Mark Schlereth is now paid to say the word “football” forty times a minute as a football analyst for football coverage on ESPN, but once upon a time he played football, and played it well, as a member of the Washington Redskins. Recently, Schlereth added his name to the ever-growing list of former Redskins players who have gone on record saying that the team should end the endless controversy and change its nickname to something less offensive to Native Americans.
“There’s no question, if you research the history of that name, it’s a pejorative term and it needs to change,” Schlereth told ABC’s This Week (via The Washington Post). “I mean, you would never go into a conference of Native American people and walk up in front of them and refer to them as Redskins. It is a derogatory term, that’s its origins, and it is time to be a leader, from the standpoint of the NFL. High school across America have changed their names. The NCAA has implemented policy to change those names. Why has the NFL shuffled its feet on this? I don’t know, but it’s time to change.”
Dan Snyder and the Redskins organization remain defiant in the face of such calls to change the nickname, which many people believe is highly insensitive if not downright degrading. Recently, 50 US Senators signed a letter asking the Redskins to ditch the nickname, but even that is probably not going to sway Snyder.
The only people in America who seem to love that nickname are Dan Snyder, people paid by Dan Snyder to think whatever he tells them to think, and millions of Redskins fans who can’t be reasoned with because they’re Redskins fans.