MEDIA WATCHDOG: “Redskins”, an Embarrassment That Must Go

Redskins name change

Years from now we’ll look back on the Washington Redskins name and wonder how we ever let it stick around so long. It’s an embarrassing, racial slur that should have been changed a long time ago. Our kids and grandkids will laugh at us for ever even thinking it was acceptable.

Don’t give me your crap about “tradition” and “franchise history” for keeping the name. You know what else was traditional at one time in our culture? Slavery and not allowing women basic human rights. The only reason more people aren’t outraged by the slur “Redskins” is because they have become accustomed to it. When you switch out that slander with something similar for another race or ethnicity then you understand just how outrageous it truly is.

The only thing that could possibly be more embarrassing than the insulting “Redskins” is the team’s handling of the controversy. Dan Snyder has dug his heels in the ground and is doing everything in his power to stand tall for what he believes to be a perfectly acceptable team name. Snyder’s management of this increasingly hostile situation has made his franchise look even worse than it already does for having a name that demeans an entire culture of people.

On Thursday, the Washington Professional Football Franchise shared a recent study conducted by the national polling firm Public Policy Polling that revealed that 71 percent of Americans do not support the Redskins changing their name.

“This poll, along with the poll taken among Native Americans by the Annenberg Institute, demonstrates continued, widespread and deep opposition to the Redskins changing our name. The results of this poll are solidly in line with the message we have heard from fans and Native Americans for months – our name represents a tradition, passion and heritage that honors Native Americans. We respect the point of view of the small number of people who seek a name change, but it is important to recognize very few people agree with the case they are making.

“We are proud of the support our name has across the nation and we will continue to do everything we can to honor the great heritage that our name represents.”

The Florida State Seminoles honor the tradition, passion and heritage of Native Americans by annually crowning a Chief and Princess at their homecoming games. They display the legacy of the Seminole tribe when Osceola rides his horse, Renegade, prior to kickoff. The university and tribe officials have agreed on authentic, dignified traditions at Seminoles games.

What do the “Redskins” do?

Maybe they think their cross dressing pig mascots honor Native Americans sufficiently.

Over the years, the Chicago Blackhawks have similarly come under fire for their nickname, a much less offensive use of a Native American mascot. Still though, using a human being as a character in sport is wrong. The team has never publicly taken a stance on a name change and seems to skate (pardon the bad pun) by the controversy. Had Dan Snyder’s franchise utilized a similar tactic, perhaps they too would keep themselves out of the headlines. They have enough to worry about on the field as it is.

This whole story is a lesson in poor public relations. Take it from the Ravens, a team that convinced its fan base that removing their publicly open training camp to practice behind closed doors at their facility in Owings Mills was a decision made to better the team. It’s all about how you spin it.

As someone that is eager to see the “Redskins” become the “Bravehearts”, or some other name, I hope the franchise in D.C. continues to resist the inevitable. In doing so, the name change will come even more swiftly.

Do you think the Washington Redskins should change their name and mascot?
Yes it is offensive to Native Americans (43%)
No it is a traditional name that means no harm (57%)
This poll has completed. Thank you for voting.

21 Raves on “MEDIA WATCHDOG: “Redskins”, an Embarrassment That Must Go

  1. Nick on said:

    I know our Ravens are at home but lets not take the focus off the team and put it on something that is quite simply so stupid. Media creates these offensive driven notions, media also created the popularity behind the disgusting Cyrus girl, I suppose folks have to eat but this is quite emberassing. If memory serves correctly there have been poles which show Native Americans by large majority just don’t care, to the tune of approximately 90% didn’t care.

  2. chris on said:

    Leave It To The Media To tell Other People What They Should Be Offended By… Instead Of You Know, The People Whom May Or May Not Even Care.

  3. Ravcolt on said:

    So then what happens to the great fight song, “Hail to the Redskins?” Does it become “Hail to the Arrowfeathers?”

  4. Dan on said:

    Mike,
    I know the Ravens are not in the playoffs but seriously isn’t there something better to report on than this useless team. I used to be a Redskin fan, not too people will acknowledge that lol, but Dan Snyder has ruin this team and is losing fan base year after year. I feel if we give in to this sensitive subject now, who knows in the future PETA will start on animal teams. Come on its only a name and in my honest opinion I don’t feel that this is offensive. Stop carrying on this useless topic and report on something better. As you article states 71% of americans don’t support the change and neither does the amount of fans who has NFL supported attire that paid an astronomical amount of money to support their team logo. So let it rest for GOD sake.

    • The Truth on said:

      Dan is right on…..I have some Indian in my family lineage and it don’t offend me at all…
      I don’t have red skin but if I did I would think that I would be proud that a team in the most popular sport on the planet acknowledged it in a good way…..
      This road of super sensitivity can only take you to one destination, Pansy-ism.

