NFL official Adolpho Birch: 'Washington Redskins name not a slur'

Washington Redskins Executive Vice President and General Manager Bruce Allen speaks as Jay Gruden is introduced as the new head coach of the Washington Redskins at a press conference at Redskins Park on January 9, 2014
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NFL senior vice president of labour policy and government affairs Adolpho Birch does not believe that the Washington Redskins' name is a racial slur.

NFL senior vice president of labour policy and government affairs Adolpho Birch has expressed his belief that the Washington Redskins' name is "not a slur".

The Redskins have come under growing pressure to change their name after claims that it is offensive to Native Americans, although the franchise has consistently refuted the accusations.

Birch does not believe that the name constitutes a racial slur, but also stressed that it was not a matter of deciding simply whether it is offensive or not.

"The team name is not a slur. The team name is the team name as it has been for 80-plus years," Birch told ESPN.

"And what we need to do is get beyond sort of understanding this as a point-blank situation and understand it more as a variety of perspectives that all need to be addressed, that all need to be given some weight, so that at the end of it we can come to some understanding that is appropriate and reflects the opinions of all.

"I think that is part of the issue with the question is that it is constantly being sort of put into a point-blank, yes-or-no, yes-or-no kind of context when that's not the reality of the situation that we're dealing with."

Redskins general manager Bruce Allen recently responded to the latest calls for a name change with a letter to Senator Harry Reid.

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