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Roger Goodell dances around Redskins name question


ADVANCE FOR WEEKEND EDITIONS OCT. 12-13 - In this Oct. 2, 2013 photo, students tap to “It’s a Beautiful Day” by Michael Buble as dance teacher Nancy Raddatz leads a dance class in her West St. Paul dance studio in West St. Paul, Minn.. In her 65th year teaching dance, it’s still fun for Raddatz, 77. The tap dancers at the West St. Paul studio named after Raddatz perfectly represent the long span of her career: Five of the nine pupils are grandmothers who began dancing here when they were tots. Some of their children -- and now their grandchildren -- have also danced here. (AP Photo/The St. Paul Pioneer Press, Ginger Pinson) MINNEAPOLIS STAR TRIBUNE OUT


While insisting the league is interested in hearing feedback from those who oppose it, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell gave no indication he didn’t support Redskins owner Dan Snyder’s position on his team’s name.

Goodell was asked Friday if he would “feel comfortable calling an American Indian a Redskin to his or her face?”

He didn’t answer that particular branch of the question, but made it clear in his well-rehearsed talking points he didn’t agree with the critics.

“I’ve been spending the last year talking to many leaders in the Native American community,” Goodell said. “We are listening. This is the name of a football team, a football team that’s had that name for 80 years and presented the name in a way that honors Native Americans. We recognize that there are some that don’t agree with the name, and we listened and respected that.

“If you look at the numbers, including in the Native American community, in a Native American community poll nine out of 10 supported the name. Eight out of 10 Americans in the general population would not like us to change the name. So we’re listening and being respectful for people who disagree, but let’s not forget this is the name of a football team.”

While a respectful answer, it’s ultimately unsatisfying to anyone who disagrees that the term isn’t a slur. Because until the league finds a focus group willing to tell them what Snyder doesn’t want to hear, it’s obvious there’s no pressure coming from their end to make him change it.