Nov 7, 2013; Minneapolis, MN, USA; A Washington Redskins helmet against the Minnesota Vikings at Mall of America Field at H.H.H. Metrodome. The Vikings defeated the Redskins 34-27. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Washington Redskins: Should the name change happen?

We’ve all heard the ongoing controversy with the Washington Redskins’ name (logo included) being offensive to certain parties, and why the name should be changed. We reported to you earlier today that Peter King predicted the name would be a thing of the past by 2016. He’s probably right – and that’s fine; I won’t lose any sleep over it. But, let’s just have some conversation for a minute, shall we?

Just for some general fun: In America, There are 13 high schools with “Redman” as a mascot, 60 with “Redskins” and over 1000 that claim the “Indians” as a mascot. Hell, Agawam high school in Massachusetts nickname is literally the “Brownies.”  It doesn’t stop at high school, it goes all the way up to college and professional sports, with teams like the Iowa Hawkeyes and the Kansas City Chiefs. Even Canada gets in the act, with the Brooklin Redmen (indoor lacrosse club).

I suppose there are also some “less offensive” teams that have native American themed mascots as well. For example, the Cleveland Indians, Atlanta Braves, Illinois Fighting Illini and I suppose the NHL’s Chicago Blackhawks. That being said, doesn’t their mascot look just a little bit like that of the Washington Redskins, which people are often complaining about?

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We also should change that silly state Oklahoma’s name while we are on the politically correct bandwagon. Because,  in Choctaw language, Oklahoma directly translates to: men with red skin. 

*waits for you to google the above fact…*

Maybe, it is because I am not racist in any way, shape, form, or fashion (just wanted to clarify), but I have never called or for that matter heard anyone called a Redskin. I’ve heard the word often referring to the team, but as far as a specific person or group of people, do white/black people use this as a derogatory word referring to Native Americans?

To take things in a different – and a bit extreme – direction. Per se I was a short man with deep Greek root. Well, I’m taking a great offense to the New York Giants of the NFL and even greater offense to the Michigan State Spartans of the NCAA. Naming a team after the very same group that slaughtered and conquered my ancestors? Not cool. Furthermore, those poor Danes (people from Denmark if you missed middle school geography class) that are fans of the NFL. They have to watch a team with the name of Vikings (lucky they haven’t conquered much in years) every Sunday when they turn the television on.

I hear the rumor there are some pretty angry pirates in Somalia that have a bone to pick with the Oakland Raiders, Pittsburgh Pirates and Tampa Buccaneers. Okay, I’ll give it to you, we got a little off of the rails there.

Interestingly enough, only three teams have “permission” from their representative tribes or groups to use their name (Florida State Seminoles, Central Michigan Chippewas and the Utah Utes). But, I get it. The “Redskins” is more offensive. One of those “only offensive if we say it’s offensive” arguments.

As of last year, 90% of Native Americans polled claimed that they did not find the term offensive. Obviously, all polls vary and you can’t exactly poll all 3.3 million people that tell the census they are Native Americans, but most polls do, pretty consistently, indicate that the name isn’t overly offensive to them. In an unrelated AP poll - which over 1000 adults took part in – a whopping 79% voted in favor of keeping the team’s name. 10% voted that they did not care. 11% voted with changing the name of the team.

I’d working on fixing information in textbooks and pop culture mediums than I would an NFL team’s nickname/logo or a college institutions “offensive” mascot. Granted, I shouldn’t speak for a group I am not apart of – even though that is what the majority (or loud minority, better stated) of people who discuss this topic are doing.

We’ve made it 82 years with the name, but apparently we have finally reached the controversial tipping point; who knows? Maybe if the Skins can pull a playoff appearence this season people will take a bit more pride in the name – a tall task to ask of one Robert Griffin III.


Tags: NFL Washington Redskins

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