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Redskins name can’t properly be assessed without considering man who coined it

Marshall AP

The Redskins will never change their name (says Daniel Snyder), but they will spend money to try to help stem the slowly-but-surely growing tide of disorganized opposition to it.

And with each move the Redskins make to prop up a name that, unlike any other name of any other professional sports team, some people find offensive, more people who find it offensive become more willing to speak out — and more people who either didn’t know or didn’t care about the issue have the occasion to conclude that there’s something not quite kosher about the name.

The team’s decision to hire Frank Luntz to conduct a focus group undoubtedly aimed at crafting a better defense to the ongoing use of the name constitutes an implicit acknowledgement that the boat has sprung a leak.  But the effort to plug the leak could cause more leaks by creating more coverage and, in turn, fueling the movement to change the name.

Some of that coverage has included a recent tweet from Dan Steinberg of the Washington Post that contains an image of text from a New York Times article written in the days when “Redskins” universally was regarded as an appropriate term.

Under the title “Indian Uprising,” Arthur Daley wrote, “Those pesky varmints, the Redskins, are on the warpath again.  For many moons they had remained on the reservations with their squaws, tilling their fields and bothering no one.”

The article continued, with reference to the “great warrior chief” Sammy Baugh, calling Baugh’s Redskins “terrors of the plains” who “wreaked destruction everywhere” via Baugh’s “flaming torch” flung with “deadly accuracy, [and] settlements were burned to cinders.”  After Baugh’s retirement, however, the Redskins “became smokers of peace pipes.”

Anyone who would write an article like that today wouldn’t be writing many more articles for money.

The ongoing use of the name Redskins has prompted a very different article, published earlier this month by The Daily Beast.  In it, Michael Tomasky reviews the racist history of George Preston Marshall, the man who coined the term.

Tomasky points out that, when Marshall died in 1969, the bulk of his estate funded a foundation that was prohibited from contributing to “any purpose which supports or employs the principle of racial integration in any form.”  Before that, Marshall had resisted the integration of pro football, becoming the last owner to hire an African-American player.

Yes, Marshall came up with Redskins because the mother of coach William “Lone Star” Dietz was thought to be part Sioux.  And at a time when the NFL was regarded by many to be as legitimate (or illegitimate) as professional wrestling, Marshall had Dietz wear war paint and a feather headdress on game days.

So the history of the origin of the name can’t be fully appreciated without considering Marshall’s own history.  Which means that Luntz will definitely be earning his money, if/when the movement against the name figures out that tying it to Marshall could help push the needle.

One man currently pushing the needle is former Bulls and Lakers coach Phil Jackson, who recently tweeted his opinion that the Redskins name is “highly offensive.”

In hindsight, the Redskins may decide that the smarter move would have been to let the mostly sleeping dog lie.

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118 Responses to “Redskins name can’t properly be assessed without considering man who coined it”
  1. Rick Spielman is a Magician says: Jun 14, 2013 2:22 PM

    Buckle up, this one is going to break the record for comments.

  2. justintuckrule says: Jun 14, 2013 2:22 PM

    Despicable organization with a despicable history and a despicable name. If they truly want to honor their past, the most appropriate name would be the Washington NoBlackSkins.

  3. revskip says: Jun 14, 2013 2:22 PM

    The name will be changed. Maybe not in the next year but most likely within a decade. Progress is inexorable.

    There is no good reason to keep the name which is offensive. Tradition doesn’t cut it, at one time the tradition in America was to have separate drinking fountains for people of different skin colors.

  4. baywatchboy says: Jun 14, 2013 2:23 PM

    Stop. Just stop.

  5. danielmarcsnyder says: Jun 14, 2013 2:24 PM

    Ouch

  6. mikeyhigs says: Jun 14, 2013 2:24 PM

    I still have trouble believing that anybody who hears the term Washington Redskins would think that it is intended to be racist.

  7. desmondclee says: Jun 14, 2013 2:25 PM

    This is such a stupid point on so many levels. Yes, George Preston Marshall was a bigot. However, if you want to take a look at history, look at how it was originally coined back in the 30’s. Among other things, it was intended to refer to the red war paint donned by Native Americans, not their skin, scalps, or anything for that matter. And it was a name adapted by Dietz, who had Sioux blood. Funny how you give this part of history such short shrift.

    And let’s talk about hypocrisy here. If Redskins were really offensive, why do you keep using Redskins in your articles and not making it off-limits in your terms of use. The fact that you’ve used it constantly in the past, are using it now, and won’t censor it ought to speak volumes as to why this term isn’t offensive.

  8. AngryHumanoid says: Jun 14, 2013 2:26 PM

    There’s no denying that it’s offensive, it’s just that most people don’t seem to care.

  9. anonymousnevermindfishdeath says: Jun 14, 2013 2:27 PM

    D.C. Braves.

  10. thingamajig says: Jun 14, 2013 2:30 PM

    but they will spend money to try to help stem the slowly-but-surely growing tide of disorganized opposition to it.

    From the replies I’ve seen on this subject the tide is really low.

  11. steviemo says: Jun 14, 2013 2:30 PM

    Racists then. Racists now.

