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Bob Costas: 'Redskins' is an insult, slur (Video)

Tuesday - 10/15/2013, 7:26am  ET

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WASHINGTON - The Washington Redskins' nickname was back in the spotlight over the weekend as NBC sportscaster Bob Costas sounded off during halftime of Sunday's game.

Costas used his halftime commentary during the Redskins-Cowboys clash to give his thoughts on the moniker, which he called an "insult."

Costas said that even though polls show Native Americans support the name "Redskins" and there's no reason to believe team owner Dan Snyder wants to disrespect Native Americans, the name should be changed.

He said while other team names like the Chicago Blackhawks and Florida State Seminoles can be "problematic," they can still be OK if the symbols are respectful. He added that "Redskins" differs from other teams that have more positive Native American imagery, like the Atlanta Braves or Kansas City Chiefs.

"But think about the term ‘Redskins' and how it truly differs from all the others. Ask yourself what the equivalent would be if directed toward African-Americans, Hispanics, Asians or members of any other ethnic group. When considered that way, ‘Redskins' can't possibly honor a heritage or a noble character trait nor can it possibly be considered a neutral term," Costas said.

Costas also noted that college teams have changed their names because they drew negative connotations related to Native Americans. One of the teams was Miami University in Ohio, which changed its name from "Redskins" to "RedHawks."

"It's an insult, a slur, no matter how benign the present-day intent," Costas concluded.

Watch Costas' full commentary in the video below:

Costas wasn't the only one who commented on the nickname over the weekend -- NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell weighed in on Snyder's stance on the issue.

Goodell said he believes Snyder is "way down the road" in consideration of whether the team should change its nickname.

Goodell got a question about the latest debate over the name during a question-and-answer session with Dallas season ticket-holders before Sunday night's game.

The commissioner said he knows Snyder "feels strongly" about keeping the name but "wants to do the right thing."

A small group of protesters gathered near the Cowboys' stadium hours before the game.

The Redskins were playing for the first time since President Barack Obama reignited the debate by saying he would "think about changing" it if he were the team's owner.

Also this weekend, ESPN reports the Red Cloud Indian School clarified its involvement in the creation of the Redskins logo and called for changing the name, after Snyder invoked a group with ties to the school in a letter defending the moniker to season ticket-holders.

In his letter, Snyder wrote that former Redskins coach George Allen "consulted with the Red Cloud Athletic Fund located on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota and designed our emblem on the Redskins helmets."

In a letter published in The Washington Post, officials with the Red Cloud Indian School said the fund was a "generous, independent entity that worked to support athletics at Red Cloud Indian School at one time and benefited hundreds of our students."

"However, Red Cloud Indian School was not involved in conversations around an emblem for the Washington Redskins football team," the school's letter reads. "As an organization, Red Cloud Indian School has never — and will never — endorse the use of the name 'Redskins.'"


The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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