Who could be offended by the Redskins' name? [Letter]

Being a native Philadelphian and currently a resident of eastern Baltimore County, I am anything but a Redskins fan. However, I cannot understand why anyone would be offended by the team's name ("Redskins name controversy heats up with federal cancellation of trademark," June 18).

In fact, Native Americans should feel proud that a team, especially one based in the nation's capital, would honor the fighting spirit of Native Americans by naming itself after them.

A football team seeks to win every time it takes the field. To that end, a vast amount of effort is expended: recruiting the best players, constant training and practice, forming strategies to counter those of their opponent; in short, fostering a culture among team members that makes them strive to never accept defeat.

What is offensive to me is that our president and half the Senate have called on the Redskins to change their name. The team is a private organization, operating in a nation that holds dear the right of free expression. How dare legislators set themselves up as some sort of "national conscience," as if their letter to the NFL commissioner asking for a Redskins name-change were somehow representative of the will of the people.

Do these elected officials have nothing better to do with their time than seek to change the name of a sports franchise?

And if there are any Native Americans out there who are still offended by the term "redskin," please feel free to call me "paleface" at any time. I'm good with it.

Robert Mills, Baltimore

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