  12. thegreatgabbert says: Jun 14, 2013 2:32 PM

    Many moons passed until one day, a tiny brave wannabe named Little Danny mooned the NFL. The wise men of the tribe called this the Moon Of The Arrogant Dew. Or something like that.

  13. mnajb says: Jun 14, 2013 2:33 PM

    You need look no further than the fact that were you addressing a Native American, you would not say, “HEY Redskin, How’re you doing?”

    Drop the R-Word, fellas..

  14. jbutina says: Jun 14, 2013 2:33 PM

    Marshall did not coin the term Redskins . . . the Indians themselves used the name Redskins many years before the NFL existed . . .

    i grew up in very rural northern Michigan . . . lived in a town of 200 people and didn’t have cable TV until i was approx 16 . . . so growing up a Redskins fan wasn’t easy as the only games on TV in northern Michigan were Detroit or green bay . . . i had a couple of Native American friends that lived approx 20 miles away on the Baraga Indian Reservation that was part of the Chippewa Indian Tribe . . . I used to go there as often as i could as they had a recreation center with a satellite dish (the old school 15′ dish type) and watched EVERY Redskin game they could . . . the whole community would show up for the games as every single one of them was a HUGE Redskins fan . . . They flew a Redskin flag to the right of their tribal flag year round and if any player got seriously injured (like when Theisman broke his leg) flew both the Redskin flag and their tribal flag at half mast until the injury was healed or the season came to an end . . . AND, according to THEM, the term Redskin was derived by the Indians as was a term of pride meaning “Great Warrior” . . . If the Indian tribes feel this way (and i know a lot do), why would i feel the term is racist?? . . . unless i am trying to make some noise and get my 15 minutes of fame like a lot of those speaking against this that really have no clue other then what they read . . . if you ask any of these native americans they find the use of the names “Cowboys” and “Patriots” FAR more offensive as those were the people attempting to wipe them out . . . those terms would be like naming a team the “Hitlers” or the “Nazi’s” . . .

  15. mtchainsmoker says: Jun 14, 2013 2:34 PM

    Funny how it’s mostly white liberals who are offended by the name. To non-liberal people, the word “Redskin” conjures up the image of a fierce warrior who was willing to fight to the death. Looks to me like liberals are the true racists.

  16. phw222 says: Jun 14, 2013 2:36 PM

    To me, this issue is simple. Is it an insult if you say it to someone’s face? If so, it shouldn’t be a sports team name. Critics overplayed their hands by going after teams like “Warriors” at lower levels of sport.

    You can call someone an “Indian” to their face, an Apache, Navajo, Blackfeet, etc. to their face… but no one, unless they were blatantly racist, would call an Amerindian a “redskin” to their face. No one.

    If you feel differently, head to the plains to a community center on a reservation, walk into a room full of Native folks, and call them redskins. I’m guessing it won’t be all smiles.

  17. jjb0811 says: Jun 14, 2013 2:38 PM

    1. Vikings were know to murder entire cities.
    2. Raiders are famous for vandalism and murder, hence the name
    3. Buccaneers were pirates
    4. Cowboys don’t include women, racist
    5. Ravens are named after a terrible drunk
    Point is in todays society ANY name can be found offensive. give it a break.

  18. mnajb says: Jun 14, 2013 2:39 PM

    @desmondclee

    Just b/c a person is part Sioux doesn’t mean they can speak for all people on whether derisively referring to someone by their skin tone is racist.

    Just like a Redskin sponsored poll of Native Americans that says the name Redskin’s name is alright, does not mean it is.

  19. jm91rs says: Jun 14, 2013 2:39 PM

    Change your name to REDHAWKS or red something or other like Miami U of Ohio did. In 10 years people will forget it was ever the redskins, and you’ll make millions on new jerseys and gear.

  20. chicagobtech says: Jun 14, 2013 2:40 PM

    Still waiting to see an updated version of the 2004 Annenberg Public Policy Center poll to see how the “offended” parties feel about this.

  21. mike5011ad says: Jun 14, 2013 2:42 PM

    I had a friend in the army who was a huge Redskins fan. I used to joke to him about supporting a team with a racial slur for a nickname. He would tell me the whole story about how the name was supposed to celebrate Native Americans. Well, we had two soldiers who were full blooded Pueblo Indians, born and raised on the reservations in New Mexico. They were also both pretty big guys. I dared him to go over to where they were at and ask, “How are the two redskins doing today?” He declined.

    Point is, if you are uncomfortable calling someone the name to their face, then it might be a word or phrase you shouldn’t use…

  22. abcezasrg3 says: Jun 14, 2013 2:44 PM

    if the redskins name has to be changed, shouldn’t we have to change the cowboys as well…after all cowboys killed the redskins with guns and weapons not insults.

    HAIL!

  23. jm91rs says: Jun 14, 2013 2:44 PM

    mnajb says: Jun 14, 2013 2:39 PM

    @desmondclee

    Just b/c a person is part Sioux doesn’t mean they can speak for all people on whether derisively referring to someone by their skin tone is racist.

    Just like a Redskin sponsored poll of Native Americans that says the name Redskin’s name is alright, does not mean it is.

