The following is a statement by the Washington Redskins in response to the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights:
"The Washington Redskins hold these civil rights leaders in high regard, but we respectfully believe they are mischaracterizing decades of honor and respect toward America's Indian heritage that our name represents for generations of Redskin fans and Native Americans alike.
We understand these leaders hold their views deeply, but so do hundreds and hundreds of Native Americans who have written to us expressing an opposite point of view.
'I am 100% Native American from the Tsimshian Tribe [Alaska]. I back the REDSKINS with all my heart, soul and body... I as a Native American have never had any issues with the name. I have always believed that the Native Americans have lacked any sense of placement in the USA. But the Washington Redskins gives us so much happiness and pride and loyalty to our past.'
- Janine Palma VanDenBerg
'As a LOYAL REDSKINS FAN for over 22 years, and as a NATIVE AMERICAN, I don't find the name offensive, I would find it offensive if you changed the name, you would be wiping out MY history.'
- Patricia Felt (Iroquois Tribe)
We believe it is important to listen to and respect all sides on this issue, and that includes also listening to and learning from Native Americans and countless Redskin fans who, for generations, believe our name represents the strength, character and pride of our Indian heritage."