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Redskins hire consultant to conduct focus group on Thursday

Luntz Getty Images

As further proof that the controversy regarding the Redskins name is going nowhere any time soon, the team reportedly has hired a consultant who’ll hold a focus group to address the topic.

According to ThinkProgress.org, Republican strategist Frank Luntz (who has shown up on the CBS pregame show to analyze the reaction to statements from coaches and players) will conduct on Thursday a session aimed at, well, we’re not quite sure what it will be aimed at.

The headline of the ThinkProgress.org article suggests the goal will be to determine whether the team should change its name.  But owner Daniel Snyder already has provided a definitive answer:  “We’ll never change the name.  It’s that simple.  NEVER — you can use caps.”

It’s more likely, then, that Luntz will be picking brains in the hopes of crafting a better defense to the ongoing use of the objectively objectionable term.  Recent efforts have consisted of pointing out every high school team that still employs the same name or relying blindly on the notion that no one saw any problem with the name when it was adopted in the years before, you know, World War II.

The team’s effort to prop up that which many deem to be un-prop-up-able has been flimsy at best.  If they’re truly never going to change the name, they need to come up with a strategy that beats back a loosely organized and sporadic opposition, without drawing the kind of battle lines that will cause the attack on the name to coalesce and grow.

It won’t be easy.  Luntz presumably has a bunch of ideas that he’ll be trotting out on Thursday, gauging reaction to messaging like “We Are Redskins” or “Redskins Doesn’t Really Mean Red Skin” or “First They’ll Change Our Name Then They’ll Come After Our Guns” or (as Drew Magary suggested on Twitter today) “Some of My Best Friends are Redskins.”

At some point in the not-too-distant future, look for the Redskins to launch a new strategy based on whatever Luntz learns by bouncing a wide variety of ideas off a cross-section of society.  It may not bring the controversy to an end, but it could help prevent a slowly percolating movement against the name from gaining too much steam.

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94 Responses to “Redskins hire consultant to conduct focus group on Thursday”
  1. xcountrytrevor says: Jun 13, 2013 12:17 AM

    Change the name to the Pigskins and wear these unis: http://www.nikeblog.com/2012/05/10/80th-anniversary-redskins-alternate-jersey/

  2. Slim Charles says: Jun 13, 2013 12:20 AM

    Unless the focus group consists of 100% Native Americas, it’s useless. After all, they’re the one the racial slur/team name is directed at.

  3. bchapman2011 says: Jun 13, 2013 12:20 AM

    I am not even a Redskin fan but there is no way they should change their name. They have done a hundred surveys on this and the vast majority of people including native Americans are not offended by the teams name. You cannot please everybody in life so stop trying to be so politically correct.

  4. skinsfansince81 says: Jun 13, 2013 12:27 AM

    This is just another case of a carrot on a stick to make the American public think that our government actually cares… If that were actually true they would fix the debt and not worry about the name of a football team…

  5. Canyonero says: Jun 13, 2013 12:29 AM

    We get it, the media hate the name.

    It’s nothing but PC nonsense. They are a privately-owned football club and they can call themselves whatever they want.

    If you dislike the team, root against them.

    The fact some high school teams are fleeing the name means nothing — those teams rely on public funds.

  6. desmondclee says: Jun 13, 2013 12:31 AM

    Why does one have to be Native American to decide whether ‘Redskins’ is a slur or not? Does a trademark court ALJ have to be Native American to pass on the issue as to whether ‘Redskins’ is protected by federal trademark law?

    At any rate, I guess Mike Florio is one of the small minority of this country that believes ‘Redskins’ is offensive.

    Thank God for people like RGIII who’s wise enough to spot and squelch the laughable political correctness of this issue.

    Hail to the REDSKINS!

  7. Slim Charles says: Jun 13, 2013 12:47 AM

    I think Redskins fans who are whining about changing the name of their team have more pressing concerns – namely, the fact that their coach is going to ruin the career of the first good QB they’ve had in years in a press to get just one super bowl without Elway.

  8. eagles512 says: Jun 13, 2013 12:52 AM

    Why are you so obsessed with this and why do you ignore the fact that a large majority of Native Americans are not offended?

  9. jaylaw01 says: Jun 13, 2013 12:58 AM

    As a Cowboys fan of course I hate the Redskins. In fact, I would be happy to go 2-14 every year as long as we beat the ‘Skins. However, if the PC police succeed in forcing a private company to change its name, I am done with the NFL. I grew up in Arizona and 1/2 my friends were Native Americans and many of them rooted for the ‘Skins BECAUSE of their name! Let it go and do something more constructive for Native Americans like building an infrastructure in the communities

  10. 1standinches says: Jun 13, 2013 1:06 AM

    Politics needs to stay out of football. Focus on the more important things like the state of our country.

