New Orleans Saints cornerback Champ Bailey, whom the Redskins selected in the first round of the 1999 NFL draft, had some strong words on Tuesday when asked if his former team should change its name.
“When you hear a Native American say that ‘Redskins’ is degrading, it’s almost like the N-word for a black person,” Bailey said, via 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?”
The team name has received heavy criticism from all angles in recent months, but a rebuke from a respected NFL veteran like Bailey, who played five seasons in Washington, carries especially heavy weight.
“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 added. “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.”
Bailey also had words for Snyder, whose stubborn refusal to budge on the issue has rankled many.
“I get it, he doesn’t want to change it,” Bailey said. “But he’s making it worse than it should be.”
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