Head Coach Ron Rivera Apologizes Mid-Sentence For Saying ‘I Was A Redskin Fan’ Live On-Air


Timothy Frudd Contributor
Font Size:

The Washington Commanders head coach apologized mid-sentence Wednesday after saying the team’s former name Washington Redskins in an interview on CBS Mornings.

When asked what the team’s new name means to him and the controversy surrounding the team’s name change, coach Ron Rivera stated, “Well, you know, initially I was one of those people that because I grew up back in the day when being known as the Washington Redskins was, you know, what everybody knew.”

Rivera added, “I was a Redskin fan, and I apologize for saying it.”


After apologizing for saying the team’s former name, Rivera shifted gears toward the team’s new name, saying, “When we started talking about the Commanders, my first thought was about leaders.” (RELATED: Washington Football Team Officially Announces Its Changing Name To The Commanders)

The Commanders’ coach claimed the name is in response to a lack of leadership in the world. “In today’s world, we seem to have a lack of true leadership, and we need people to step forward and lead this country and really help to take us in the right direction,” Rivera said.

“I think it’s greater than just a name of a football team as much as it’s really just something that we have to look and say, ‘You know, it’s an opportunity for us to take charge, take command and go forward,” Rivera concluded.

Rivera is not the first coach to try to avoid saying the name Redskins on television. Hall of Fame coach Tony Dungy previously said, “When I’m on the air, I try to just refer to them as Washington.”

“You can say, ‘this has been a historic name and we’ve used it for this team for X number of years, but in this day and age, it’s offensive to some people, so we’re going to change it.’ I don’t think that’s hard,” Dungy said before the team changed their name.

After changing their name to the Washington Football Team in July 2020, the organization has attempted to maintain political correctness by abandoning all displays of their former team name. The organization banned fans from wearing “Native American” headdresses and face paint in the stadium in 2021. A letter sent to fans read, “Native American inspired ceremonial headdresses or face paint may no longer be worn into the stadium.”

Washington’s new name, the Washington Commanders, has already been met with pushback from fans despite the team finally choosing a name other than the Washington Football Team.