  11. ezwriter69 says: Jun 13, 2013 1:10 AM

    Tell you what, come with me to a couple of little bars I know just off the Rez here in central Minnesota… go in there, stick out your hand to any of the men in there, say “Hey Redskin, what’s up?”. Let me know how that goes for you…
    Nothing is much more arrogant than telling someone they’re wrong to be offended by the name you’re calling them… the arrogance is only exceeded by the ignorance. Given the incredible overt racism that is the history of the Redskins franchise run by the Nazi sympathizer and Ku Klux Klan member (and he was proud of it) George Preston Marshall, who was by far the last owner to hire African American players (in 1962, even later than the equally racist Tom Yawkey’s Red Sox integrated, just a couple of years ahead of the SEC conference and Bear Bryant) I’d think they’d be a little more sensitive to their public image… but Snyder is so oblivious he probably doesn’t know who Marshall was and what he and the Redskins have historically symbolized.

  12. steagles66 says: Jun 13, 2013 1:19 AM

    Ahahaha when was the last time use won a playoff game bums

  13. nachohippo says: Jun 13, 2013 1:22 AM

    No change to the uniforms or the colors. Simply change the name to the Warriors.

  14. buffalodiehard says: Jun 13, 2013 1:26 AM

    The general public since the 1960s:
    Uh, yeah, giving a group of people an unwanted nickname based on the color of their skin is bad.

    Redskins fans: Not if it’s our favorite team!

  15. bbwasright says: Jun 13, 2013 1:28 AM

    How about this… to raise up their love of Spanish culture, they should change their names to the Conquistadors! At least that way the issues would be clearer for the rest of us.

  16. buckybadger says: Jun 13, 2013 1:39 AM

    It shouldn’t be up to the Redskins to hire someone. For starters no one is going to believe they got someone to do an unbiased study. It should have been the NFL, same concern is probably there but at least it appears a little more clean.

    Getting the facts to make a decision is never a bad idea.

  17. hedleykow says: Jun 13, 2013 1:59 AM

    The “Daniel Snyder has little man syndrome” articles mixed together with “Tebow is terrible” reports is great daily entertainment. Keep up the good work, PFT.

  18. kgb108 says: Jun 13, 2013 2:03 AM

    Get rid of the Indian head on the helmet and use the arrow like they did years ago. That’ll at least remove the “image” as much. Or you know, go with Mr Potato Head instead.

  19. dylanssongwriter says: Jun 13, 2013 2:15 AM

    Or they could trot out the fact that over 90% of Native Americans don’t find the term “redskin” offensive….according to a University of Pennsylvania poll. But maybe Snyder should change because Florio is offended on their behalf.

  20. drjoemck says: Jun 13, 2013 2:38 AM

    Right on Florio! Keep holding Snyder to the flame & calling out his BS ploys to get the public to think this name is offensive to absolutely no one.

  21. hedleykow says: Jun 13, 2013 2:39 AM

    It must be really mystifying to angry white male bigots who haven’t yet gotten the memo that public sentiment has taken the other fork in the road on oh-so-many public policy issues that they care so deeply about.

  22. drjoemck says: Jun 13, 2013 2:57 AM

    Let’s be clear-headed here; Redskins is an offensive name for a sports team. I know people want to dismiss it because it is not the most offensive term that could be said about a Native American, but that is like believing that a team named the Coloreds is not offensive because it is not the N-word – a word often dismissed as a term old people might use due to ignorance of a better term.

    Well, “Redskins” is not exactly Injuns or “Featherheads”, but that doesn’t mean it is not offensive s’s a team mascot name.

  23. giantssb42champs says: Jun 13, 2013 3:22 AM

    “They have done a hundred surveys on this and the vast majority of people including native Americans are not offended by the teams name.”

    Could you please point me to the surveys where native Americans didn’t find the name offensive? I missed those.

  24. truthserum4u says: Jun 13, 2013 3:22 AM

    A brief history lesson quickly puts an end to the idea that the term “Redskin” is a slur.

    Ask most people today what comes to mind when they hear “Redskin”, and I’ll bet the vast majority will say a football team.

  25. blackqbwhiterb says: Jun 13, 2013 5:15 AM

    Really, for a non-issue, Mr. Florio sure seems bent on keeping this story going… As I’ve said before, I believe if Mr Snyder wasn’t so WHITE, nobody would bother his team about the name….If he was black or Hispanic, or Native American, it would be ok. Because being a minority exempts you from accusations of racism, only white people get accused of that….I guess what I’m saying is, it’s a political thing, not a real thing.

  26. brokeu91 says: Jun 13, 2013 5:38 AM

    When did Rex Ryan dye his hair and join the Republican party? I didn’t even know he did focus groups.

  27. alonestartexan says: Jun 13, 2013 5:49 AM

    Ironically, most Native American’s could care less, especially about the Cleveland Indians.

    The most uproar comes from liberals that “feel good” that they’re trying to help someone that doesn’t want to be helped.

  28. northerntanned says: Jun 13, 2013 6:17 AM

    Florio my be in the minority by believing it is offensive but he is correct. It’s incredible that any rational person would not find this name offensive. It clearly is offensive you don’t have to be a Native American to figure this out…you could be a Martian and figure it out.

