Solution: Just call the team the "Skins."
Each time, the story gains momentum and political correctness advocates emerge, despite current owner Daniel Snyder's emphatic assertion that the team will never change the name.
The foundation of the argument against the continued use of the name "Redskins" is that the term is offensive to some Native Americans.
Within the last weeks, members of Congress have weighed in on this story. In a letter to Snyder, the group asserts, "Native Americans throughout the country consider the 'R-word' a racial, derogatory slur akin to the 'N-word' among African Americans or the 'W-word' among Latinos."
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell felt compelled to defend the name, as reported by ESPN.com, replying in a June 5 letter to the 10 members of Congress. The letter is posted on the Indian Country Today Media Network.
An excerpt from Goodell's letter defended the use of the term and acknowledges fans of the Redskins.
"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."
As the late Rodney King begged during the 1992 Los Angeles riots—"Can we all get along?"
In an interesting June 13 article in Bloomberg Business Week, they asked a top branding company to come up with a new and acceptable name for the team.
Taking into account other names in the NFL "landscape", the group arrived upon several new team names to replace "Redskins" but noted the following:
“Tradition is important, but so is innovation. The team has been known as the Redskins since 1932. A new name can represent a decisive way to leave controversy behind and step into the future.”
Their four suggestions, which also included logos, were the "Rocs", the "Metros", the "Leopards" and the "Skins."
While I like all of their suggestions, I agree with their rationale for the name "Skins." As noted in the article, the "Skins" is a "widely recognized current team nickname. (It has) Possible high acceptance among die-hard fans."
While this will in no way appease either side of the argument completely, it certainly will put the story and surrounding controversy to rest. In addition, team owner Snyder has an enormous financial gain to realize with the marketing of the new trademark, logo and vast merchandising opportunities.
Could this be a breakthrough in this ongoing argument that somehow results in both sides finding a middle ground that results in each agreeing a name change is somewhat a win-win situation?