Washington Redskins officials are responding to suggestions that they should change their mascot and are using a central Ohio high school as its defense.
In Coshocton, football is more than a game.
“We have a really nice tradition of football pride here,” said Gayle Dickerson of Coshocton.
The community also has pride in its Native American roots.
“It is a unique name if you look Coshocton up,” said Kevin Jones.
Representatives from Coshocton City Schools said that the Redskin mascot represents the district’s pride for Native Americans.
But the NFL’s Washington Redskins are using the Coshocton Redskins to respond to critics who say the name “Redskins” is offensive.
“That would definitely surprise me, I guess,” Jones said. “Most people don’t know about Coshocton, Ohio.”
The Washington Redskins do, though. On the team’s official website, they highlight a few high schools that currently use “Redskins” as a moniker.
The piece, “We are proud to be called Redskins,” prominently features a quote from Coshocton High School Athletic Director George Hemming.
He says, “We are very proud of our athletic teams and very proud to be called Redskins!”
Dickerson said she was surprised the NFL would use Coshocton as an example.
Some said they thought the high-profile mention from the NFL was a good thing.
“It is good for the professional team and the small town of Coshocton,” said Justin Altizer.
Most, including Coshocton City schools, said they would rather the Washington Redskins deal with its public relations issue without them.
A spokesperson for the Munsee Delaware Indian Nation out of Cambridge Ohio said Native Americans have tried in the past to change the name and was glad to see the issue was being discussed again.
Watch 10TV News and refresh 10TV.com for more information.