Push against “Redskins” name doesn’t subside

Getty Images

Whether fans believe that the Redskins should or shouldn’t change their nickname, when politicians and others in positions of influence speak out on the topic, it becomes newsworthy.

According to TheHill.com, two more members of Congress have called upon the team to consider a change.

Eleanor Holmes Norton, a Democratic representative of the District of Columbia, and John Lewis (D-Ga.) say that a new nickname should be considered.

“Nobody would let a comparable name to blacks stand,” Norton said, also pointing out that the local basketball team previously changed its name from Bullets to Wizards.

The Redskins have shown no inclination to change.   Instead, in recent weeks they have opted to point out all the other teams in America known as “Redskins.”

Still, Norton thinks that, eventually, change will come.

“I certainly do.  But nothing happens without pushing and shoving,” Norton said.  “I am a fan of the Redskins.  I’m just not a fan of their name.”

Most Redskins fans don’t feel that way.  Including the lifelong Redskins fan who currently owns the franchise and the name.

As long as that’s the case, change is highly unlikely.

49 responses to “Push against “Redskins” name doesn’t subside

  1. Norton just contradicted herself though. She says she is a fan of the Redskins, but not of the name. Maybe she could have said team instead.

    Sounds to me that she is just jumping on the bandwagon of those who suddenly oppose the name.

  2. This has become a pet topic for Florio. At least this one is more realistic than his “RG3 could make them change the name” one a little while back.

    But if this qualifies as a “push” then there’s also a push to move the capital from D.C. to Cleveland…because a poll would show somebody out there supported that, too. (And Ohio’s delegation would all be in favor of it, so you’d even have the lawmakers calling for change angle like in this story.)

    There still has never been a poll where a majority thought the name should be changed. There aren’t even any major Native American groups or leaders taking this topic on. There’s no momentum out there at all beyond a handful of sportswriters and a few bandwagon politicians.

  3. So I just made a list of the things I’d like to see my elected politicians working on.

    Offensive sports team names fell in around 633. Just getting beaten out by finding out why hot dog buns come 6 to a pack.

  4. This again? Perception is reality. The word “Redskin” has lost all of it’s negative attributes. No one (statistically speaking) uses that word in a derogatory way, so I do not see where the issue is.

    The Swatzicka was an ancient peace symbol before the Nazis changed our perception of that symbol. Thus, the history of a word, symbol, etc is not as important as the modern perception. If the modern perception is that the word Redskin refers to a football team and not as a racial slur, then it is not controversial.

    Also, the Wizards is the worst name in all of sports. And that word is more prominently used within the KKK currently than the word Redskin.

  5. Florio, you are obsessed with the Redskins. Move on already and stop finding random insignificant people to quote about a story that most Native Americans dont even care about.

  6. So sick of this story…we as a nation have become so damn sensitive. The “non-spank”, handing out trophies to mere participants philosophy is a joke. Toughen up ‘merica.

  7. I think it’s an embarrassment to the league and our country. Love the unis, love the history… but if they were called the Washington Brownskins, Blackskins, Yellowskins, etc. there is no way this would have held up for so long.

    I think we should let the native Americans weigh in on this one. If they are okay with it, then let it stand.

  8. Florio, I save my comments on this site for articles just like this one.

    Do you know who created the Redskins logo? It was created by the Blackfoot tribe at the request of Walter Wetzel, the then president of the National Congress of Native Americans.

    Over 90% of Native Americans have no problem with the name as polls have shown over and over again.

    Please stop being offended by-proxy and start coming up with FACTS to support your irrational position.

  9. There is no reason to change their name. Its apart of NFL history, you don’t see people protesting their games or outside their practice facility because of the name. And sorry Mike, but unlike you, I don’t think Robert Griffen III should take stand in the name change like you posted in your last post about this topic.

  10. Washington, D.C. can spot racism anywhere in the world and react instantly, whether true or not. However, they have a most difficult time with hypocrisy.

  11. Let’s think outside the box for a second. How about you keep the name Redskins but remove the association with Native Americans. Change the logo and mascot to some sort of a warrior-like person who is the color red. Like a cool looking superhero alien warrior or something.