  29. mike41april says: Jun 13, 2013 6:24 AM

    SO tired of these silly articles. Florio is the DEVIL! :)

  30. brownspower says: Jun 13, 2013 6:49 AM

    Just uncovered while researching the history of the team: it was formed by the relatives of a guy named “Red”. The first group of owners were Red’s kins. Now maybe everyone that has time to worry about this can rest easy.

  31. mustbechris says: Jun 13, 2013 6:52 AM

    Frank Luntz deals in the most effective way to make an argument. He’s going to lay out different word choices to say the same thing and gauge the best reactions to each word choice. Then he’s going to report back to the Redskins what words to use when defending their name and what words to ignore completely.

    For instance, Luntz is the reason people started saying “climate change” instead od of “global warming”. His focus groups determined that people thought climate change sounded less scary than global warming, and he reported it to the energy companies who hired him.

    I’m not a Republican, but I’ve always been fascinated by Luntz’s line of work. He’s brilliant.

  32. lawson1974 says: Jun 13, 2013 6:53 AM

    I think he means SUBJECTIVELY offensive,

    since unlike the writer, most aren’t offended by the name.

  33. boyshole25 says: Jun 13, 2013 7:06 AM

    What about the Dallas cowboys? I know that the good folks who live on broke back mountain take offense.

  34. evrybdyhas1 says: Jun 13, 2013 7:11 AM

    Sticks and stones .

  35. jammer88 says: Jun 13, 2013 7:12 AM

    Fu@k all the PC crap. The Redskins always have and always will be the WASHINGTON REDSKINS and no amount of LIBERAL PC CRAP can change that!

  36. woodbridgekid73 says: Jun 13, 2013 7:27 AM

    This whole thing is cooked up by some hack liberal politicians who want to take the spotlight off of their sorry no account districts were they are incapable of making any improvements.

  37. kev86 says: Jun 13, 2013 7:31 AM

    Dumb name. Keep it

  38. classyjacklambert says: Jun 13, 2013 7:40 AM

    @desmondclee

    Actually the majority of the country knows the term “redskin” is offensive, they are just apathetic about it because it’s been around so long and the slur is directed at such a small percent of the total population.

  39. jimmyt says: Jun 13, 2013 7:52 AM

    I have never seen a logical reason as to why the name is offensive to anyone.

  40. danny2305 says: Jun 13, 2013 7:56 AM

    Great move Redskins, Frank Luntz is a genius with words and will come up with a fantastic strategy for them to keep the name… then hopefully that will be the end to these constant, pointless articles about whether they should change it or not.

  41. rcbn says: Jun 13, 2013 7:57 AM

    Plain and simple and easy to effect. The “Washington Redmen” would settle this once and for all.

  42. alehleha says: Jun 13, 2013 8:17 AM

    Man they just won’t let this one go will they?

  43. hatesycophants says: Jun 13, 2013 8:17 AM

    Well, this is a stunningly ignorant approach. Throwing a lowlife political opportunist like Luntz into the mix simply adds to the offense. Is Snyder really this… arrogant/oblivious?

  44. wryly1 says: Jun 13, 2013 8:18 AM

    The name is going to get changed. Not this year or next, but it will eventually get changed. Everything else on the topic is background noise.

  45. skin94249 says: Jun 13, 2013 8:30 AM

    If you want to be PC then stop America from using the “N” word in movies and the like. That is excepted and used more often then “Redskins” ever was or will be. That is the biggest affront any race of people has ever had to endure.

  46. b3nz0z says: Jun 13, 2013 8:38 AM

    i have to point out that every time someone says “PC crap” or “PC nonsense” or anything like that, they sound like someone’s redneck grandaddy from 1991. if you have a point to make, try and do it without relying completely on a phrase that was cliche 25 years ago.

  47. wiley16350 says: Jun 13, 2013 8:43 AM

    Something else I was thinking about on this topic is how the word Redskin is not viewed as offensive by the majority of the public (polls show this to be true). I am willing to bet that it is because of the Washington Redskins use of the name that has turned it from a negative term into a positive term. Which is the overarching point, some terms can be seen as positive or negative depending on context. Since the term Redskin is positively portrayed by it’s use in sports it has become a positive term in the eye of the public (evident by polls). So I ask, what is the best way to heal race discrimination? Take a negative term, reinforce positive views of the term, changing public perception of it or continue to harbor anger and resentment over a term that is no longer being used in the negative way that it was in the past?

  48. thirdistheworrd says: Jun 13, 2013 8:45 AM

    Slim Charles says: Jun 13, 2013 12:20 AM

    Unless the focus group consists of 100% Native Americas, it’s useless. After all, they’re the one the racial slur/team name is directed at.
    _______________
    He has a point, although if they did, 92% would not see the name as objectinable in any way, according the 2004 Annenberg Poll.

    Either way, this is an issue about Natives for Natives, and nobody else. If Native American groups really wanted to make a big deal out of the nickname, they would. The fact that the sports media seems to feel like Natives 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.

