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Debate over Washington Redskins name heats up

Monday, October 07, 2013 - 01:25

Oct. 7 - A Native American group wants the NFL to change the team's name because they say it's offensive. Jillian Kitchener reports.

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We've known them as the "Washington Redskins" for 80 years. But that name is now at the center of a heated debate. (SOUNDBITE)(English) LEADER OF THE ONEIDA INDIAN NATION, RAY HALBRITTER, SAYING: "Washington's team name is a painful epithet used against my people…Indian people, when we're held at gun point and thrown off our lands." Speaking at a news conference in Washington, D.C., the leader of the Oneida Indian Nation is initiating an effort along with some U.S. lawmakers to change the name because they say it's racially offensive. Even President Obama jumped into the dispute on Saturday, saying if he owned the team and it was offending a large group of people, he would consider changing the name. (SOUNDBITE)(English) LEADER OF THE ONEIDA INDIAN NATION, RAY HALBRITTER, SAYING: "Isn't that the real issue? No matter what the history of to something is, if it's offending people, then it's time to change it, and this is a great time to do it." But the attorney for the Redskins says the name is part of their history, legacy and tradition. And it's not intended to offend any one group. This fan agrees. (SOUNDBITE)(English) REDSKINS FAN, BECKETT EISENREICH, SAYING: "I think I'd like to have them take a look at the history and see how the logos' been used. And how the franchise has been supportive of the community and just understand that it has never been used in an offensive way." The debate's sparking protests on any given Sunday. (SOUNDBITE)(English) PACKERS FAN TOM SCHNEIDER, SAYING: "I think if people want to protest then they're going to protest. And it will keep going on until they change the name… and I don't think they will." It's a controversy that doesn't appear any closer to a resolution for the Redskins, or those who want to do away with the name.

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Debate over Washington Redskins name heats up

Monday, October 07, 2013 - 01:25