Zac Boyer will be entering his third season covering the Washington Redskins for The Free Lance-Star this fall. Make sure to follow Zac on Twitter (@ZacBoyer) for the latest updates or e-mail him with any questions at email@example.com.
Native American QB Sam Bradford willing to play for “Redskins”
Sam Bradford, the University of Oklahoma quarterback who is part Cherokee Indian, will be drafted with one of the first 10 picks in April–as long as his surgically repaired right shoulder is healthy–and many draft analysts believe he’ll end up with the Redskins.
Bradford said today at the NFL scouting combine that he has no problem with that, despite how offensive some Native Americans consider the "Redskins" nickname to be.
It would be an interesting match, considering that Bradford is one-sixteenth Native American. One American Indian group appealed to the Supreme Court last year to have the team’s trademarks invalidated, but the court declined to take up the case.
Things could become awkward for Bradford if the Redskins draft him because he’s viewed as a role model by many Native Americans. That status increased dramatically in 2008 when he became the first Native American to win the Heisman Trophy.
I asked Bradford this afternoon at the combine what problems he might face if the Redskins drafted him, and he declined to address the issue, which is consistent with how he’s responded to similar questions in recent weeks.
"That’s not something I have to worry about right now," he said. "If that’s something I have to face later on down the road, I will."
I followed up by asking whether he would consider asking the Redskins not to draft him. He laughed it off and said, "Uh, no."
The question drew a bunch of laughs from reporters, too. I guess there weren’t many Native Americans in the bunch.
If Bradford considered the nickname to be particularly offensive, it’s hard to imagine that he’d be willing to play for the Redskins. But this issue is about more than just him–and it’s not going away anytime soon.