    ___________________________________

    When making this point, please keep in mind that just because you think it is wrong, does not mean that it is.

  24. onlysane1intheroom says: Jun 14, 2013 2:45 PM

    Who cares what Phil Jackson has to say on this topic? He, the pot-smoking zen master, is now our moral compass?

  25. bestbitter says: Jun 14, 2013 2:46 PM

    The Volkswagen Type 1 (or Beetle, informally) was commissioned by Adolf Hitler. Volkswagen of course, means ‘People’s Car’. Back when it came out, the ‘people’ who originally drove the Volkswagen ‘car’ were Nazis. Should I assume that all who own a Volkswagen Beetle today are Nazis?

    I get the fact that people may find this offensive, but your attempt to string this line of thinking is laughable and quite honestly boder-line ‘neener-neener level childish’.

  26. FinFan68 says: Jun 14, 2013 2:46 PM

    Phil Jackson thinks it is offensive. So? He also said Fighting Sioux was offensive but that didn’t stop him from attending UND or accepting an honorary doctorate decades later.

    The word itself is not offensive. What you think it means or was intended to mean is what’s offensive. Look up the history of the word itself. There is no way a reasonable person can conclude it is offensive after honest research. The problem is your sensitive feelings and the ability for misguided people to band together in a cause rife with ignorance.

  27. shoeflypie says: Jun 14, 2013 2:48 PM

    “…let sleeping dogs lie”..” Now there’s a name for you. The Washington Sleeping Dogs.

  28. marty2020 says: Jun 14, 2013 2:49 PM

    mnajb says: Jun 14, 2013 2:33 PM

    You need look no further than the fact that were you addressing a Native American, you would not say, “HEY Redskin, How’re you doing?”
    ============================

    Of course not. That person would not be a redskin, he would be a Native American. Redskin refers to the Washington DC football team.

  29. geemoney713 says: Jun 14, 2013 2:51 PM

    I agree that it matters who coined the term for the team, but at some point the mascot becomes something more than the man that created the name.

    There is zero malice attached to the team name these days and it is associated with pride and power, now more than ever. The Indian warrior doesn’t exist anymore, but he lives on within representations like this.

  30. logicalvoicesisnotlogical says: Jun 14, 2013 2:53 PM

    Keep the name change the logo to a potato and call it a day

  31. thirdistheworrd says: Jun 14, 2013 2:53 PM

    mnajb says: Jun 14, 2013 2:39 PM

    @desmondclee

    Just b/c a person is part Sioux doesn’t mean they can speak for all people on whether derisively referring to someone by their skin tone is racist.

    Just like a Redskin sponsored poll of Native Americans that says the name Redskin’s name is alright, does not mean it is.
    _______________
    How about a publicly-funded poll by the University of Pennsylvania’s (liberal-leaning) Annenberg Insititute that found that 92% of Natives they surveyed were not offended by the name? How about if that poll used a sample size 200 times larger than an average Gallup Poll, a survey so reliable it’s findings are generally regarded as fact?

    Moreover Dietz, an Oglala Sioux who was brought up on an Oglala eservation and sent to Native assimilation boarding schools all over the country throughout his childhood (as was the practice in the late 19th and early 20th centuries), is not relvant in terms of whether or not the word itself is derogatory. The point is that if the team was named in his honor, it clearly wasn’t named the “Redskins” as an affront to Natives. The point desmondclee made is about original intent, not whether the name is right or wrong.

  32. lks311 says: Jun 14, 2013 2:54 PM

    The real irony of Snyder’s insistence that the name will NEVER change, is that George Preston Marshall would have NEVER sold the club to Daniel Snyder or anyone from his TRIBE.

    Funny, when you think about it.

  33. roadtrip3500 says: Jun 14, 2013 2:54 PM

    The opening theme song from the old TV comedy F-Troop uses the term in the lyrics – that show aired for only two years as a first-run (1965-66 and 66-67) but has been in reruns ever since and is offered in a full-series DVD box set. Shouldn’t these same opponents want the complete ban of that show, including the discontinuance of DVD sales?

  34. rdrs68 says: Jun 14, 2013 2:56 PM

    Frank Luntz to do focus groups? He must taking time off from his normal job-spreading garbage to fire up extreme right wingers. I’m sure once Frank gets things all spun up Faux News will be fanning the flames so all of the sheeple, kool aid drinkers, and head bobbers will get some talking points.

  35. mancave001 says: Jun 14, 2013 3:00 PM

    I’ve sort of changed my tune on this one. The term Redskins does, in fact, refer to scalping (at least it did). I always thought it had to do with skin color or perhaps red warpaint but apparently I was incorrect.

    That being said has anyone noticed that it seems to be almost exclusively rich white guys and a handful of politically connected blacks who are offended by this term? Comparing it to the N word is totally insane. Sure, in today’s times it can be seen as being politically incorrect. But I’m with one of the previous commenters: How many people are actually offended at this term?

  36. kd75 says: Jun 14, 2013 3:00 PM

    Washington Bullets changed their name to the Wizards and have done nothing since. Keep the Washington Redskins.

  37. davem23 says: Jun 14, 2013 3:01 PM

    What about the “Packers”, not that there is anything wrong with that.

