The Washington Redskins have been in the news for months due to what many people consider a racist team name.
Daniel Snyder, the team’s owner, has said that he does not plan on changing the team’s name.
“We’ll never change the name,” Snyder said in an interview with USA Today. “It’s that simple. NEVER — you can use caps.”
The controversy has grown so large, that even United States Senators are petitioning Snyder to make a change.
“Today, we urge you and the National Football League to send the same clear message the NBA did: that racism and bigotry have no place in professional sports,” wrote the senators in a signed letter. “It’s time for the NFL to endorse a name change.”
With all of this back and forth, it is important that we understand the history of the Redskins and their inability to change with society.
From 1933 to 1946, the NFL was segregated, and no black players where in the league.
In 1946, Kenny Washington and Woody Strode began the reintegration process that quickly spread across the NFL, except for the Washington Redskins.
By 1952, every NFL team, except Washington had a black team member.
It took an additional 10 years and urging from the President of the United States for the team to finally make the right move and sign Ernie Davis.
What does all of this mean?
This means that change is inevitable for the Redskins, but it just will not happen when the rest of society is changing.
Snyder will continue to run the franchise as he pleases, but with time, and maybe more urging from the United States Government, Snyder will realize that he needs to change the name to avoid controversy.
I personally do not find the name offensive, but the fact that it causes this much contention means that something needs to be done.
I see a bright future for the organization in Washington, and a name change will make that future even brighter.
Down and Distance Contributor AJ Rupp @ajrupp