Hey, Broadcast Chiefs: Time To Tackle Redskins’ Racist Mascot Problem

Washington Redskins name change

TV networks need to take the lead in nickname scrum

What’s wrong with this sports picture?

Perhaps the most overdue demonstration of one scintilla of the testosterone that drives the multibillion dollar sports broadcasting industry is for one leading figure from CBS, ESPN, Fox, NBC et al to stand up to the dude who owns the Washington Redskins and say, “We think your refusal to change the name of your franchise stinks.”

Perhaps that could be phrased in a slightly less contentious, confrontational manner, but hey, this is the big-time macho, masculine world of concussions, blown knees and lots of violent felony convictions.

Could the television, radio and online folks making billions off all of the crashing and banging on field demonstrate that they have one tiny gonad between all of them?

Or do the riches they make off the NFL render them as impotent as a pep squad full of castratos?

Consider that the Washington Bullets changed their name because frankly, there are enough real bullets in Washington, D.C. to warrant a little sensitivity, which is all that is being asked of billionaire franchise owner Daniel Marc Snyder.

Since it doesn’t seem likely that anyone is launching a sports franchise named the Whiteys, Rednecks, Blackfaces, Yellowskins, Brownbacks, it raises the question as to why Mr. Snyder is sticking to his guns and continues to shoot down any effort by Native Americans, especially the Oneida tribe, who simply would like a little of what Otis and Aretha sang about decades ago.

How about a little respect?

I get the feeling that until someone more powerful than Snyder throws a flag – or better yet – sacks his arrogant tush – he’ll continue to insult the original Americans every time his team takes the field.

Meanwhile, on October 7, at the Ritz-Carlton in Washington, the NFL Fall League Meeting will take place and at the same time, Oneida tribal leader Ray Halbritter, two Congresswomen, educators and psychologists, along with some students whose high schools changed their mascot names, will conduct a symposium to discuss the problem and hopefully draw more attention to Snyder’s refusal to accept that he owns a great sports franchise, not a minstrel show.

And all of us little people can feel better by going to the Oneida’s twitter account for this cause, @ChangeDCMascot to say we’re as disgusted by Snyder’s football-for-a-brain attitude as they are.

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  1. sue says:

    Thru most of American history, the word ‘Redskin’ has been preceded by – “Dirty, Bloodthirsty, Savage, Murderous, Damned” or some other epithet.
    If the New Orleans Saints changed their name to “The New Orleans Pickaninnies” the densest most unfeeling person would recognise the inherent insult in the name.
    Change the name.
    Why insult your own countrymen?
    They deserve better than that.
    It’s called; “Common Decency.”

  2. Why just bitch about the redskins, how bout the Indians ,Blackhawks, braves and Seminoles . A anneberg institute poll with a national sample of natives say 9 out 10 natives were not bothered by the name Washington Redskins. So how bout STFU! Stick to reporting about loser movie stars

    • sue says:

      Thru most of American history, the word ‘Redskin’ has been preceded by – “Dirty, Bloodthirsty, Savage, Murderous, Damned” or some other epithet.
      If the New Orleans Saints changed their name to “The New Orleans Pickaninnies” the densest most unfeeling person would recognise the inherent insult in the name.
      Change the name.
      Why insult your own countrymen?
      They deserve better than that.
      It’s called; “Common Decency.”

  3. Freakspike says:

    Is Pklahoma going to be forced to change its name?
    The word Oklahoma means red people and its origin is from an Indian word that the Choctaws used, with ‘okla’ meaning people and ‘humma’ meaning red. In 1541, the area was named Oklahoma by one of the Spanish explorers.You can find more information here: http://www.statesymbolsusa.org/Oklahoma/Oklahomanameorigin.html

  4. I have lived on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation as a White man. I dare ANYONE to go there and start calling the Oglala Sioux “Redskins” and see what happens. YOU WILL get your ass beat to a pulp as they see the R WORD LIKE THE N WORD and in their minds, that is all that should matter to ANY non-Indian. The “Indians” surveyed are not REAL DEAL…don’t or never have lived on a Reservation which was originally a “internment/concentration camp” for “enemy combatants”. Neither are the “enrolled” or are the “full bloods” or even “half”. In fact they are “trinket Indians” who’s history leading to their “Indian Identity” most of the time is connected to the memory of a grandmother who was a “Cherokee Princes”!

    Here is an article I wrote that more then ANY other, exposes and documents the “historical context” from which the word REDSKIN originated! http://richardboydenreport.wordpress.com/2013/02/15/genocidal-history-of-washington-redskins-name/

    • Dennis says:

      I dare a Northerner to go South and call a southerner a Yankee and see what happens… that doesn’t mean that the New York Yankees should have to change their offensive name!

  5. Enrique says:

    I’m half Native American half Spanish. I used to live in the US and one of the American custom I became fond of is football and the values it portrays and exerts. The fact that an Indian represents these values means that being American is not a question of race. I do not find the name to be pejorative. On the contrary, I consider the name has acquired an inclusive iconic meaning. Specially since the first black QB to win a championship accomplished it with that team. There are more important issues Americans have to tackle than a sport’s team name.

  6. Victor says:

    I’m Native American and the name is racist. It’s disgusting that we’re still debating this issue in the 21st Century. I’ll tell you what…. you want to honor someone? Honor yourself. I even picked a name for your stupid team: The Courageous Caucasians. I think it has a nice ring to it.

  7. Ken Puck says:

    I have just one request. Everybody connected with this story, please go stand in the middle lane of the 1-495 beltway, I-10, the LIE outbound, or the Eisenhower Expressway at exactly 5:00: p.m. Thank you.

  8. kern says:

    Get a life. I’m jealous. Could we persuade a team to call itself the Maccabees? Or the Mogen Davids? …the Hebrews? Oy veh, stop with those who would use bogus issues to control the national debate.

  9. GetOverIt says:

    Sorry author, you’re in a very small minority on this one. Please ask your editors to find you something better to write about than dredging up a very old issue that frankly hasn’t been an issue in a long time.

  10. Shawn says:

    With the current ineptitude in dc at this time do you honestly feel the the name “redskins” is the story you should be perseuing?? Which is more distasteful that this is your main issue currently or that a franchise which has done nothing to negatively affect a segment of indigenous people, not the majority I might add, with a name which has been in place for a longer period of time than most Americans have been alive and which was used by tribal elders of the period to describe thier people. Or the tolerance of our great nations leaders to run our ENTIRE population in to economic ruin to get more from thier party elected? Be damed what is best for the nation. That does not resonate with my political views. Shame on all of you. Grow some and focus on real issues.

    • Frank W says:

      Shawn, I am certainly glad you’re bringing up the Republican reelection plans in your article. yes, they are bringing the country to ruin and make me ashamed of being a lifelong repub.

  11. Donna Ekstrom says:

    My grandfather was Cherokee, I was raised around Indian culture and next to the Tulalip Tribes reservation. I take no offense to the name. I root for the Redskins and would rather believe that instead of mocking our ancestors and our culture, that they are honoring them as strong, brave, warriors on the battlefield.

    • Frank W says:

      Donna, my Uncle told my sister we are 1/8th Cherokee. Though he was a teller of tall tales, there are old photos of our great grandfathers that show a distinct Native American origin.

      I feel the same about the name. Any team that was named after the old names attributed to Native Americans were certainly not done for ridicule but for their strength.

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