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The National Football League has spoken: It doesn’t consider the racial slur used by our local football team as its name to be racist.
“The Washington [Pigskins] name has thus from its origin represented a positive meaning distinct from any disparagement that could be viewed in some other context,” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell wrote to 10 members of Congress who have asked the league and team owner Dan Snyder to change its name. (Indian Country Today first reported Goodell’s response, and Deadspin noted it today, too.)
Exactly what “other context” Goodell was referring to, his letter didn’t say, though we could take a guess. He did include some transcripts of interviews with some Native Americans who don’t consider the name offensive in his response.
Meanwhile, someone—possibly the Pigskins—has hired Republican pollster Frank Luntz to conduct a focus group tomorrow on the name and management of the team. One question on a Web survey intended to find possible respondents is: “In a word or phrase, please describe the ownership of the [Pigskins].”
If you’re attending the focus group and need some background on the team’s ownership, this might help.
Read Goodell’s letter, via Deadspin, after the jump.
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Illustration by Carey Jordan