  38. 11inthebox says: Jun 14, 2013 3:01 PM

    mtchainsmoker says:

    Funny how it’s mostly white liberals who are offended by the name. To non-liberal people, the word “Redskin” conjures up the image of a fierce warrior who was willing to fight to the death. Looks to me like liberals are the true racists.
    —————————————————-
    Yep. That’s gotta be it, cause everybody knows all “non-liberal” white folks just love them some “minorities.”

    Hey, what does your closest Native American friend think of your take on this issue?

  39. kleppnasty says: Jun 14, 2013 3:01 PM

    For those saying that the Redskins org is sponsoring any of the polls of support, just Google “Redskins” “University of Pennsyvania”. You will find that Penn conducted a poll asking Native Americans directly if they found the name of the Washington Redskins football team offensive. 90% said they did not find it offensive.

    If/when a consensus of Native American’s come out to say that they are against the name, then this is an issue. But when 90% of the affected group state that they support the name, than I think the white, black and other non Native American’s really need to drop it.

    Stating things like “clearly the word Redskin is racist” is ignorant. You will find that when it was used negatively (as in the quote in this article) that other terms were also used negatively in that writing. There was a long period of time where any writing about Native American’s in America used negative descriptions.
    Throughout history, it is difficult to find too many uses of the word in the same vain as other racist slurs. Generally most historical references refer to Redskin in the same vein as “Warrior” b/c it described the war paint used in battle not the actual skin of the Native Americans.
    Finally, we know that “Indians” is offensive, yet no mention to get rid of Cleveland’s name. Cowboys slaughtered Native American’s by the thousands yet now outcry that ‘America’s Team’ celebrates these rapist and murderers. If you’re going to get change names ‘for the sake of Native Americans’, you better not forget the other very offensive names in the league.

  40. desmondclee says: Jun 14, 2013 3:02 PM

    mark and mnajb, I wouldn’t say “Hey Redskin” to any Native American individually. However, I would say “I’m a Redskins fan.” There’s a big difference between the two. In the former instance, the hearer could infer an offensive intent because, among other things, it’s directed to them personally, it’s a name associated with a racial reference, and it’s being made by a non-Native American. On the other hand, if I were to say “I’m a Redskins fan” to them, that would be a whole lot different. To be sure, they could still be offended because they believe the term ‘Redskins’ to be off-limits, however, their reason for taking issue with my statement would much different than the proposition you offered up.

    As a further illustration, if a non-White person would go up to an Irish person and tell him or her “Hey, Fighting Irishman,” that would be reasonably interpreted as being offensive. In particular, it would be uttered by a non-White person, a statement with a racial reference, and delivered individually to the hearer. However, you were to tell that same person, “I’m a big fan of the Fighting Irish,” the whole context is different. Like the example above, the guy still could be offended because he believes that “Fighting Irish” is insulting, but his reason for being so is much different from the hypothetical posed when that term is being stated to him individually.

  41. weepingjebus says: Jun 14, 2013 3:04 PM

    If I wanted to read articles by left wingers frantically ignoring all the enormous problems they’ve created and sustained for this country while attempting to “fix” some imaginary injustice only they care about, I’d be over at the NY Times site right now. This article would have gotten a C- in the Sociology 101 class of any college in America’s top 50.

  42. anactualnflowner says: Jun 14, 2013 3:05 PM

    Why is Redskins offensive? It’s an over-exaggeration of color to describe the tone of skin. I’m not offended when people say white people or black people. Forgive me for using 3 negatives, but you don’t have to pretend that colors don’t exist to not be racist. Just treat everyone with respect and go about your day without whining about your liberal agenda and the world will be a better place… :)

  43. thejuddstir says: Jun 14, 2013 3:06 PM

    I submit that the liberals who are most offended by the name Redskins are the very people who are racist as they interpret the term as being racist and thus they are trying to make themselves feel better by complaining. People who understand the term for what it is, never say “Redskins” and think about an individual or a race. It is never thought of in an offensive manner, no more than Fighting Irish, Fighting Sioux, K.C. “Chiefs”, etc. etc. It’s time people, including Florio, grow up about such thin-skinned issues. I don’t give a thought when i hear a black person say, “honkie, cracker, whitey, etc.” Special interest groups will continue to erode our society because it’s “all about me”…..grow up people. I’ve watched NFL football for 50 years and have never once thought anything other than the Washington football team when I hear Redskins or Skins. Funny, it’s all guilty feeling white people who are making this an issue…..haven’t heard a Native American say a thing about it, so let’s continue to make an issue where there is no issue. Pathetic.

  44. thirdistheworrd says: Jun 14, 2013 3:08 PM

    My race shouldn’t matter in abstract discussions like this, but unfortunately the fact that I’m a black man seems to legitimize my points.

    For starters, yes, Marshall was a racist and a pretty horrible person, but you also have to consider that in many ways, his racism was as much commercial as it was bigotry. NFL teams originated along the East Coast, and as the southernmost team in the league, Washington was regarded as the “Team of the South”. Washington’s fan base ranged from (in those days) extremely rural Virginia and Tennessee down through Carolinas and Georgia, and all the way to heart of American racism along the Gulf Coast. Marshall’s stance on black players was in many ways personal, but also a way to appeal to an old-school racist Southern fan base.