      • Dan on said:

        Truth and Goofies is correct with the politcally correct society today United States is preaching.This country keeps electing these Pansy Axx elected officials which is turning this country into a bunch of Pansies. The Redskins have been around since 1932 and no one was affended by the previous name of the Boston Braves but the bottom line here folks it has been around for 7 decades. I served for my country to be able to have the freedoms which you and I have today.The name was no where near durrogatory but the color of their skins. Back then the american people didn’t know what tribes they were from, so to give them a proper title at that time they gave them the title as Redskins. Would I be affended if someone called me Whitey or Irishman or Redcoat or what ever nationallity you come from Hell no. The name is just a name stop going further into it then it needs to. Evan I would like to see how you think that the emblem that has been on the helmuts for the Skins for so long is affeneding you or anyone of the American Indian society. In my opinion it is representing a heritage that use to be here in the United States first, and should never be forgotten what we as americans did to that society who owned most of the land here. Now we have native American Indians who also serve in the US Military as people who also want their Freedoms. So having that emblem on the uniform not only is repecting them, but is symbol to them. Look at it that way instead of going further than it should be.

  5. Reading Comments By Goofies on said:

    I thought this article was a joke at first. I am progressive and think this Politically Correct nonsense is a bunch of BS!
    And the writer is pandering to get people riled up.
    This article should be pulled from this site.
    It has nothing to do with the Ravens, or Football!

  6. Evan on said:

    Nice to see someone in Maryland willing to say something about the Slurs. No one else in the area seems to want to talk about how a sports team representing the US Capitol has a racist name and mascot. If it were any other ethnicity, there’s no way you’d see this level of apathy.

  7. Mac on said:

    I’m not a Native American so I can’t answer this poll. I do, however, work with men and women of Native American ancestry and it would never occur to me to refer to them as “Redskins.” I suspect they would find it offensive; I’ll trust my better judgment on that.

    While I don’t believe Snyder should be “compelled” to change the name of his franchise, I do wonder why he has created such a public relations nightmare by being so vehemently opposed to the idea of it. They’ve changed coaches and QBs often enough and the fan base has been there through it all. Surely a change in the name couldn’t damage the brand anymore than the last two decades of mediocrity on the football field.

    The name doesn’t matter to me… but I can’t conclude that it doesn’t matter.

  8. frank g on said:

    I am a whop and Michael O’Nair is a mick and the Redskins is used as a name for a football team.Sticks and stones will break bones and names will never hurt anyone unless they want it to.Think about that O’Nair and maybe you will start writing about important things like what Congressman get paid by gun lobbyists who allow guns to be sold to anyone.And these guns are used to kill our children in our schools.

  9. Ric B on said:

    Ravens site. I don’t want them talking about us. Name is fine and only thing I support Dan on. Stay strong Dan! Let’s get back to Baltimore news!

  10. Redskins on said:

    Blow it out your butt, Mikey. If most of the Indians support the name, except one or two, then who on Gods green earth is truly being offended here. Why don’t you just go somewhere and whine in a corner like the rest of the minority of people who don’t like it.

  11. Ravenblue on said:

    Anyone who doesn’t believe the Redskins name is meant to disparage Native Americans needs to Google George Preston Marshall. He was the Redskin’s original owner and was a proud racist, to the extent that the Government at the time threatened to end their lease until he stopped refusing to sign black players as he was worried his team would lose appeal in the South. He ended up relenting and drafted Ernie Davis, but he demanded a trade immediately, saying “I won’t play for that S.O.B.”…

    And the article wasn’t comparing the use of the name to slavery, just perspectives that what was once considered acceptable, may not always be.

  12. paulie on said:

    Interesting that all of a sudden Landover is catching all this flack. Is ‘Redskins’ really all that much more offensive than Cleveland ‘Indians’ or Atlanta ‘Braves’? Is outrage selective enough to only be appropriate in season? If the NFL and MLB are unwilling to propose action like the NCAA did, what is the real prospect of change?

  13. Ravenblue on said:

    Paulie,

    I think it’s because “Braves”, “Indians” and similar nicknames are meant as respectful terms, as is Seminole, which is referenced in the article.

    Redskins, well… not so much.

  14. Mike in Grasonville on said:

    If you read history, you will find that certain Indian tribes would cover their faces with red clay prior to battle. They did this to instill fear in their opponents. That is where the name Redskin originated. It has nothing to do with the natural pigmentation of their skin. This is just more PC B.S. from the left, who despise this nation as it was founded, and do everything they can to “transformationally change” the US of A. Hey Michael O’Nair, go get a life pal, and stop bothering people with your nonsense.

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