WHAT’S IN A NAME?

“I play my part, And you play your game, You give love a bad name.”
-Bon Jovi, “You Give Love a Bad Name”

Trendy issues are starting to become more important than real problems that matter. The media and lower-end government representatives with a small amount of power can easily influence people that have trouble conjuring up an individual and original thought.

The Washington Redskins are my favorite sports franchise so I have a personal bias when it comes to the recent push by congress to change the name of the team to something more suitable for today’s sensitive world. The government is worried about a football team that has maintained the same name and traditions since 1932 when they called Boston home. Good thing they have their priorities intact.

Redskins nationalreview com
Photo courtesy of Redskinsnationalreview.com

Senator Harry Reid (D-Nev) may write a letter to WordPress labeling me a bigot for posting a picture of a black man dressed like an Indian (good thing those American flags are waving behind him). No one made him show his support like that, he decided to cheer for the team he loves, but people certainly believe they have the power to make him stop and ridicule his decisions as a person. It seems a little contradictory. Reid and 50 other senators sent a letter to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to explain the urgency of a necessary name change for the Redskins stating, “Racism and bigotry have no place in professional sports (CBS, 2014).”

Redskins President, Bruce Allen, responded a day later. http://files.redskins.com/pdf/letter-from-pres-bruce-allen.pdf

Here are some bullet points of his defense in case you didn’t want to take the time to read a small letter:

-The term Redskins originated as a Native-American expression of solidarity. They created the name in order to negotiate national policies and reflect the more positive aspects of relations between Indians and whites. Those damn racists.

-The current logo was designed by Native-Americans. Month’s ago the artists son was quoted, “It needs to be said that an Indian from the state of Montana created the logo, and did it the right way. It represents the Red Nation and it’s something to be proud of.” If that doesn’t scream offense than I don’t know what does.

-70 high schools in 25 different states use the name “Redskins” as their mascot (Redskins, 2014). Someone needs to fire all those athletic directors and expel the students.

-90% of Native-Americans say that the team name is not offensive; 83% of all Americans also don’t find the name offensive. All those people should be required to take civil rights classes, especially those Indians that are derogatory towards their own culture.

-The Washington Redskins oversee 40 projects across the country including the distribution of over 1,000 tablets to Native-American students and over a dozen vehicles designated for heath and community purposes. Geez, and they don’t even try to help anyone.

Allen’s best quote of the letter was very simple, “Think about these facts, what policy or issue generates 83% and 90% support in this era of negativity and division?”

Reid and his supporters even went as far to compare the Redskins’ name to the Donald Sterling situation. These are two completely different issues, saying you essentially don’t want to be seen with black people in public and having an organization built on a name since 1932, a name and logo created by Native-Americans, is ridiculous to put in the same category. Not one front office member, player, or fan of Washington’s football team said anything derogatory towards an Indian (sober, and in public).

I don’t think anyone has ever even said the word “Redskin” outside of using it to refer to the football team; front office or any American really. There’s no reasoning behind this request except for the fact that 10% of Indians, not Americans, but Native-Americans, have a problem with Washington Redskins (they’re probably all fans of the Cowboys, Eagles, or Giants).

Here lies the problem; congress needs to please everyone because they are constantly begging for approval so if one person has a problem with one thing, history needs to be completely changed. It all balances it out though because if you’re to meet the complaints of 10% of people then the other 90% are going to be against you. It’s a lose-lose, so it’s better to stay on more important issues like debt, employment, healthcare, and taxes; the things that matter to 100% of Americans, not a race issue that really isn’t even a race issue and only targets 10% of 1% of America. You read that correctly, 1% of the American population is Native-American, and only 10% of that population doesn’t care for the Washington Redskins’ name.

DSCN01950001
Photo courtesy of Carl L. Knauf

Again, look at the facts, Senator Reid. Next we should get PETA to write a letter pleading for the name change of every organization named after an animal. That way we can all just become vegans and wither away and die. At least the animals are safe, but I’m pretty sure they won’t have a problem eating our carcasses to survive. There’s a reason why humans have canine teeth, but I’m sure we can get those things rounded-off in order to become just a little more thin-skinned.

Is everyone that sports Redskins apparel a racist? The word or logo is right there on their shirt, hat, car, or some even have it tattooed on their skin (drunken mistake by super fans). If you’re going to label me a racist then I’m going to stereotype you as a damn idiot. I know of at least 50 people that qualify, but sadly enough, they partially run this country.

By the way, I just said “Redskin” 18 times and still no one gives a crap.

CBS. (2014). Retrieved from http://washington.cbslocal.com/2014/05/24/redskins-president-bruce-allen-responds-with-letter-to-sen-harry-reid/ on May 30, 2014

Redskins. (2014). Retrieved from http://www.redskins.com/news-and-events/article-1/We-Are-Very-Proud-To-Be-Called-Redskins/d4d7c05d-be39-4a27-9244-d06cfae46797 on May 30, 2014

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