  12. I don’t think it is worthwhile to cover well-threaded ground here. I will just state again that while the Skins’ defense of the name has been horrendous (seriously – who advises them on this issue?), I don’t think they should change it.

    “Who we are is who we were” and their name, unlike the Bengals or the Lions or Bears, embodies a few generations of American history, not all of it good. But that is who we were and what made us who were are today (included in that is the push for the name change). Their name acknowledges that and is meant to pay homage to the fierce nature of the brave Native Americans.

    I know it is easy for a white guy like me to say, but I like that their name reminds us of where we came from and shows us how far we’ve come. There aren’t many team names/nicknames that are as meaningful in pro sports and I would hate to lose this one because it will help relieve a few guilty consciences. If they truly want to fight injustice, and much still exists today, there are far more effective ways of doing so – they will just come with a lot less fanfare.

  13. Our Nation is on a slow financial boat to China, and that is all these idiotic politicians can worry about? Being P.C. for the name of a football team? Unbefreakinleavable!

  14. “Democratic representative and (D-Ga.)”

    Thats all I need to read to know this is a bunch of BS.

  15. How about we spin off from the NJ Red Devils and re-name them the “White Devils”. Change their logo to a white man in a suit carrying a suitcase with cash bursting out of it. No devil horns, just a regular white man. And just to avoid any future controversy, we’ll hire a white artist to create the logo, that way it won’t be offensive.

  16. Let’s keep in mind that even the Tampa Bay Buccaneers changed their uniforms in the 90’s from the old orange unis, since they were blatantly exploiting the gay community. So there is precedence folks, not a big deal to change.

  17. I am tall and when someone calls me a Giant it offends me. The Giants should change their name.

  18. In my 38 years, I have never spoke, heard, or seen in print the name Redskins unless is was talking about the Washington Redskins football team. Show me a hate group who walks around coming people Redskins. The only people who are called Redskins are fans of the Washington Redskins football team. All of these years I have been calling myself a Redskin, and now all of a sudden I have learned I was insulting myself….who knew.

  19. breakmyrustycage213 and the rest of the name apologists:
    Perhaps you should go talk to a few Native Americans before you make your proclamations. Where did you get the 90 percent figure? The same place monkeys fly out of? I live with multiple Native American tribes around me. I interact with tribal members on a regular basis. The idea of sports names based around the idea of savages is deeply offensive. Same as if the Washington D.C. football team was named the “White Savages”. It reflects the worst of American culture and how people think you can kick dirt in someone’s face just because there’s more of you than them.
    This isn’t a political thing: it’s the right thing. Two Democrats had the guts to mention it, so that makes it wrong? It shows a true sense of America that some will stand to the end to defend a racist name. Why don’t you go up to LeBron James and ask him if the Miami Slaves would be a good name?

  20. Dear Representative Norton,

    On your supposition that “Nobody would let a comparable name to blacks stand,” I present to you the New Zealand men’s national rugby union team, known as the “All Blacks.”

    It’s their name, whether it means what you think it means (insert Princess Bride link here) or not.

    Don’t you have some other important business to be attending to? You know, like NOT giving our children a massive debt?

    Thanks.

  21. Changing from the bullets to the wizards….thats your great example? That just goes to show when a bunch of politically correct police want to change the name of a franchise so it doesnt offend anybody.
    Wizards…how pathetic. Redskins are not going to change there name but you can try holding your breath that long .

  22. Even Redskins players–going back as far as All-Pro DE Charles Mann in the early ’90s–have gone on the record admitting the name has racist overtones. No surprise there, the founding owner who named the Redskins, George Preston Marshall, was a loud and proud white supremacist. This isn’t rocket science folks.

  23. hodag… I’m sure all those Native Americans around you (yeah right) really appreciate you putting words in their mouth. Try checking out the National Annenberg Election survey from 2004 as just one example.

    If that isn’t recent enough for you, how about we take another poll so that 90% of them can show you that they don’t care… again?

    Or, we could as Native Americans why they use the name for their own high schools… or why they helped develop the Redskins’ logo….

