Churches propose a boycott of Washington Redskins
Over the past twelve months, the Washington Redskins have faced scrutiny over the idea of changing their name to something deemed less offensive. The pressure to change the name became intense enough that team owner Daniel Snyder wrote an open letter in October to fans about why the team will not change the team’s name. This week, the Redskins are facing more scrutiny, this time from a religious group.
On Sunday, the board of directors of the Central Atlantic Conference of the United Church of Christ unanimously passed a boycott resolution asking their 22,000 members to boycott the Redskins.
According to the Washington Post, “The board, mostly laypeople, proposed that the 22,000 members of the liberal denomination “join a boycott of games played by the Washington National League Football team and not wear, display or purchase any items with the Washington National League Football team logo until the name changes.”
Rev. John R. Deckenback says the team’s name is offensive and that is why they are hoping to enact a name change from the team.
“If you look at the dictionary definition of the present team name, it’s a derogatory term,” said the Rev. John R. Deckenback, the minister who leads the conference. “We’d like the name of the team to be changed.”
On Monday, the Washington Redskins responded to the United Church of Christ, saying an overwhelming number of Americans, including Native Americans, support the team’s name.
“We respect those who disagree with our team’s name, but we wish the United Church of Christ would listen to the voice of the overwhelming majority of Americans, including Native Americans, who support our name and understand it honors the heritage and tradition of the Native American community,” team spokesman Tony Wyllie told the Washington Post.
It appears as though the controversy over the Redskins name is not going away.
While the Washington Redskins can argue that a majority of Americans agree with their team name, eventually the majority is going to feel that the name is offensive. Team owner Daniel Snyder can fight the name change, but it seems as though it is eventually going to have to happen. Due to increasing pressure from support groups, I could see the Redskins changing their name within the next five years.