Champ Bailey: Time for a change

METAIRIE, La. -- New Orleans Saints cornerback Champ Bailey, who began his career with the Washington Redskins, said he thinks the organization should change its nickname because many Native Americans feel it's degrading.

Bailey was first asked about the subject by USA Today on Tuesday, and he reiterated his thoughts on Wednesday.

"When you hear a Native American say that 'Redskins' is degrading, it's almost like the N-word for a black person," Bailey told USA Today. "If they feel that way, then it's not right. They are part of this country. It's degrading to a certain race. Does it make sense to have the name?

"I don't know where the name came from or how it came about, but the bottom line is that it's still here in this day and age, and it makes no sense to have it. I love that organization, but when it starts peeling off old scabs and people are pitching a fit about it because it's degrading to them, then you've got to make a change."

Bailey, who entered the NFL in the same year (1999) that Dan Snyder took over as the Redskins' owner, told USA Today, "I get it, he doesn't want to change it. But he's making it worse than it should be."

As the USA Today article pointed out, Bailey -- a 12-time Pro Bowler and future Hall of Famer -- is one of the most prominent players to take a stand on the controversial issue.

When asked further about his comments Wednesday, Bailey said he was just responding to the question and that it's not a subject that he personally has been campaigning against. But, Bailey stressed, "I don't condone any kind of discrimination or racism or anything."

"I spent some time there, and you know, I don't know anybody in that organization that feels like that organization is purposely hurting anybody. But there are people that have feelings toward it, obviously. And a lot of members of our government speaking out about it," Bailey said. "And it's one of those things that people need to hear both sides -- the people that don't like it and the people that don't mind it that are Native Americans."