Washington Football Executive Gave Presentations on Why Team Name Was 'Appropriate': Former Player

Chris Lingebach
July 22, 2020 - 8:24 am

These have been strange times in Washington as the Redskins conduct their search for a new team name.

That we've even reached this point is peculiar in and of itself, as Redskins owner Dan Snyder was notoriously adamant against changing the name, for decades.

Which makes this story from former Redskins tight end Logan Paulsen all the more interesting. Paulsen, who played for Washington from 2010 to 2014, says former team president Bruce Allen would make an annual appointment to inform the team's players about why the name 'Redskins' was acceptable.

"I think it was kind of inevitable given the current political climate, the current social climate, and I just think it's the right thing," Paulsen said of the team changing its name during an interview Tuesday with 106.7 The Fan's Grant Paulsen and Danny Rouhier.

"At the time when you were playing, you'd get Bruce Allen coming in and he'd give you a presentation about how the Native American tribes, 95 percent of them support the name, and you'd always felt like he was trying to sell you something there," Logan Paulsen said. "And I think deep down we all kind of knew that it wasn't necessarily the kindest terminology when referring to an ethnic minority group, and I think it's about time."

Logan Paulsen says every year, Allen would call a meeting that usually included a PowerPoint presentation with various talking points about the name, sometimes with Snyder in attendance.

"Every year, so I think it was my second year to my fifth year, we had a meeting, and you'd always know it was the name meeting because Bruce would be in there, and Bruce was always really good about not being in (Mike Shanahan's) meetings and not being in (Jay Gruden's) meetings too much."

"And occasionally Dan (Snyder) would be in there," Paulsen went on . "And he'd sit in the front row, and then Bruce would get up there and kind of have a quick PowerPoint presentation going over a couple slides about some data they'd accrued and the team's policy and message about the name.

"And you kind of always left the meeting going, like, 'Okay, I guess I can support that, if that data's true.' And then every year they did that, and that's kind of something I remember very vividly about my time here in Washington, was the necessity to kind of convince the players that the name was appropriate."

"Did that ever strike you as really strange?" Rouhier asked. "The need to do that, to give the same presentation over and over? The Tennessee Titans aren't doing that."

"It was strange at the time, but you know, I think it kind of fit with the political noise around the team name at the time," Logan Paulsen replied. "Like every offseason there would be some type of protest, or some type of request or petition to get the team name changed.

"And so Bruce's response to the players – and you know, obviously in support of Dan – I think it was appropriate at the time just to kind of be like, 'Hey, this is our policy. This is why it's okay to support the team.'"

"And I didn't really think too much about it because that was like the last thing I was worried about, because I was so concerned about having a job in about four weeks," he said. "But I thought it just kind reflected the time period and the political discourse about the name at the time."

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