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WASHINGTON (AP) — Mark Moseley has been associated with the Washington Redskins for some four decades as a league MVP kicker, member of a Super Bowl-winning team and general ambassador in his work with the franchise's alumni association. He's seen the debate over the team's nickname come and go since the 1970s, usually as a flash-in-the-pan topic that disappears after a day or so.
This time is different. The campaign to ditch "Redskins" by those who consider it a racial slur has reached unprecedented momentum over the last 18 months. "We all thought it would just go away," Moseley said. "Because it is such a ridiculous subject."
Moseley concedes that the debate shows no signs of abating, and he's recently become more active in supporting team owner Dan Snyder's quest to keep the name. Both sides are digging in, the words are getting nastier, and there's no real possibility of compromise: Either the name stays or it goes.
Theories abound as to why Snyder is on the defensive like never before.
"Politicians," said Joe Theismann, Washington's Super Bowl-winning quarterback in the 1982 season and another supporter of the name. "It's an election year."
Possible Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has called it "insensitive." Fifty Democratic senators equated the name to "racism and bigotry." Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley, who is mulling a run for president, said it is "probably time" for the name to change. President Barack Obama said he would "think about changing" the name if he owned the team.