Don't expect any friendly handshakes between the Packers' and Redskins' management when the teams face each other in Week 2 of the NFL season. Packers general manager Mark Murphy became the latest former Redskins player to weigh in on this old team's controversial name in an interview with a local radio station, calling it "derogatory to a lot of people," as reported by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
"When I was the athletic director at Colgate, their nickname was the Red Raiders," Murphy said in an interview on WSSP-AM (1250). "At some point in time, there was an Indian mascot. That went away. They kept the Red Raiders name. We studied it long and hard, got a lot of complaints, particularly from faculty on campus. But eventually changed it to just Raiders.
"I don't know if there is any way you can change Redskins," he added. "The owner, Dan Snyder, has come out very strong that he will never change the name. But I am sensitive. It's a name that's very derogatory to a lot of people."
Murphy, who went on to become the athletic director at Northwestern University after his time at Colgate before heading up the Packers, played defensive back for the 'Skins.
His comments come as Slate, a website owned by the Washington Post Company, announced it would no longer refer to the team as the Redskins.
"Changing how you talk changes how you think," the website's editor David Plotz wrote. "The adoption of the term “African-American" -- replacing "Negro" and "colored" -- in the aftermath of the civil rights movement brought a welcome symmetry with Italian-Americans and Irish-Americans, groups defined by geographic origin rather than by race or color. Replacing "same-sex marriage" with "marriage equality" helped make gay marriage a universal cause rather than a special pleading. If Slate can do a small part to change the way people talk about the team, that will be enough."