  49. skinsfanwill says: Jun 13, 2013 9:01 AM

    When will people realize a word without intent is meaningless. The intent in this case is not malicious in any way. As a white man, try calling a black man ‘boy’ and see if he is not immediately offended (might knock your head off too). Should ‘boy’ be put on a banned list. It’s all about intent.

  50. skinsfanwill says: Jun 13, 2013 9:02 AM

    That guy in the picture looks like Carson Palmer.

  51. burnzido says: Jun 13, 2013 9:15 AM

    I can see into the future and it looks like this:

    April 27 2084,
    From this day forth the term “Redskins” shall be abolished completely. Let it be known that by law no person shall utter the word in public or private or shall even think of the word in question. Failure to comply with this regulation will result in strict and immediate punishment from the ministry of hate.

    In other news chocolate rations are up 20%.

    Remember ignorance is power, and Big Brother is watching YOU!

  52. folkcrusader says: Jun 13, 2013 9:28 AM

    So they are going to hire Luntz to defend the name and pay as much or more then they would have paid to just change the name.

    Brilliant strategy, if I understand it correctly it’s a Swiss effing watch.

  53. wiley16350 says: Jun 13, 2013 9:29 AM

    I was also thinking that if someone did name a team the whiteskins, who would complain? I bet the people that would complain would say its wrong because it’s exclusive and makes whites out to be special, of higher value or superior to the other races. Which would be because there is an element of reverence and respect given when a group of people adopt a name for themselves. Think about that and maybe you’ll understand why it’s not really a bad thing, disrespectful or offensive of the Redskins to use that name.

  54. thefox61 says: Jun 13, 2013 9:30 AM

    Canyonero says:
    Jun 13, 2013 12:29 AM

    …The fact some high school teams are fleeing the name means nothing — those teams rely on public funds….

    And the ‘skins don’t. Who do you think pays for the tickets, jerseys, t shirts, hats, food, merchandise and the cow pasture you call a stadium?
    Without “public funds” no NFL or any other pro sports team could survive.

  55. abninf says: Jun 13, 2013 9:43 AM

    nachohippo says:

    No change to the uniforms or the colors. Simply change the name to the Warriors.
    ====================================

    But that would be promoting violence. My, we can’t have that.

  56. larrydavid7000 says: Jun 13, 2013 9:44 AM

    @slim Charles. I think you need to shut the F-UP. Your comments are ignored and stupid. Have some facts to back up you stupidity remarks. Just popping off at the mouth makes you look Dumb and Silly.!!!! A little history here the name Redskins came from a proud owner back in 1932 George Preston Marshall who asked his HC at the time if he would not mind if he called his team the Redskins. Why do you ask he did that (Marshall) because the HC at that time was an American Indian and wanted to Honor him and his Heritage background. So came about the name Redskins for the last 81 years and counting. People before opening your stupid mouths and making Silly comments like a 5th grade Girl do your Homework. Ever heard of GOOGLE.!!!!!!!!!!

  57. mntnman says: Jun 13, 2013 10:18 AM

    Go back to the original name — The Braves — simple, historic and appropriate. OK by me if they stay the Redskins, but I’m not native American either. If it is too offensive, this is the easiest fix.

  58. goodellisruiningtheleague says: Jun 13, 2013 11:07 AM

    Could Snyder be the greatest troll in history?

  59. randomcommenter says: Jun 13, 2013 11:34 AM

    People try to compare redskin to the N word. They are not even close. The more apt comparison would be Black. I don’t know a single black person who has a problem with being called black. It was a bunch of liberal white people who decided they should be called African American.

    The only time I’ve ever heard a black person describe themselves as African American is when a camera is rolling or some other public forum. They do it because they feel its expected, not because they prefer it to black.

  60. logicaillvoicesays says: Jun 13, 2013 11:43 AM

    Monday Night Opener

    Eagles 42 Skins 0

  61. melbatoast123 says: Jun 13, 2013 12:13 PM

    He has a point, although if they did, 92% would not see the name as objectinable in any way, according the 2004 Annenberg Poll.

    This poll, along with every other one on the topic, asks people to self identify as Native American. Anyone can say they are native and respond to the poll. The data is fundamentally flawed and therefore meaningless. Given the number of people who continually downvote anything that suggests “Redskins” is offensive on these posts, it suggests they want to keep the name and would respond to a survey even if they weren’t actually native in order to support their opinion.

  62. melbatoast123 says: Jun 13, 2013 12:21 PM

    I don’t know a single black person who has a problem with being called black.

    Then here’s a good test for you. Go to any reservation and starting referring to any native you see as Redskin. Let us know how that goes.

    None of these keyboard jockeys here would call any native a Redskin to his face. That’s how you know it’s offensive.

  63. skinswillsurprise says: Jun 13, 2013 12:36 PM

    When the name gets changed, maybe the Government will give the Native Americans back their land that is rightfully theirs. Native Anericans should be offended that the Government has placed them on reservations like it was a gift. The government has many more things it should worry about than the Washington Redskins. Change the name to the Washington D.C. Skins and give the team cash and a couple years of last picks in the first round. HTTR!!

