Redskins’ Recent Success Dooms Their Name

  • Pistol Peat
A. Messerschmidt/Getty Images

A. Messerschmidt/Getty Images

We’ve heard long time names and mascots abandoned in the past because their name is offensive in today’s culture.  One of the best examples in my opinion would be NBA’s Washington Bullets.  I can’t imagine that team name existing in the world that we live in now.  I can definitely come to good reasons to retire that name.  A much more tricky decision in terms of right or wrong would be the Washington Redskins.  Now, you’d have to attack MLB’s Cleveland Indians as well right?  The Braves too!  What’s the difference between Indians and Redskins?  Is Redskin a derogatory name for an Indian?

The Indians of baseball or not too relevant right now.  For the first time in years, the Washington Redskins are very relevant.  Advancing deep into the playoffs with two rookie sensations at running back and quarterback, the Redskins are very much a household name.  This in turn, leaves them subject to attack on their long-time title.

There have been several attacks on the team’s name, pushing for a change, while there have been many that have defended it.  Washington’s offensive lineman Jordan Black voiced his opinion on the subject via Twitter.

“People are overly sensitive these days…the Redskins should never change their name.”

Black is then criticized a bit as some explain to him how it is offensive, as well as citing some history on the word and it’s origin.

A high school athletic director, George Hemming, serves one of the 70 different high schools in 25 different states that share the name Redskins.  Within a short article on Washington team’s official website, he is quoted, “We are very proud of our athletic teams and very proud to be called Redskins!”  The article is mainly focused on how many organizations share the name ‘Redskins’.

Last Thursday in Washington, a symposium at the Smithsonian on racial stereotypes in sports nicknames focused on the Redskins.  Organizers say the Redskins did not respond to an invitation to participate.

“I can only imagine what it would be like to be at a football game at FedEx Field in a crowd of close to 90,000, all screaming at the top of their lungs, when what they are screaming is a racial slur,” said Judith Bartnoff, a deputy presiding judge in District of Columbia Superior Court.

Suzan Shown Harjo, president of the Washington-based Morning Star Institute, an advocacy group, points out that there are approximately 900 ‘troublesome’ nicknames and mascots across the country.

“We consider it racial profiling,” former Colorado Sen. Ben Nighthorse Campbell said.  “I think more and more people are recognizing it.”

While the Washington Redskins are up and coming and becoming relevant and widely discussed, their name is at ends with itself.  I’d change the field conditions at FedEx Field first before changing the trademark.


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Sports-Kings Down and Distance Contributor Austin Peat  @PistolPeat187



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