    Lastly, and it’s still no excuse, you have to remember that 1961 (when the team integrated) was still very early in the Civil Rights movement. This was just wight years after Brown v. Board, five years after the Montgomery Bus Boycott and Little Rock Nine, a year before James Meredith enrolled at Ole Miss, and two years before the March on Washington and “I Have a Dream” speech.

    Again, this is no defense of Marshall, just an argument that the team was in no way founded on or named after racist principles.

  45. timbuttrum says: Jun 14, 2013 3:09 PM

    Phil Jackson, why is this offensive? You are an old white guy. How are people “offended” by something that has nothing to do with them? In this particular case, the only people that could possibly be offended are Native Americans. Everybody else is irrelevant. I’m tired of hearing how non-Native Americans are offended. I’m offended by their being offended. I want to hear from actual Native Americans.

  46. jackbassett says: Jun 14, 2013 3:09 PM

    Washington Foreskins because they haven’t done d!ck in ages.

  47. ravensterps says: Jun 14, 2013 3:09 PM

    Please stop comparing Irishman to Redskin. They are NOT analogous terms.

  48. davem23 says: Jun 14, 2013 3:10 PM

    Can we now go back to RG3’s knee discussion?

  49. boltfansmith says: Jun 14, 2013 3:11 PM

    Still a Racist slur.

  50. metalman5150 says: Jun 14, 2013 3:11 PM

    Let’s all get a trophy at the end of the year!
    Let’s all bake cupcakes and just lose ourselves in ourselves. Yay for everybody winning & no one being butt hurt!!!
    Screw subtlety

  51. ravensterps says: Jun 14, 2013 3:11 PM

    mancave001 says: Jun 14, 2013 3:00 PM

    “How many people are actually offended at this term?”

    ——————————–

    I hate this argument. A great article on Grantland put it like this: “if your team name only exists because there happened to be a genocide, it’s time for that name to change.”

  52. thirdistheworrd says: Jun 14, 2013 3:12 PM

    11inthebox says: Jun 14, 2013 3:01 PM

    mtchainsmoker says:

    Funny how it’s mostly white liberals who are offended by the name. To non-liberal people, the word “Redskin” conjures up the image of a fierce warrior who was willing to fight to the death. Looks to me like liberals are the true racists.
    —————————————————-
    Yep. That’s gotta be it, cause everybody knows all “non-liberal” white folks just love them some “minorities.”

    Hey, what does your closest Native American friend think of your take on this issue?
    ________________
    First off, are you really accusing all white Republicans of being racists (as in the ones who are well on their way to nominating a Hispanic guy for president in 2016)?

    More off what does your closes Native American friend think?

    Served. (by a Black Libertarian-Republican) Double served.

  53. hurrayforyogapants says: Jun 14, 2013 3:13 PM

    Ironic that they brought in Luntz to save the name, when that act will actually hasten its demise. This is going to be a PR nightmare, talk show hosts will make fun of Luntz and it will get way more media coverage than it would have if Snyder had just said “The name stays. End of discussion.”

  54. nomoreseasontix says: Jun 14, 2013 3:14 PM

    Sheesh… If they REALLY want to be offensive, they could change the name to “Washington Bean Monkeys” or something equally bad.

    I’m not sure “Redskin” is any more offensive than “Paleface”… And that’s not particularly offensive.

  55. feadshipman says: Jun 14, 2013 3:14 PM

    Give it a freakin rest already, you do not have a right to not be offended in this country so live with it!

    I am part Crow and Blackfoot and I could give two c r a p s about this complete NON-issue!! Go ahead and call me a redskin it matters not to me.

    There are plenty of other more important issues in this world than the name of some sports team! How about the NSA spying on every email and phone call made in this country? That’s a much bigger threat to us than what some NFL team is using for a name!

    How about the politicizing of the IRS? That kind of stuff sends chills down my spine, to think that some corrupt president can order the IRS to come after someone that doesn’t agree with them. It doesn’t matter what party it is, whoever is in power that can wield that kind of weight can destroy anyone it wants to.

    That is way more important than what a team’s name is. The pussification of this country is nearly complete when the biggest threat to you people is what the name of a sports team happens to be!

  56. ravensterps says: Jun 14, 2013 3:14 PM

    “We’ll start signing Negroes when the Harlem Globetrotters start signing whites.”

    —George Preston Marshall; founder of the Washington Redskins, 1961

  57. bestbitter says: Jun 14, 2013 3:15 PM

    Redskin is first recorded in the late 17th century and was applied to the Algonquian peoples generally, but specifically to the Delaware (who lived in what is now southern New York State and New York City, New Jersey, and eastern Pennsylvania). Redskin referred not to the natural skin color of the Delaware, but to their use of vermilion face paint and body paint.

  58. ColtsWinColtsWin!! says: Jun 14, 2013 3:16 PM

    Let me be clear

    I HATE THE REDSKINS!!!!!

