During an interview on Thursday, Washington Redskins corner DeAngelo Hall briefly addressed the controversy surrounding the team’s name.
When asked if there should be a name change, he responded with, “They probably should. But, they won’t. They won’t for a while, at least.”
On Friday, he clarified those remarks to the Washington Post. Hall explained that he was caught off guard, and admitted not fully comprehending sensitivities of the issue, because he isn’t Native American.
“I was definitely surprised and thought I answered it as best I could. I guess, going back reading it, I didn’t see the exact extent of it and if I said that through the course of the interview.
“Back in the day, people dropped the N-word just like they were saying, ‘Hey, bro.’ Now, it means a whole heck of a lot for us,” Hall said. “Is this the same thing? I’m not Native American. I have some in my background – my granddad was part – but I can’t claim to understand where they’re coming from or their viewpoint, so for me to say what’s right or wrong or what should be changed is out of my pay grade.
He told the paper how he grew up being a fan, so he would hate to see the name erased. However, if the majority of a population is upset by something, good business sense would be to change it.
“So, it’s not my team, as far as owning the team to make a change. That burden falls on Dan Snyder and the rest of the ownership committee. But, to just totally X-out the past of what the Redskins mean? I grew up a huge Redskins fan. Being from Virginia Beach, that’s all I knew: Darrell Green, Dexter Manley and all those other guys, Joe Theismann. I don’t want to take anything away from those guys or the history of what they mean to myself and the National Football League.
“But, I wasn’t saying, ‘Hey, let’s go change the name.’ I just mean that at some point, if it’s upsetting people to the extent that they’re in the majority, then, being a smart businessman, it’ll probably get addressed through the proper channels … So, for me to comment on something that I have no real knowledge of, or doesn’t really affect me as far as the negativity of the phrase, I’d be doing myself, and Native Americans all over, an injustice to really speak on it.”
Ultimately, Hall is proud to honor the Redskins.
“I was just trying to say that, ‘Hey, things 50 years ago are not what they are now. Will it change? Who knows.’ But, I love the name. I love the name. I have a Redskins head tat on my leg. Me growing up a Redskins fan and having an opportunity to play for them was the best honor I could have.”
Hall offered a refreshingly honest, and well thought out, take on the entire name saga. He spoke to the parts of the issue he understands, and didn’t profess to be an expert. While his segment on Thursday was filled with fun quips, Hall’s expounding on Friday was much more enlightening.