  64. baddegg says: Jun 13, 2013 1:00 PM

    “The team’s effort to prop up that which many deem to be un-prop-up-able has been flimsy at best.”

    You act like it’s the Washington Redskins organization vs. the World Who is Offended.

    Most people don’t find the name offensive. It’s just a small number of policians and media mostly.

    The Redskins don’t need to craft a big defense. Just ignore the criticism.

    Like it or not, no one can FORCE them to change, as they have shown no “legal” basis. That’s the part that is truly flimsy.

  65. wiley16350 says: Jun 13, 2013 1:37 PM

    Then here’s a good test for you. Go to any reservation and starting referring to any native you see as Redskin. Let us know how that goes.

    None of these keyboard jockeys here would call any native a Redskin to his face. That’s how you know it’s offensive
    ____________________________________
    Who does this? What kind of person would address an individual by calling out a physical characteristic unless they had a motive to tease or demean? That’s why it would most likely be taken offense to because a person that would do it would do it in a way that makes it seem like there is something inherently wrong with being a redskin. At its face and simplest meaning, redskin refers to a person with a reddish hue to their skin.
    That brings about some questions.
    Is there shame in being a redskin?
    If you’re a redskin, does that mean you have lesser value or something wrong with you?
    If the answers are no, then why would you take offense to being called a redskin?
    If you take offense to it, then apparently you believe their is something wrong with being a redskin. So in reality, it doesn’t make sense to be offended by being called a redskin. However, if someone came to you and called you a redskin with a certain attitude or used it in a negative context then it would make sense to be offended. Even then you would be offended by the attitude of the person who said the word and not the word itself. In your example, the reason you feel the word is offensive is because you have been conditioned irrationally to take offense to it. Unless you have actually experienced a situation where being a Redskin was looked at as a negative and the term was used to demean you then your offense to the word is based completely on social conditioning.

  66. hail74 says: Jun 13, 2013 1:59 PM

    So the term redskins which was last used as a ‘slur’ sometime in the 1800′s should be changed because while it was ok in the 1900′s round WWII its now the 2ks and we know better than to name pro teams after nicknames given to people? Redskin=white slang for a native with red war paint on his face. Buccaneers and raiders= murderers and rapists. Yankee=southern slang for wretched northerners. Which is actually offensive in intent.

  67. wiley16350 says: Jun 13, 2013 2:09 PM

    I’ll put everything I’ve said in it’s simplest terms.

    There is a group of people out there that find the term Redskin to be so honoring that they have decided to call THEMSELVES Redskins. They’re not calling anybody else a Redskin. They’re calling THEMSELVES redskins and are proud of it. Because of that people are berating them and telling them they are being offensive to others. The kicker is that it’s offensive not because they don’t like non-redskins aspiring to be like the redskins but because there is something inherently wrong to being a redskin or being called a redskin.

  68. hail74 says: Jun 13, 2013 2:31 PM

    If I were to say to one of my female employees” hey woman what’s the status of the project I gave you?” I would prob get a notice ftom HR thay I’m being offensive. Does that mean the word woman should be considered as offensive and thus such institutions like the WNBA be lobbied to change their name or can it be agreed that merely using a word offensively doesn’t inherently make the word offensive.

  69. lovetron says: Jun 13, 2013 3:05 PM

    Personally, I think the name “Pro Football TALK” is really offensive to deaf/mute people.

  70. desmondclee says: Jun 13, 2013 3:25 PM

    The argument that asks whether one would use the term ‘Redskins’ as a way to address a particular person, especially on a reservation, is absurd. You obviously wouldn’t since directing that term at an individual puts at play different issues than the instance where a team uses it as its . (Let me stress the narrowness of the issue here: it’s not whether the term ‘Redskins’ in and of itself is offensive, the issue I’m addressing is the specific hypothetical of whether you’d use that term with someone on a reservation.)

    On the one hand, if a non-Native American person goes on a reservation and then singles out an individual or group of specific persons and directs that name at them, that may deemed offensive because a reasonable person may view the speaker’s intent to be offensive. That’s because the person is not a Native American, the term contains a racial reference in it, it’s being used at a place populated by a large contingent of Native Americans, and is being directly addressed to that person or persons. This holds true in other contexts. For instance, if you were to call an Irish person a “Fighting Irishman” in a pub, the fact that you’re telling an Irish person that term may certainly be construed as being offensive given the apparent intent to offend. Given those circumstances, someone would reasonably view it view offensive because of the speaker’s intent.

    Carrying this further, you can also offend someone by using an otherwise harmless word in an offensive manner. For instance, if you’re a non-Asian person and state to a Japanese person “Hiroshima,” that may be certainly viewed as offensive.