    Now, with that out of the way, what a bunch of crybaby bs, who is it really hurting? who? instead of whining about the name go give 100 bucks to an Indian charity, that is where you will make a difference!!!!!

  59. thirdistheworrd says: Jun 14, 2013 3:16 PM

    rdrs68 says: Jun 14, 2013 2:56 PM

    Frank Luntz to do focus groups? He must taking time off from his normal job-spreading garbage to fire up extreme right wingers. I’m sure once Frank gets things all spun up Faux News will be fanning the flames so all of the sheeple, kool aid drinkers, and head bobbers will get some talking points.
    _____________
    Frank Luntz is a statistician well-regarded and used by both Liberals and conservatives. He definitely has a conservative bent, but appears on CNN and CNBC just as often as he does on FOX

  60. apmn says: Jun 14, 2013 3:16 PM

    Keep at it, Mike!

  61. SilentMajority says: Jun 14, 2013 3:17 PM

    The meaning of words change over time, so even though Redskins was acceptable back when it was first coined, it is obvious that it is no longer acceptable. One day the Redskins will change their name, and people will look back and wonder what took so long…

  62. tuckernyg says: Jun 14, 2013 3:17 PM

    A little history lesson sheds light on the origin of the name. Back in the day, pro football team nicknames often derived from the name of the local major-league baseball team. So the Chicago Bears played off the Cubs. The Detroit Lions hearkened back to the Tigers. Now let’s examine the likely origin of the “Redskins” name. When the franchise originated in Boston in 1932, the baseball teams were the Red Sox and the Braves. “Redskins” is a clever combination of them both. Nothing more than that.

  63. cajunaise says: Jun 14, 2013 3:17 PM

    For anyone trying to leverage the “conditional racism” argument: give an example of racism which cannot be argued as being conditional, and I’ll buy an NFL team for you.

  64. mcconne77 says: Jun 14, 2013 3:18 PM

    I’m a Redskins fan. I don’t find the name offensive and I don’t personally know anyone who does find the name offensive. I know a few people who are of Native American heritage and they are also fans of the Redskins and are not offended by the name.

    But, lets assume the Redskins change their name to a politically correct name. Then what? How will this have helped society? How will it improve the standard of living for Native Americans? It seems like there are a lot of other ways to help. Or is that not the point?

  65. skinswillsurprise says: Jun 14, 2013 3:18 PM

    When will this stop? People are making a huge deal out of nothing. The Government is trying to make things “right” with the Native Americans. Name the team Washington Christopher Columbus’. Would the Native Americans have a problem with that? The man on the dollar bill owned slaves. Should blacks be offended by that and change the dollar bill? If the Government wants to make things right, give the Native Americans their land back!! HTTR!!!!!!!!!!!!

  66. dwatkins69 says: Jun 14, 2013 3:18 PM

    mnajb says:
    “You need look no further than the fact that were you addressing a Native American, you would not say, “HEY Redskin, How’re you doing?”

    Drop the R-Word, fellas..”

    Mnajb, The r word is already taken. That is now called developmentally disabled.

  67. dwatkins69 says: Jun 14, 2013 3:20 PM

    A caller on the Dennis Miller radio show had a great idea. Just change the mascot to Teddy Kennedy and know one can say anything about the term redskin

  68. 2bemoore43 says: Jun 14, 2013 3:20 PM

    @jbutina:…dude a lot of black folks refer to themselves as the ‘N’ word. By your logic, if some other black american is not offended by the word then the rest of us should be okay with the usage of the word….. that is plain idiotic!

  69. smackywomack says: Jun 14, 2013 3:21 PM

    hail to the REDSKINS
    hail victory
    braves on the warpath
    fight for ol DC

  70. rgledz says: Jun 14, 2013 3:22 PM

    Terrible team in a terrible city with a terrible stadium and a terrible field. Just shut it down, nobody cares.

  71. bcgreg says: Jun 14, 2013 3:23 PM

    I wonder if atheists are offended by the team name in New Orleans or if really tall people are offended by the team name in New York–no, not the Jets, moron!

    This is all just so insane. There are bigger issues.

  72. dcsween says: Jun 14, 2013 3:24 PM

    1. Other than the Cleveland NFL team, does ANY other team mascot purport to “honor” the mascot? I doubt it. Lame excuse.
    2. The current grumblings about the name are probably just a proxy to grumble against The Owner, who is himself the thinnest-skinned billionaire in the country, maybe the planet. Because the team is winning, and because The Owner is still there, fans can’t direct their ire at him for messing with the team.
    3. His NEVER remark got opponents of the name digging in deeper. He can’t MAKE me call the team that R-word. He should have left well enough alone and let someone like the Commissioner figure out something like how “its complex” or “over time”.
    4. It doesn’t matter what the original intention was.
    5. I’m so bummed that we have to wait another six weeks before any actual football happens. This story line is going to out-meme everything in that time period.

  73. dano1only says: Jun 14, 2013 3:25 PM

    Ok let me see… White man, cracket etc are ok……. Black man (use to be ok) Redskin is not?? The name of the team honors them and is not meant to be racist.. Let’s move on to more important issues like what is going on with our government. It seems to me that is much more important. BTW part American Indian myself and fins no offense??

