Another week, another cry that the Washington Redskins name is offensive. This time around it’s another United States government official, Attorney General Eric Holder.
Holder spoke with ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday and agreed that the name is “offensive and should be changed”.
“I’m going to speak very personally now,” Holder said when asked about the name controversy. “The name ought to be changed. It’s an offensive name. The Redskins, that organization is a great one. It’s a team with a storied history that has huge amounts of support in Washington, D.C., and in the 21st century they could increase their fan base, increase their level of support, if they did something that from my perspective that is so obviously right.”
The line of people opposing the name continues to grow while Redskins owner Daniel Snyder defiantly stands in front of them with his arms tightly crossed over his chest and his chin held high. Snyder has repeatedly said that there is no way he will change the teams name and until the NFL starts to put pressure on him to do so, they haven’t yet, he will not cave.
Over the last year and a half, the charge against the Washington Redskins has become a full blown verbal war that has been led by the Oneida Indian Nation. The U.S. Patent Office rejected the trademark last month and the Redskins have since filed an appeal.
The Redskins are not the only target of the Oneida Indian Nation, just the one they are loudly opposing. The OIN has also contacted the Cleveland Indians about changing their name and their logo, Chief Wahoo, as well as contacting the Kansas City Chiefs about their team name although I have to imagine there is nothing offensive about an arrowhead.
Whatever eventually happens with the Redskins name will have a ripple effect on team sports at every level. College teams are likely looking at the NFL’s Redskins to see how this progresses, high schools whose teams are named after Native Americans and their heritage are also keeping an eye on the process.