draft pick by Washington in 1999 who was traded to the Broncos in 2004, Bailey has been selected to 12 Pro Bowls in his career and is one of the biggest names in the game to publicly oppose the Redskins’ name.

“I get it, he doesn’t want to change it,” Bailey said of Washington owner Daniel Snyder. “But he’s making it worse than it should be.”’

Bailey said the team’s name is “a bad reflection” of what Washington’s franchise stands for and that he doesn’t think much would change with fans’ loyalty and the team’s branding if they were to change it.

The Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation, opponents of Washington’s team name, ran a one-minute ad Tuesday during Game 3 of the NBA Finals between the Spurs and Heat as part of the Change the Mascot campaign.

Snyder and his team, meanwhile, reportedly hired a lobbying firm to lead “discussions of team origins, history and traditions,” and last year used former political consultant Lanny Davis to fight back against the criticism.

In May, 50 U.S. senators, including majority leader Harry Reid, wrote a letter to NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, asking him to follow the NBA’s action with Donald Sterling and “send the same clear message … that racism and bigotry have no place in professional sports.”

The NFL has yet to do anything about Washington’s name, beyond issuing a written statement that said: “The NFL has long demonstrated a commitment to progressive leadership on issues of diversity and inclusion, both on and off the field. The intent of the team’s name has always been to present a strong, positive and respectful image. The name is not used by the team or the NFL in any other context, though we respect those that view it differently.”

Snyder, however, has long held that his team will never change its name.

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