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Hail to the Redskins!

There is a growing movement to change the Washington Redskins’ name because it is offensive to some Native Americans. The President even weighed in on the controversy this week saying if he was the owner of the Washington Redskins, and he knew the name was “offending a sizable group of people,” then he would “think about changing it.”

Some politicians have called for a name change, including U.S. Rep. Betty McCollum, D-Minn., who said the league and team are “promoting a racial slur.” Sports columnist Peter King, along with several other football writers, have decided to avoid using the “Redskins” name altogether, and this week opponents of the name held a protest outside the NFL’s fall meetings in the nation’s capital.

Maybe it’s just me, but I think changing the name of the Washington Redskins is misguided and unnecessary. What about the Kansas City Chiefs, Chicago Blackhawks, Cleveland Indians and Atlanta Braves? Are we going to change their names as well?

Pittsburgh has the Pirates. Don’t pirates hijack ships and attack people? I guess we should throw their name out too!

Various people have argued if a segment of Native Americans feel it’s a derogatory name then why use it?

I say use it because the name “Washington Redskins” is 80 years old — it has history, legacy and tradition. Plus, I think many would agree that Redskins fans sing “Hail to the Redskins” every Sunday as an expression of honor, not disparagement.

With the controversy making headlines again, the NFL has agreed to meet with the Oneida Indian Nation to discuss the issue next month. Oneida representative Ray Halbritter said: “It is hypocritical to say you’re America’s pastime but not represent the ideals of America.”

With all due respect Mr. Halbritter, I think you’re fighting a losing battle. The name change is ultimately up to Redskins owner Dan Snyder who has repeatedly said changing the name is NEVER going to happen.

I don’t think it should happen, but that’s just me.