Tag Archives: slur

NFL Is On The Wrong Side of History On This One

Lame justifications.

Lame justifications.

Come on Roger Goodell. Don’t be on the wrong side of history.

After receiving a letter from 10 members of Congress on May 13 urging him to remove the “racial, derogatory slur” from the name of one of his league’s marquee franchises, Goodell responded in a letter dated June 5 that was posted online by Indian Country Today Media Network on Tuesday. Goodell defended the moniker by citing the team’s rationale for choosing it in 1933 as well as it’s current meaning among fans.

“The Washington Redskins name has thus from its origin represented a positive meaning distinct from any disparagement that could be viewed in some other context,” Goodell wrote. “For the team’s millions of fans and customers, who represent one of America’s most ethnically and geographically diverse fan bases, the name is a unifying force that stands for strength, courage, pride and respect.”

He and others need to realize that it doesn’t matter what you try to pretty up the slur to mean, it is still a slur. And that it is such a public slur on an ethnic group that has already been horribly treated in this country makes it even worse. Can you imagine a team named with the “n-word”? Well to some native americans this is similar. Seems to me if there is ANY hurt involved in the name why use it? There are so many choices in the world that are harmless and not insulting.

Be not mistaken. This is about money and branding. And the cost involved in having to change the name and all the merchandising. But it would not be unprecedented. In fact another Washington team changed its name. The NBA franchise, The Washington Bullets, in response to concern that the name celebrated gun violence in a city racked with such violence, changed its name to the Washington Wizards. And the world did not end. Maybe some wizards were insulted somewhere. But otherwise, no big deal.

Here is a link to the full article and the great responses to Goodell’s statement.

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Redskins Name An Insult To Native Americans

Why is this ok?

I have been saying for years that Washington, D.C.’s football team needs to change its team macot name, “Redskins,” to something that is not a direct slur for Native Americans. Unfortunately, not enough people get worked up over this slur being used every football game in a public way and over the air. But I am glad to see that a couple of papers have weighed in on the issue. This is from an article from Yahoo Sports:

There’s long been arguments about the political correctness of the Washington Redskins’ nickname — some feel that it is a pejorative term, and many Native Americans find it offensive. The “Redskins” nickname was given to the team in 1933 by then-owner George Preston Marshall, supposedly in recognition of head coach Lone Star Dietz, who may have been part Sioux. That Marshall was a known and avowed racist who greatly opposed the integration of the NFL doesn’t do a lot for the argument that the team’s nickname is an innocent conceit.

According to the article, The Kansas City Star has long since stopped referencing the team’s name in its reports, but now a local D.C. paper has also changed their policy:

The Washington City Paper has decided to use the term “Pigskins” instead of “Redskins” when writing about the home team. The Washington City Paper is an alternative weekly with a circulation estimated in 2009 at 71,000. The new name was decided by a poll of the paper’s readers.

By the way the nickname or mascot name the paper is going with is Pigskins. Aw hell, now there’s something else to complain about. Bad choice. But I do think that is better than the current team’s name.An editor at The Kansas City Star said it best about the craziness of having an NFL team with a name like “Redskins” which was definitely used in a derogatory manner when used back in the day:

…Ifind it inconceivable that the NFL still allows such a patently offensive name and mascot to represent the league in 2012.

I couldn’t agree more.

Here is the full Yahoo Sports story.

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