    On the other hand, if you were to say to a person on a reservation that “I’m a fan of the Redskins,” that’s something entirely different. To be sure, some may still find that offensive due to the name itself (which isn’t the issue here, as explained above). But there’s an undeniable qualitative difference in using ‘Redskins’ that way as opposed to the hypothetical contemplating use of the word in a tete-a-tete context. And that goes the same as if someone would be proclaiming his allegiance to the “Fighting Irish” of Notre Dame. So too with the Japanese example since, if you simply refer to Hiroshima as a city in Japan, there should be no intent inferred.

    As a result, the hypothetical is bogus since it’s based on some pretty unique circumstances involving an obvious intent to offend. It’s a much different issue to argue that the name ‘Redskins’ itself is offensive and that people on a reservation can be offended because the term is itself facially derogatory. While I don’t think ‘Redskins’ is itself offensive, that’s another ball of wax altogether.

  71. thirdistheworrd says: Jun 13, 2013 4:56 PM

    brownspower says: Jun 13, 2013 6:49 AM

    Just uncovered while researching the history of the team: it was formed by the relatives of a guy named “Red”. The first group of owners were Red’s kins. Now maybe everyone that has time to worry about this can rest easy.
    ________________
    You’ve got to be kidding me.

    The team was originally known as the Boston Braves and was coached by William Dietz, a member of the Sioux Nation and high sschool teammate of Jim Thorpe. Dietz, a tremendously popular figure both with the team and throughout the sports world, retired after two seasons, at the same time the team moved their games to Fenway Park. The team was renamed “the Redskins” both to honor Dietz and link the team with the Boston Red Sox, whose stadium they were now sharing.

    In the 1960′s the team began drifting away from both the Redskins name and the Indian motif, replacing the Native head logo with a spear or stylized “R”, but in 1967, William Wetzel, President of National Congress of American Indians, urged the organization not only to keep the name but bring back the old logo, which he redesigned himself.

    That doesn’t mean the name is right or wrong (although it clearly was not intended to be offensive), it just means brownspower has no idea what he’s talking about, and here’s a real history for those who are interested.

  72. thirdistheworrd says: Jun 13, 2013 5:28 PM

    @hail74
    @desmondclee
    I was actually about to write something on that exact subject but it looks like you’ve already got it covered.

    To elaborate, I wanted to provide the example that, as a black man, I would obviously be upset (to put it mildy) if somebody called me a N*, or discussed the N*s moving in up the block. On the other hand I see white guys at the gym all the time rapping along with their music, and am thoroughly unphased when N* comes up in the lyrics.

    Why? Because I know it’s not directed at anyone or anything, it’s just a word sitting there on its own.

    Similarly if a white person were to ask me a question like “Is it ever OK for me to use the word N*?”, they haven’t used the word, they’ve just referenced the word. Does it make the word “N*” any less offensive? No. But it does mean there’s a huge difference between direct and indirect usage of a word, words only have power when you give them power, and if offense isn’t intended it shouldn’t be taken.

    Considering that virtually every noun in th English language can be used offensively , should everybody team change their name to random indirect articles and pronouns: New York its; Miami sos, Atlanta them, Chicago therefores; Green Bay these; Seattle stuff.

  73. melbatoast123 says: Jun 13, 2013 5:29 PM

    At its face and simplest meaning, redskin refers to a person with a reddish hue to their skin.

    Correct, and there’s nothing right about that either. It’s basically saying racial profiling in team names is okay. Why is Redskins okay but Blackskins wouldn’t be?

    Regarding calling a native a Redskin, you don’t have to do it with malicious intent directly at them, but people have and they have taken offense to it, ask Manley Begay. I doubt anyone here but ardent dumb racists would even use the term in their presence. “So, how are you Redskins doing?” It’s not a term that honors Native Americans, that’s why no one here would use it around them. Anyone stating they would is lying.

  74. melbatoast123 says: Jun 13, 2013 5:45 PM

    the hypothetical is bogus since it’s based on some pretty unique circumstances involving an obvious intent to offend.

    Then use a different hypothetical and just refer to that group of people as redskins in their presence. I doubt you or anyone here would. That’s how you know it’s offensive.

    It’s a much different issue to argue that the name ‘Redskins’ itself is offensive and that people on a reservation can be offended because the term is itself facially derogatory. While I don’t think ‘Redskins’ is itself offensive, that’s another ball of wax altogether.

    If you don’t think Redskins is itself offensive, then I’ll submit the same question to you. Is Blackskins an acceptable team name?

  75. melbatoast123 says: Jun 13, 2013 5:58 PM

    If I were to say to one of my female employees” hey woman what’s the status of the project I gave you?”

    Let’s change that a bit. Ask a different question.

    Ask, “How many women work for this company?” No problem here.

    then say (referring to Native Americans):

    “How many redskins work for this company?”

    Still think that would go over well?

  76. desmondclee says: Jun 13, 2013 6:10 PM

    You’re way off, Melbatoast.

    Your hypotheticals are simply a variant of the points I previously raised. For instance, using the term ‘Redskins’ in the presence of those individuals is the exact thing I was referring to in my discussion. Similarly, saying “How are you Redskins are doing” is nothing different than the unique circumstances. Is that any different than saying “How are you Fighting Irish” doing when you’re not a Caucasian, in a pub that’s frequented by a bunch of Irish people, and using that racial reference explicitly to them? That point seems to have eluded you then . . . and now.

