Catholic League to NFL Commissioner: ‘Baloney’

By James Beattie | September 12, 2013 | 6:18 PM EDT

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. (AP Photo/LM Otero, File)

( -- Catholic League President Bill Donohue said that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell’s concerns regarding the sensitivity of the Washington Redskins’ name is “baloney.”

During a 106.7 The Fan in Washington radio interview on Wednesday, Goodell was asked about the Redskins’ name controversy and he said, “If one person is offended, we have to listen.”

In a statement released on Thursday, Donohue called Goodell’s comment “baloney,” adding that “Goddell didn’t listen to Catholics when we pressed him not to invite the pop star Madonna to perform at Super Bowl XLVI in 2012; she has a history of vulgar anti-Catholic statements and acts.”

Donahue further said that he “wrote to Goodell on October 11, 2011, when it was rumored Madonna might be invited, but before the formal invitation was extended. He never replied.”

Madonna performs during halftime and the 2012 NFL Super Bowl game. (AP)

“What is most troubling about Goodell is his willingness to listen to elites, not the people,” said Donohue.  “ In the circles he runs in, no doubt his Catholic friends are not offended by Madonna.  But millions of others are.”

He continued,  “The same is true with the Redskins issue.  To be sure, when Native American activists and leaders are asked about Indian mascot names, they object. But they are not representative of the people. In a survey of Native Americans conducted by Sports Illustrated, 83 percent said teams should not stop using Indian nicknames, mascots, characters, and symbols. Millions of Catholics are offended by Madonna. Moreover, real Indians like Indian mascot names. Goodell is thus twice wrong.”

The team has been called the “Redskins” since July 8, 1933 when they were originally in Boston and were at the time called  “The Braves.” Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder said earlier this year that the team will “never change the name.”

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