Tony Dungy weighs in on debate to change Redskins’ team name
As players throughout the league continue to stand in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement, social issues are now at the forefront of the discussion heading into the 2020 NFL season. This has resulted in the attention being turned once again to the Washington Redskins and their offensive team name.
Hall of Fame coach Tony Dungy is among those that have chosen to stop using the team name during broadcasts due to its racist nature. A
According to William C. Rhoden of The Undefeated, Dungy feels it should be changed altogether:
“It’s not hard to change the name,” Dungy said. “When I’m on the air, I try to just refer to them as Washington. I think it’s appropriate. If the team doesn’t want to change, the least I can do is try not to use it.”
Dungy added that should not be difficult to stop using the Redskins’ name since it’s one that the Native American community has deemed to be offensive:
“You can say, ‘This has been a historic name and we’ve used it for this team for X number of years, but in this day and age, it’s offensive to some people, so we’re going to change it.’ I don’t think that’s hard.”
The NFL has changed its tune regarding player protests by encouraging players to use their platform to raise awareness on racial injustice. If the league was genuine in its efforts to usher in change alongside their players, then changing the Redskins’ name should be a priority as opposed to another hurdle.
Team owner Dan Snyder has made it clear where he stands regarding their 87-year history with the team name. Of course, it is this very kind of systemic racism that players are fighting to change.
Dungy’s comments indicate that perhaps it is time that the NFL holds teams and their owners to the same standards.