  77. desmondclee says: Jun 13, 2013 6:12 PM

    By the way, Melbatoast . . .

    Hail to the REDSKINS!!!!!

  78. melbatoast123 says: Jun 13, 2013 6:18 PM

    You’re avoiding the issue desmondclee. The point is that you wouldn’t use the term around them, in any context that refers to them as an individual or as a group. That’s how you know it’s offensive. By contrast, I would have no issue referring to Irish people as Irish. There’s nothing inherently wrong with the term. There is no context for “Fighting Irish” outside the school, so it’s completely different than redskin.

    I’ll repeat this since you seem to have avoided it as well. If you don’t think Redskins is itself offensive, then I’ll submit the same question to you. Is Blackskins an acceptable team name?

  79. tdaddypickle says: Jun 13, 2013 6:45 PM

    If its more liberal pc crap then i guess Tom Cole (one of the most conservative republicans in the senate) has done a 180 degree turn and has become a flaming liberal!

  80. desmondclee says: Jun 13, 2013 6:52 PM

    Did you read my discussion, melbatoast? I said I’d have no problem in saying things like “I’m a Redskins fan” in front of them. You really seem to miss this point and the fine distinction between, on the one hand, whether the name itself is facially offensive, and, on the other, the unique circumstances posed by the hypothetical.

  81. tdaddypickle says: Jun 13, 2013 7:26 PM

    If you go to the rez someones gonna wanna fight you anyways so calling them redskin is only gonna make he beating worse ! Its a different world from whats most of you know. The natives that care about the nickname are the ones who have made it off the rez and have educated themselves with the history of this country. They see that the nicknames are just another way to show them that they dont matter and they shall only be viewed as a caricature not a human being. If you know anything about American history then you should know why using natives as mascots is offensive. Its always been about a show of power over natives and always will be. If you offend any other race everyones quick to denounce it but when it comes to offending natives its ok because natives have only been viewed as caricatures in this country.

  82. gibbsandflair says: Jun 13, 2013 8:37 PM

    I was at Cherokee Indian reservation a couple yrs ago. I stayed at a hotel on the reservation by the name Redskins motel. Owned by the way by full blooded cherokee indian family. Google it.

  83. melbatoast123 says: Jun 13, 2013 8:45 PM

    I said I’d have no problem in saying things like “I’m a Redskins fan” in front of them.

    Once again, you avoid the issue and resort to a cop out on the team name. This is because you know you wouldn’t use the term to describe them, in any context. Goodell’s claim that this term honors Native Americans is both delusional and insulting. If you believe this, there’s nothing further to discuss.

    The name itself is facially offensive. That is why you refuse to answer the question about the team name Blackskins because it would either expose you as a hypocrit, racist or both.

    tdaddypickle is one of the few here that understands. Pretty sad.

  84. theclaim says: Jun 13, 2013 9:21 PM

    There is no context for “Fighting Irish” outside the school, so it’s completely different than redskin.

    Correct, and there’s nothing right about that either. It’s basically saying racial profiling in team names is okay. Why is Redskins okay but Blackskins wouldn’t be?

    @melbatoast…Lol The NAME says it all! Really, you have got to be kidding me with the arguments you are tossing up for people to hit out of the park!
    OK Fighting Irish is a negative in that people of Irish descent(like myself) are generalized as Drunken Fighting Hotheads. See IRA. See Hooligan. It’s a stereotype alot of Irish are offended by. I am not one of them. I don’t drink so it’s not an issue for me. If you have never HEARD of this association to Irish people then you are either 14 or live in an ice cave in Tibet.
    As far as the Blackskins… There ARE no teams with said name so it’s a false analogy. That’s not even apples and oranges but apples and astronauts. Understand this. I HAVE asked numerous Native Americans if the term bothers them or is offensive to them and the reply is always the same, a laugh followed by &@&;! No! I LOVE the team. Never, ever giving consideration to using it as an epithet! It’s one of the few remaining images of a PROUD NATIVE AMERICAN PEOPLE’S represented WITH said pride and dignity. I understand going after representations like the Cleveland Indians big toothed cartoon representation of Natives. If you ask them what Redskins stands for, they again almost ALWAYS laugh and simply reply a Football team. I LIVE next to a reservation, one of my best friends(who posts on here) has a native wife. I’ve asked her AND her entire family. What’s SAD is that it also ALWAYS white PC people(moral majority types)that are fighting for this change. Susan Harjo, is one exception being a native woman that took a case against the Redskins to the Supreme Court…and lost. A more recent effort was made by 5 native young men in their late teens, however with precedent being set in the Harjo vs The Redskins case the courts WON’T be forcing a name change any time soon.

