Earlier today, we likely prompted a thumb’s up from Redskins fans by pointing out that, indeed, their favorite team was screwed by the league with $36 million in cap penalties. And now we’ll go back to provoking other hand gestures from Redskins faithful by mentioning once again the lingering issues with the team’s nickname.
In response to recent criticism regarding the offensive nature of the moniker, the Redskins have pointed out that various high schools from sea to shining sea also use the name.
Darin Gantt wrote something about the first item posted by Redskins.com on the subject. There’s now a new article regarding the fact that Redskins linebacker Brian Orakpo played for a Houston-area high school that also is known as the Redskins.
Orakpo’s high-school coach, Tom Nolen, called in to “Redskins TV” to answer high-and-tight fastballs like, “How is that name received in your community?” and “How is the name perceived in the community — is there pride in the name Redskins?”
Nolen mentioned that at one point “a kid . . . wrote a paper for school about it and we ended up having a referendum for the kids and the kids didn’t seem to mind being named the Redskins, so that kind of went away.”
The answer invites a few follow-up questions. Was there an actual vote of the student body? What was the outcome of the vote? But no follow-up questions were posed on the topic, since that may have resulted in comments suggesting that there’s indeed a legitimate reason to question the ongoing use of the name.
And of course it once again has been pointed out that by the Washington Redskins that 70 high schools are known as the Redskins and only 75 are known as the Cowboys.
The fact that 70 high schools use a name with connotations to which most fans have become desensitized doesn’t make the name inoffensive or appropriate. And pointing it out is a meaningless diversion from the real issue, the equivalent of saying, “Well, some of my best friends are Redskins.”
And if that’s all the Washington Redskins can muster to defend the ongoing use of the name, it’s amazing that they’ve been able to keep using it for as long as they have.