Marv Levy, who served as head coach of the NFL's Kansas City Chiefs and Buffalo Bills, taking the latter to four consecutive Super Bowls, spoke to Syracuse.com reporter Sean Kirst about the Redskins' team name.
Levy said that he "didn't believe when the nickname was given it was meant to be derogatory," but added that "it's a crude word to define a Native American, and I would think if Native Americans feel offended, it would make sense to change it."
Levy had been contacted by Kirst for a comment on the recent disagreement between Redskins owner Dan Snyder and officials from the Red Cloud Indian School on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. In a letter to Redskins season ticket holders that was published by the Washington Post, Snyder claimed that the school essentially endorsed the name and logo of the Washington team. "In 1971, our legendary coach, the late 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," Snyder wrote.
The president and vice president of the school replied with a letter, also published in the Washington post, that stated "Red Cloud Indian School was not involved in conversations around an emblem for the Washington Redskins football team." The letter continues, "as an organization, Red Cloud Indian School has never—and will never—endorse the use of the name 'Redskins.' Like many Native American organizations across the country, members of our staff and extended community find the name offensive."