Appearing earlier today on ESPN’s “Outside The Lines” to discuss the Washington nickname flap, NFL senior vice president of labor policy and government affairs Adolpho Birch (above) was asked by Andy Katz if “Redskins” constituted a racial slur. USA Today’s Erik Brady recaps the comedic highights that followed :

“The team name is not a slur,” Birch said. “The team name is the team name, as it has been for 80-plus years.”

The Nation’s Dave Zirin, appearing on the broadcast, said that’s like saying an orange is not a fruit. Oneida Nation spokesman Joel Barkin offered a similar simile.

“That’s like saying the planet is not getting warmer,” Barkin told USA TODAY Sports. “The NFL is getting to be like the climate deniers.”