    I could go on and on…

    Your outrage over the name is misplaced.

  24. They should change back to their original name… the Braves.

    Still Native American, but no longer an ethnic slur.

    Native American groups don’t particularly like the tomahawk chop and chant that the Atlanta Braves have done (still do? I don’t watch baseball), but I don’t think there has been much ire directed at the team name itself. Certainly not like “Redskins”.

  25. Again, if the name was so offensive to so many, why has it consistently been one of the most valuable and profitable sports franchises in the entire WORLD?!!!
    Do you really think that because Mike Florio and 5 other people are offended Danny Snider is going to put his brand at risk?
    Also, a couple of no name liberals commenting on things they have no business commenting on is a far cry from a “push”. Im sure they would love to start wasting time and taxpayer money on such a worthless effort.

  26. Mr. Snyder should see about changing the name for the return of the cap money taken from the team. I am a big fan but the name does have a negative tone.

  27. Everyone is offended by something these days. When it comes to politics, I’d prefer we focus on real issues like national debt, the plummeting value of the US dollar and the rising poverty %.

  28. The high school I graduated from is one of the 70 in country where team is named Redskins. It was so named over 100 years ago to honor local native americans in the same way the city park, local rivers and adjoining towns were named in honor of native americans. Now the local school board wants to change the name. The people who are most opposed to a change? The local native americans. The original intent of the name has not changed, What has changed is the perception of the name by liberals and neo-locals who never attended the school.

  29. Anyone, especially someone from the Washington D.C. area, who uses the Bullets to Wizards as an example is simple showing their ignorance. The Bullets were originally from Baltimore and were named for a TRAIN. Now that you have the facts, consider that the team name was changed from a train to a KKK rank. You tell me how that is less racist or derogatory.

  30. Just read a great article “native americans speaking out in support of redskins” google it… It speaks of the issue of sports teams mascots and names being an issue only to the “white indians” not real “brown indians” who actually live on reservations and deal with real issues and real life there. Brown indians (as they are called in this article) actually support sports teams like the Redskins. It’s the “white indians” who blend in perfectly with society and have the money focus and dwell on the non-issues like mascots etc. Because it makes them “feel indian” and can scream racism when actually they are very disconnected from real indians on reservations and don’t even know the real important issues.

  31. Regardless of how you feel about the issue, the really offensive thing is how the writers here feel like the have to be the sole engine of social change for Native Americans.

    If Native American groups really wanted to make a big deal out of the nickname, they would. The fact that this website’s staff seems to feel like Native Americans are somehow incapable of speaking out; having their voices heard; or advocating for themselves: and that sportswriters are the only ones who can do it, is not only arrogant, but far more belittling than anything one could construe from Washington’s team name or logo.

  32. tennesseeoilers says: Mar 5, 2013 2:36 PM

    Even Redskins players–going back as far as All-Pro DE Charles Mann in the early ’90s–have gone on the record admitting the name has racist overtones. No surprise there, the founding owner who named the Redskins, George Preston Marshall, was a loud and proud white supremacist. This isn’t rocket science folks.
    _________
    1. Anything can have racist overtones, if you read them into it. What matters is if they’re intended or not.
    2. George Preston Marshall was a racist, but he was not a White Supremacist. One also has to consider that as the southermost team in the NFL for its first fifty years, Washington was “The team of the South”. 1962 was still very early in the Civil Rights Movement, and much of Marshall’s stance was marketing more than his own beliefs.
    3. The team was named after William Dietz, the team’s first coach, a Native himself. The Logo was designed by Walter Wetzel, chairman of the Blackfoot People and president of the National Congress of American Indians.

    This isn’t “rocket science”, but it is fact checking.

  33. I intend to become a Saint (ask my mother) and don’t like a football team using that as a name. I’ll pray for them and the Redskins.

  34. 91% of native americans polled (who have no issue with the name Redskins are the “brown indians” who actually live on reservations. The other 9% who are opposed are the “white indians” who have all the money and power and control the “brown indians”. These “white indians” are also the one’s who will monetarily benefit the most from all the Redskins merchandising profits they are seeking. It’s all about the $ period.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!