Push to change Washington Redskins' name echoes in North Texas

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by REBECCA LOPEZ

Bio | Email | Follow: @rlopezwfaa

WFAA

Posted on October 9, 2013 at 5:41 PM

Updated Wednesday, Oct 9 at 8:20 PM

DALLAS –– On Sunday, Robert Griffin III and his Washington Redskins teammates will face the Cowboys at AT&T Stadium. But it’s not the game that’s getting mentioned in the press and among fans; it’s the name of his team.

“It’s hurtful,” said Norma Westfall, a Native American.

Westfall and many others are fighting to once and for all change the name of Washington's team,  which is found by many to be insensitive. 

“It’s offensive, it is absolutely 100 percent offensive,” said Tosawi Pena, head of the Dallas branch of the Native American Chamber of Commerce.

The push isn’t coming just from Dallas. Native American groups across the country have joined together to try and convince Washington owner Dan Snyder to change the name. 

“If it was any other race on the planet, we wouldn’t even be having this conversation,” Pena said. 

The issue’s become so widespread that President Barack Obama has weighed in on it, telling the Associated Press: “I don’t know whether our attachment to a particular name should override the real legitimate concerns that people have about these things.” 

During his weekly radio show on 105.3 The Fan, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said he doesn’t think the Redskins name was initially meant to be offensive, but times have changed. 

“I am very sensitive, and we should always listen to those that you feel you are being insensitive,” Jones said. “That’s real and that's valid, and it should always be looked at."

Snyder said he’s not making any changes, despite the push for him to do so. 

“They are bullying us. They are saying, 'If you don’t like what we are doing, it’s your problem, not ours,'” Pena said. “No, that is not correct.” 

E-mail rlopez@wfaa.com

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