The moniker "Redskins" has brought great controversy to the Washington Redskins organization.
On one hand, you have gentle suggestions for change from President Obama. On the other, you have rival owner of the Dallas Cowboys Jerry Jones claiming that the team name is "complimentary." Dan Snyder, the owner of the team, has gone as far as saying that it is a "badge of honor" to be called the Redskins.
All I'm left to say is, "Are you kidding me?"
It's the worst racial slur to be used for a professional sports team, ever. It invokes the horrible, historically disgusting way that the Native American people were treated when the Europeans invaded the New World.
Snyder is steadfast in his resolve not to change the name of his team. It's easy to understand why: The Washington franchise has 81 years of history, and a brand that was forged over that time frame would be difficult to recreate.
Just ask how well the Charlotte Bobcats and New Orleans Pelicans of the NBA are catching on with fans.
But does 81 years of sports history compare to a slur that has existed since 1775? Are we sure we're OK with this?
The fact that I'm allowed to type "redskin" without it being bleeped out is astounding.
Native American groups have petitioned for so long to get rid of the name, and the insane amount of litigation that has gone into getting the name removed is unbelievable.
For example, in a 2006 lawsuit, the plaintiffs (Blackhorse) opposed the Redskins franchise, knowing that although they could not force a name change, they could try and get the board to revoke the trademark to the Redskins name. The ensuing financial loss would hopefully encourage the franchise to decide the name was not worth the loss of revenue.
If Dan Snyder wants to have all the benefits of his team representing "strength, courage, pride and respect," he could choose something like the "Warriors." He could keep the team logo and still represent the values that came with being called the "Redskins."
You can represent those things without offending an entire group of people. How people have only started to care about this issue now is beyond me.
Change the name of the team, Snyder.
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