This has always been a debate that blows my mind. It is blatant racism and for some reason most people have no moral dilemma with it. This kind of name or representation would NEVER be accepted for any other ethnic/cultural group, but for some reason, Native American's are seen as some cruel exception to the rule. Natives have been treated like garbage throughout out most of Western history and this is just an extension of this same horrendous treatment.
I have had conversations with some pretty level-headed people; people I consider to be my close friends and family and have never heard an ignorant comment from them except when it comes to this topic. The whole argument that the name is built into the brand and is part of the team seems to be what they fall back on. That point, in my opinion, is total b*llshit (excuse my language, but it is the only way I can think to describe it). If a sports team's name included the N word or any other derogatory term towards a race, even if the team was created back when these terms were acceptable (which most of them were), I would bet a lot of money that it would have been changed a long time ago. Racism is usually not tolerated, as seen recently with the Clipper's owners extremely offensive remarks and his following banning from the NBA. Why aren't Native Americans treated with the same dignity? To me it is kind of like saying, "We don't allow black people to be put down, or any other minority, but when it comes to Native Americans, it is all in good fun so it doesn't really matter. You don't really matter". This is extremely problematic and I am so frustrated that people do not see it this way.
The whole idea that Native Americans aren't really that offend to me seems a bit sketchy. If it is not that big of a deal, then why has there been a constant movement against the name? Maybe some people aren't offended by it, but some certainly are, so shouldn't their opinions count as well?
I come from a town that has three pretty big reserves in the surrounding area and I would NEVER refer to my Native friends as "redskins", so it makes me pretty uncomfortable to see that term glamorized and plastered all over a football field or a sports network. The term was, at one time, used to degrade Native Americans and though people may not use it in that way now, that does not change the terrible history behind the word. A team called the "Washington Redskins" is just acceptable racism in my opinion and it is pretty disgusting.
If a person doesn't identify with a term, then you don't refer to them using that term. End of discussion.