  74. mtchainsmoker says: Jun 14, 2013 3:26 PM

    11inthebox says:Jun 14, 2013 3:01 PM

    mtchainsmoker says:

    Funny how it’s mostly white liberals who are offended by the name. To non-liberal people, the word “Redskin” conjures up the image of a fierce warrior who was willing to fight to the death. Looks to me like liberals are the true racists.
    —————————————————-
    Yep. That’s gotta be it, cause everybody knows all “non-liberal” white folks just love them some “minorities.”

    Hey, what does your closest Native American friend think of your take on this issue?
    ——————————————-
    Funny you should ask. I live only a handful of miles from a reservation, and guess who the favorite NFL teams are among the Natives that I know? The Redskins and the Chiefs. Go figure. Apparently you don’t know as much as you like to think you do, but then again, you are a liberal.

  75. justintuckrule says: Jun 14, 2013 3:26 PM

    I have a solution. Call them the Redskaz. Just like how the n-word loses its slur when “az” replaces “ers”.

  76. speters0630 says: Jun 14, 2013 3:28 PM

    When I was at App St, we had a sociology project that included 11 Native American communities represented from NC, TN, KY and VA. Although the sports logo/mascot topic was not a major focus, we did bring it up. Only one group mentioned it as a subject, they ALL said they had many other concerns that are more pressing than being offended by the Washington Team name. (They did say they weren’t thrilled with the Cleveland baseball logo). Although my hats don’t have the logo image, I still see the image use as proud. If the name is changed, fine…. this righteous indignation by non- Native Americans is ridiculous.

  77. roymunson1 says: Jun 14, 2013 3:37 PM

    Phil Jackson hates white people.

  78. qdog112 says: Jun 14, 2013 3:38 PM

    mikeyhigs says:
    Jun 14, 2013 2:24 PM
    I still have trouble believing that anybody who hears the term Washington Redskins would think that it is intended to be racist.
    **********************************
    Since when does something have to be intended to be racist, to be racist? That’ s like saying, I have nothing against black people, as long as they stay in their place.

    If your “natural order of things” is racist, there is no intent. That’s just the way you view things. The fact is that in American history, Redskins=savages. It’s an insulting, derisive word and the team should change the name.

  79. scottjw1 says: Jun 14, 2013 3:43 PM

    How about if the writers and reporters who find the term offensive stop using it and simply refer to them as “The NFL team that plays in Landover, MD”.

    Writers and reporters who indicate that they agree with the name being offensive come across as hypocritical when they use it in their stories.

    Additionally, I would presume that the NFL and the team would dislike the lack of publicity and name recognition for the team.

  80. chawkup says: Jun 14, 2013 3:45 PM

    The word is racist and offensive. The a**hole who coined it was a massive racist. It is not the “original” name. Change it.

  81. mwitt5148 says: Jun 14, 2013 3:46 PM

    I don’t find the name offensive in any way shape or form. I think the whole thing is silly and rediculous. Most of the politicians and writers who oppose the name are pretty far left people. Certainly not in the mainstream. That name has been attached this team for decades. It’s a part of NFL history. I hope they never change it.

  82. jmac1013 says: Jun 14, 2013 3:47 PM

    Where is the citation that Marshall coined the phrase “redskin?”

  83. kingcrusher says: Jun 14, 2013 3:48 PM

    I had my Navajo friend come up to me and he said, “Hey, white man!” and I just stopped, looked at him and said, “Hey, I take offense to that you racist pig!” and then I proceeded to take him to court and have the judge rule that he couldn’t call me “White” because, I find that offensive.
    Now if he had said, “Hey, bi-pedal cabon-based lifeform, with epidermis whose shade is pinkish-white!” I would have been OK with that.

    GIVE IT A REST, NO ONE WHO HAS A BRAIN CARES!

  84. giantsfanlewis says: Jun 14, 2013 3:49 PM

    I think the funniest thing is most who want the name redskins changed are also the same people who call native Americans, Indians. That in itself is more offensive then calling them redskins since the term red skin wasn’t used as a racial slur but talked about the war paint they wore during battle. While calling a Native American an Indian is saying first of which they are from India, which they are not considering they are Native Americans and if anything would be Asian(yellow skin) or Caucasian(white skin) due to the land bridge and the Vikings who came to America.

    And to top this whole article off lets remember the negro baseball leagues and negro World Series. The term is only offensive if you let those who wanna offend you be successful. People have called me many things and I look and say “and I’m the best damn one of them you’ll find” or in the words of slim shady “I am whatever you say I am”

    Or in other words words can’t hurt me. Many things in this world can, including things as small as screws or staples, but words still can’t

  85. mackie66 says: Jun 14, 2013 3:53 PM

    Half of you sensitive types committing on this here blog dont have a problem with calling people from the south, rednecks, so whats wrong with redskins? Some of you sensitive types are to sensitive and maybe shouldn’t be typing on a football blog. The NFL has taken away hard tackles, collar tackles, hard tackles on, and I love this phrase, unprotected players. All this for you sensitive types. How do you, sensitive types, pick your nose at red lights?

  86. patriotsdefense says: Jun 14, 2013 3:53 PM

    I think it is time for a change, to help start that process people need to start considering new names.

