Goshen reacts to D.C. Redskins' name controversy - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

Goshen reacts to D.C. Redskins' name controversy

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Will the Goshen Redskins change their name? Will the Goshen Redskins change their name?
GOSHEN -

Wednesday, the US Patent and Trademark Office revoked six trademarks held by Washington D.C.'s Redskins. They called the name "disparaging" to Native Americans.

DC isn't the only one with that team name, though. At least four Indiana schools, one of which is Goshen High School, also call themselves the Redskins. Will there be any change for these schools in light of D.C.'s trademark cancellation?

Cynthia Padgett is an employee of Goshen Community Schools and a member of the Grand River Band of Ottawa Indians. She says she's a proud Goshen Redskin.

"If they use instruments that we find-like the tomahawk, like the 'peace pipes'. Those kinds of things are ceremonial. Those do mean something to us. So as long as those are not being used in a disrespectful way I don't see that there's really a problem," Padgett said.

She also says she doesn't understand why people are offended by the name.

"In a way we should be proud that they are remembering us and naming a team or whatever-your school, your mascot-after a Native American Tribe," Padgett said.

She's certainly not alone. In fact, all of the Goshen residents we spoke with said they feel the high school should keep its name.

"I grew up as a Redskin and played soccer at the high school and I don't see why it's a big problem," said Gabriella Garcia.

Garcia says the name change debate came up a lot during her senior year at Goshen High.

"Nothing ever got done, so..." she said.

Padgett says she's okay with that.

"As a Native American, I'm really not offended that Goshen has taken the term Redskin," Padgett said.

Some others do find it offensive, though. This includes the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians. They sent us a statement today saying,

"Native American names and images in sports are a concern to many Pokagons, but issues like fighting diabetes, providing safe and affordable housing, and getting a good education are our most pressing topics. Our main focus is helping our people lead better lives. The R-word crosses a line for us. In September 2013 our Tribal Council passed a resolution supporting the efforts of U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell and Representatives Tom Cole (Chickasaw) and Betty McCollum to change the name of the Washington NFL team."

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