NFL great and former Washington "Redskins" player Champ Bailey is the latest voice to come out against the caustic team name. Bailey even likened it to the N-word.
“When you hear a Native American say that ‘Redskins’ is degrading, it’s almost like the N-word for a black person,” Bailey said according to USA TODAY Sports. “If they feel that way, then it’s not right. They are part of this country. It’s degrading to a certain race. Does it make sense to have the name?”
Bailey, who played his first five seasons with the Washington team then was later traded to the Denver Broncos, said that he admires the team, but it’s time to “make a change.”
“I don’t know where the name came from or how it came about, but the bottom line is that it’s still here in this day and age, and it makes no sense to have it,” Bailey said to USA Today. “I love that organization, but when it starts peeling off old scabs and people are pitching a fit about it because it’s degrading to them, then you’ve got to make a change.”
USA TODAY Sports asked Bailey if he could imagine an NFL team existing with a name for an African-American slur, to which Bailey replied, “It would be out of here.”
Bailey said that Snyder’s dogged position not to change the name is making it more difficult for everyone. “I get it, he doesn’t want to change it,” Bailey said. “But he’s making it worse than it should be.”
Bailey lamented that a team he admires would keep such a racist team name. “They don’t represent anything that name stands for,” he said. “It’s a bad reflection of what they really stand for. It’s a bad name.”
USA TODAY Sports then asked Bailey what would happen if the team did, in fact, change its name. “I don’t think much would change, as far as the branding and all of that. [The team] is still going to be beloved in that city. That’s just the way it is.”