WASHINGTON – Heads of the Washington Redskins and the NFL should listen to those offended by the team’s controversial name, according to a former Redskins player and current president and CEO of the Green Bay Packers.
“That’s a decision that ultimately I think it’s got to be [owner] Dan Snyder and the commissioner. You probably saw the commissioner did make some comments about how if it is offensive to people he thinks that we need to listen, so I would echo what the commissioner said,” Murphy said.
Murphy has some experience when it comes to dealing with controversial team names. He served as athletic director at Colgate University when its athletic teams were called the “Red Raiders.”
The nickname originally was related to the football team’s maroon uniforms, but later was associated with Native American caricatures and mascots.
The school moved away from the Native American references in the 1970s, and shortened the team name to “Raiders” in 2001. Murphy was the school’s AD from 1992 to 2003.
Murphy also is aware of protests planned at Green Bay’s Lambeau Field after reports that some Native Americans plan to demonstrate during the game because they consider “redskins” a derogatory term.
The Redskins will play the Packers at 1 p.m. Sunday.