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Keith Olbermann, Chris Cooley Debate Redskins Name

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Credit: Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

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WASHINGTON (CBSDC) - Retired Redskins tight end Chris Cooley was on ESPN with Keith Olbermann, when he was asked to give his thoughts on his former team’s controversial nickname.

From ESPN’s “Keith Olbermann”:

“We have had a stance on this show that the Washington team needs to change the name,” Olbermann said. “And will change the name. I know you’re affiliated with them. Do you have thoughts that are independent of the team?”

“It think it’s really hard for someone like you or I to say,” Cooley said. “I’m a regular Caucasian-American who doesn’t have a good idea of what it means to be called names. I can’t say exactly how those people feel, but what I can say is, that the Redskins have done a body of research and determined that there are a lot of Native Americans who are really proud of this name.

“Currently there’s over 60 high schools who still represent the name ‘Redskins.’ These people are very proud of it. Bruce Allen traveled through reservation to reservation, Bobby Beathard traveled through different reservations, and they established the fact that Native Americans are proud of this name. Now for me it’s not to say if it’s right or wrong, but until it’s determined that this one set of people have decided on what is right or wrong, I support the name ‘Redskins’ because I believe it’s honoring what they represent.”

“Okay, well I boxed myself into a corner because I don’t have any time to go further on it with you,” Olbermann said. “But I’ll just summarize my opinion with ‘I disagree with you on this entirely,’ but that’s cool.”

That was Tuesday. Since, an anti-Redskins advertisement has been released, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has come out in defense of the name — saying it’s been presented in a way that honors Native Americans — a position which an Oneida Indian Nation representative has since denounced.

And Olbermann has continued getting squeezed for room to speak.

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