Dan Snyder: 'Washington Redskins name is badge of honour'

Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder walks the sidelines prior to the start of a preseason game against the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium on August 25, 2011
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Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder believes that the term 'Redskins' is a "badge of honour" and is not offensive in any way.

Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder has insisted that the name of the franchise is a "badge of honour" rather than an offensive term.

A growing number of people, including US President Barack Obama, have voiced their desire to see the 'Redskins' tag dropped from the team's name as they believe that it is offensive to Native Americans.

However, Snyder has remained firm in his defence of the name and reiterated his stance that it is something to be proud of in a letter sent out to season-ticket holders.

"The name was never a label. It was, and continues to be, a badge of honour. I've listened carefully to the commentary and perspectives on all sides, and I respect the feelings of those who are offended by the team name. But I hope such individuals also try to respect what the name means, not only for all of us in the extended Washington Redskins family, but among Native Americans too," Snyder wrote.

"Washington Redskins is more than a name we have called our football team for over eight decades. It is a symbol of everything we stand for: strength, courage, pride, and respect - the same values we know guide Native Americans and which are embedded throughout their rich history as the original Americans. When I consider the Washington Redskins name, I think of what it stands for. I think of the Washington Redskins traditions and pride I want to share with my three children, just as my father shared with me - and just as you have shared with your family and friends.

"I respect the opinions of those who disagree. I want them to know that I do hear them, and I will continue to listen and learn. But we cannot ignore our 81-year history, or the strong feelings of most of our fans as well as Native Americans throughout the country. After 81 years, the team name 'Redskins' continues to hold the memories and meaning of where we came from, who we are, and who we want to be in the years to come. We are Redskins Nation and we owe it to our fans and coaches and players, past and present, to preserve that heritage."

On the field, the Redskins have made a 1-3 start to the season and face the Dallas Cowboys in their next NFL match on Sunday.

Robert Griffin III #10 of the Washington Redskins runs the ball against the Seattle Seahawks during the NFC Wild Card Playoff Game at FedExField on January 6, 2013
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