PORT TOWNSEND - For the past 88 years, one name in one town has stayed the same.
On Thursday night, if you looked around Port Townsend's high school gymnasium, you couldn't avoid it.
The word hung from the rafters, on the backs of players, and on the red and white cushions around the building. Several miles away, at the offices of the Jamestown S'Klallam tribe, Liz Mueller could only shake her head.
"No doubt in my mind it's a slur. I can't think of any other nationality that they use that skin name," said the Vice Chair of the Tribe. "The connotation of what a redskin is comes from the bounty of a redskin to be paid. It's not, not a good feeling."
Port Townsend's mascot has been a part of history, just like it has been with Washington D.C.'s NFL team. And like it, there has been a reluctance to change it.
Washington's owner Daniel Synder recently said he planned on keeping it, despite numerous objections, because of history and tradition. It's prompted even President Obama to weigh in, and suggest it was time for an alteration.
"I think it would be a healthy process for them, let's put it that way," said Port Townsend Superintendent David Engle, who said when he took over the job a couple years ago, he asked "Why do we kind of choose to be at war with ourselves" about the school mascot, "It was recurring overtime and becoming more and more divisive."
He and school board commissioned a study of the word, and the public sentiment for it.
Some locals found it was a "source of pride, school spirit, and tradition" according to a committee report. Yet, it also found "many students, past and present are uncomfortable with the mascot" and "people outside the Port Townsend community definitely see [it] as racist".
The district committee also cited trends, and how the Washington State Board of Education and the Superintendent of Public Instruction recommended the use of the term to be discontinued in 2012, and Oregon's Board of Education prohibited all Oregon public schools from using Native American names.
The committee urged the district to retire the name, and the board followed suit 5-0. Engle set a timetable to phase it out by June of 2014.
"It's fair for people to retire the [mascot] with some sense of dignity," said Engle.
Mueller says team names like the Braves, Indians, and Chiefs aren't as offensive as this one, but "you'd don't need to use the tomahawk chop."
She believes the NFL moniker, whether it be in DC or in Port Townsend, can't be phased out soon enough.
"It's time, it's not appropriate, we know it's a racial slur. It's time to let it go."