NEW YORK, Jan. 31 (UPI) -- During a press conference on Friday, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said that nine out of 10 Native Americans support the name of the Washington Redskins, and that the controversial nickname “honors Native Americans.”
Goodell has said in the past that he will not force Washington owner Daniel Snyder to change his team’s name. “This is the name of a football team … [and it has been] presented in a way that honors Native Americans,” Goodell said.
After 10 members of Congress asked Goodell to force Snyder’s hand, the commissioner defended the Redskins' name in a letter.
“The Washington Redskins name has … from its origin represented a positive meaning distinct from any disparagement that could be viewed in some other context,” Goodell wrote. “For the team’s million of fans and customers, who represent one of America’s most ethnically and geographically diverse fan bases, the name is a unifying force that stands for strength, courage, pride and respect.”
Also during the press conference, Goodell reiterated that although he was open to the possibility of medicinal marijuana being used to assist injured NFL players, there is still not enough evidence to warrant a change in the league’s drug policy.
“We are not actively considering that at this point and time,” Goodell said. “But if it does down the road some time, that’s something we would never take off the table if we could benefit our players at the end of the day. … I don’t see any change in the near future.”
The commissioner revealed that he is not above the policy despite his lofty position.
“I am randomly tested [for marijuana],” he said, “and I am happy to say that I am clean.”