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Column: Football coordinator doesn't mind 'Redskins' name

"It figures a guy called “Chief” would be in charge, and coordinator John Chavis definitely sets the tone for Louisiana State’s defense. The nickname stuck because of Chavis’s Native American heritage — but it’s fitting for other reasons.

The leader of one of the nation’s strongest defenses, Chavis is among the best in his line of work, and he has been for a long time as an assistant at two successful programs in the second-to-none Southeastern Conference. Chavis has played a part in some of college football’s biggest moments the past 20 years, and he’ll be at it again Saturday night as Alabama, No. 2 in the Bowl Championship Series standings, hosts top-ranked LSU.

Although many Native Americans are displeased that Washington’s NFL franchise continues to call itself the Redskins, Chavis said he is not offended.

“And I know this would probably be maybe a little bit offensive to someone who saw it differently, but to me, I think it pays respect,” Chavis said. “I don’t think it’s any disrespect at all. When a team or an organization chooses that as a mascot, in my opinion, they’re not belittling anyone. To be honest with you, I think it’s a quite an honor.”

That’s Chavis’s straightforward view. And it’s fine with him if others disagree. He’s not the type to simply follow the majority — he’s busy leading."

Get the Story:
Jason Reid: LSU coordinator John Chavis is chief reason for Tigers’ defensive resurgence (The Washington Post 11/4)

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