  85. desmondclee says: Jun 13, 2013 9:27 PM

    You’re clueless, melbatoast. I’ve explained in detail my position and the context in which I’d use the term ‘Redskins.’ I’ve stated that I’d use the term ‘Redskins’ in a certain way on a reservation with Native Americans. All you can do now is resort to namecalling like hypocrit [sic] and racist. That’s a sure-fire sign that you’ve lost this debate.

    Oh yeah, Hail to the REDSKINS, melba!

  86. musicman495 says: Jun 13, 2013 10:10 PM

    giantssb42champs says: Jun 13, 2013 3:22 AM

    “They have done a hundred surveys on this and the vast majority of people including native Americans are not offended by the teams name.”

    Could you please point me to the surveys where native Americans didn’t find the name offensive? I missed those.
    ————————————
    Here is one about the 2004 Annenberg poll:

    http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/sports/football/nfl/redskins/2004-09-24-redskins-indians-poll_x.htm

    Now let’s see if PFT allows this post to go through.

  87. donkerpunchey says: Jun 13, 2013 10:59 PM

    Although I’ve read from scholarly sources that the origin of the term “Redskin” actually isn’t racist and that the claims it refers to their bloody scalp bounties aren’t true (look up Ives Goddard), I’ll just go with the assumption that Native Americans are off limits.

    Why not keep the name, change the one line of the fight song “Braves on the warpath” to something else considering that’s the only part that refers to Native Americans and it doesn’t rhyme with anything. Then change the logo back to an ‘R’ (even though the reason they changed from the R logo is because the National Congress of American Indians confronted them and said they wanted to see an Indian on the helmet). The name stays and there is no longer any ties to Native Americans. That way they’ll be in the same boat as the Browns where their team name may be considered a racial slur to some people, but since they aren’t representing the race, it will be ok.

  88. melbatoast123 says: Jun 13, 2013 11:00 PM

    As far as the Blackskins… There ARE no teams with said name so it’s a false analogy.

    No, it’s not. Answer the question. Is that an acceptable name for a sports team? Yes or no? It’s a simple question that you or desmonclee will answer. Funny that.

  89. melbatoast123 says: Jun 13, 2013 11:04 PM

    What’s SAD is that it also ALWAYS white PC people(moral majority types)that are fighting for this change.

    You have absolutely no idea what you’re talking about. Read the quotes I posted from Native Americans in the last post on this topic. Read about the symposium on the topic and their feelings about it. It’s the complete opposite of everything you post.

  90. melbatoast123 says: Jun 13, 2013 11:10 PM

    I’ve stated that I’d use the term ‘Redskins’ in a certain way on a reservation with Native Americans.

    Right. You said you’d use it in support of your team. Which is bogus. The term itself is what’s racist and insulting. THAT is why you won’t use it any other context. If it’s such as noble term as Goodell and Snyder claim, why won’t you refer to natives that way?

  91. wiley16350 says: Jun 14, 2013 8:00 AM

    I find it funny when people try to use blackskins as an example to show why redskin as wrong. To me it just shows that they have been socially conditioned to react to certain words. What is so offensive about blackskins? Why would someone be offended that a team wanted to call THEMSELVES the blackskins? Why don’t you ever use whiteskins? Probably because you know white people wouldn’t give a damn. The reason nobody has ever used blackskins or whiteskins is because there is no great attributes associated with those words. Redskins is used because it is associated with Bravery, being a Warrior, having toughness and great Fighting acumen. Things this group of people want to be associated with. Want to be a part of them. So using that name is a sign of respect and honor in all reality. It isn’t used to make fun of or disparage or to offend. That’s why it seems ridiculous to be offended. If you’re offended then you’re missing the point of what the name and logo stand for. Sure, the word can and has been used to offend but in and of itself it isn’t an offensive word because there is nothing wrong with being a redskin. Just like there is nothing wrong with being a blackskin or a whiteskin.

  92. desmondclee says: Jun 14, 2013 11:20 AM

    Your point about “blackskins” is stupid. Hey, how about that, huh? There are huge differences between the terms “Redskins” and that name. Among other things, “Redskins” as originally conceived was not intended to be offensive. Putting up the name “blackskins” now without any other background behind it bears a clear intent to be offensive. That’s why the “Fighting Irish” isn’t deemed offensive but something like the “Fighting Chinese” would be. Get real, dude.

  93. melbatoast123 says: Jun 14, 2013 9:18 PM

    Among other things, “Redskins” as originally conceived was not intended to be offensive.

    Yeah, lots of people thought n***** wasn’t offensive either and used it regularly. Now, not so much. Redskins is offensive now. It’s no different at all than Blackskins, it’s a racial profile, period and it’s offensive. People like yourself have been conditioned that racism towards Native Americans is okay and acceptable. That’s the problem. It’s tough when you’re a racist and don’t know it, but you’ll figure it out eventually.

  94. desmondclee says: Jun 14, 2013 11:57 PM

    Awwww, Melba. Yes, I’m a racist, and I’ve been conditioned for it, etc etc.

    Guess what?

    You’ve lost.

    Move on.

    Or do you have any other ad hominem references you’d like to lob?

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