Washington Redskins claim Native American support in name debate

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The Washington Redskins have received over 7,000 letters voicing their support for their 'Redskins' nickname, they revealed today.

In recent months the NFL franchise has been involved in a vocal debate concerning their longstanding name, with opposition claiming it has racist undertones.

And the press release from the Redskins comes after a recent letter from two Congress members to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell in which they urge the league to change the name of the Washington Franchise.

The letters included were written in response to owner Dan Snyder's open letter of late 2013, in which the billionaire expressed his desire to keep the 'Redskins' epithet.

And the team are presumably hoping to show that they have the backing of the Native American community, highlighting that some 200 of the letters were from self-identified Native Americans.

Extracts included:

"As a SKINS fan since mid-60's and an American Indian descendent I am very proud of the name and our fight song. I do not find them offensive or derogatory,"

- Arthur Dymond, Algonquin

"As a family who is part Cherokee and Blackfoot, we wholly support the Washington Redskins. IT is the name and portrayal of the Native Americans who have been through so much over the decades, we not only feel it would be wrong to change the name of the team, but would also be doing a disservice a well."

- Elizabeth and Adam Bradshaw, Cherokee and Blackfoot

The debate has been rumbling for several months, and intensified recently when longtime advocate for change Ray Halbritter spoke with United Nations officials to discuss viable routes for opposition.

Seven of the letters received were from Native Americans who shared their concerns with the teams nickname.

What do you think? Should the Redskins drop their nickname?

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