When asked about the propriety of the Washington NFL team using the name Redskins, Roger Goodell said, “If one person is offended, we have to listen.” Baloney.
Goodell didn’t listen to Catholics when we pressed him not to invite the pop star Madonna to perform at Super Bowl XLVI in 2012; she has a history of vulgar anti-Catholic statements and acts. I wrote to Goodell on October 11, 2011, when it was rumored Madonna might be invited, but before the formal invitation was extended. He never replied. (It should be noted that the NFL disinvited ‘N Sync’s JC Chasez in 2004 over concerns he might use sexual lyrics while performing.)
What is most troubling about Goodell is his willingness to listen to elites, not the people. In the circles he runs in, no doubt his Catholic friends are not offended by Madonna. But millions of others are.
The same is true with the Redskins issue. To be sure, when Native American activists and leaders are asked about Indian mascot names, they object. But they are not representative of the people. In a survey of Native Americans conducted by Sports Illustrated, 83 percent said teams should not stop using Indian nicknames, mascots, characters and symbols.
Millions of Catholics are offended by Madonna. Moreover, real Indians like Indian mascot names. Goodell is thus twice wrong.