    Washington Arrowheads
    Washington Warhawks
    Washington Admirals
    Washington Football Club (or DCFC)

  87. lks311 says: Jun 14, 2013 4:05 PM

    thirdistheworrd says:
    Jun 14, 2013 3:08 PM
    My race shouldn’t matter in abstract discussions like this, but unfortunately the fact that I’m a black man seems to legitimize my points.

    For starters, yes, Marshall was a racist and a pretty horrible person, but you also have to consider that in many ways, his racism was as much commercial as it was bigotry. NFL teams originated along the East Coast, and as the southernmost team in the league, Washington was regarded as the “Team of the South”. Washington’s fan base ranged from (in those days) extremely rural Virginia and Tennessee down through Carolinas and Georgia, and all the way to heart of American racism along the Gulf Coast. Marshall’s stance on black players was in many ways personal, but also a way to appeal to an old-school racist Southern fan base.

    Lastly, and it’s still no excuse, you have to remember that 1961 (when the team integrated) was still very early in the Civil Rights movement. This was just wight years after Brown v. Board, five years after the Montgomery Bus Boycott and Little Rock Nine, a year before James Meredith enrolled at Ole Miss, and two years before the March on Washington and “I Have a Dream” speech.

    Again, this is no defense of Marshall, just an argument that the team was in no way founded on or named after racist principles.
    _______________________

    I don’t care if you professed to be making your argument as the direct descendant of Malcom X.
    Marshall was a racist. The fact that he could cloak it in this “team of the south” thing was just convenient. You’re just one black voice…one. It’s your solitary opinion. The fact that it’s wrong, though, is convenient for the rest of us.

  88. gvboot says: Jun 14, 2013 4:07 PM

    We need more Arthur Daley speak, and less pc speak. The pc bunch will get football banned. Already trying to do it in Ca.

  89. Rick Spielman is a Magician says: Jun 14, 2013 4:11 PM

    jjb0811 says:Jun 14, 2013 2:38 PM

    1. Vikings were know to murder entire cities.
    2. Raiders are famous for vandalism and murder, hence the name
    3. Buccaneers were pirates
    4. Cowboys don’t include women, racist
    5. Ravens are named after a terrible drunk
    Point is in todays society ANY name can be found offensive. give it a break.
    ______

    This is the dumbest argument of all. For those names to be offensive in the same way as Redskins, there would first have to be Vikings, Raiders, or Buccaneers around today to be offended. Second, the names would have to be some derogatory nickname, not the actual names they called themselves.

    And why did you say Cowboys are racist? Is it because they referred to the Indians as redskins?

  90. trollhammer20 says: Jun 14, 2013 4:27 PM

    Last team in the NFL to integrate. One commenter once wrote “Jim Brown integrated the Redskin end zone three times”.

    Only reason they did finally relent was that the Feds were going to deny them land for a stadium unless they did so. The American Nazi Party actually picketed at the site of RFK, carrying signs urging “Keep the Redskins White”.

    Because, you know, it’s traditional.

  91. swede700 says: Jun 14, 2013 4:36 PM

    I find interesting the comments that suggest that just because the term Redskins is identified with a football team, that makes it okay. So, if there were a team called the Jacksonville Japs, that would be okay as long as it was identified as a football team? Or if a team was called the Richmond Retards, that would be okay if it was identified as a football team?

    A slur is a slur. Whether it’s identified with a sports team or not doesn’t make it right.

  92. jaxcliff says: Jun 14, 2013 4:50 PM

    This is stupid. You’re actually claiming that Marshall’s flaming racism caused him to name his team after a group he hated? No, idiots. He named it after a group he ADMIRED.

  93. Uncle Charlie says: Jun 14, 2013 5:59 PM

    I love watching neo-con mouth breathers collapse under the weight of their collective stupidity. And your shocked that you can’t win a national election.

  94. dlr4skins says: Jun 14, 2013 6:02 PM

    I also propose that ALL people including blacks refrain from any use of the N word or make negative comments about women.

    Seems to me that we can’t save everyone from everything, there just isn’t enough bubble wrap to cover yourself in!

    I also think what we’ve done to the native people (growing up in an area ripe with native settlements on the plains and also within 7 miles of a former “re-education campus” where good Christian folks tore children as young as four from their parents to rape them of their culture, dress them as “English”, take their land and temples, sexually abuse a few, and also make them work in sweat shops to pay their own way for such privileges) is so offensive that the term Redskin is farthest from their new minds. How petty to think your doing them a favor by championing this cause. Drive to a reservation, not to frequent a casino, but to volunteer and learn what really upsets the native people.

    By the way, you can find information online about the Genoa, Nebraska Indian School.

    Florio should think about this some more before he “helps” the natives end their plight of being called a Redskin!

  95. NoHomeTeam says: Jun 14, 2013 6:08 PM

    desmondclee says: ” . . . As a further illustration, if a non-White person would go up to an Irish person and tell him or her “Hey, Fighting Irishman,” that would be reasonably interpreted as being offensive. In particular, it would be uttered by a non-White person, a statement with a racial reference, and delivered individually to the hearer. However, you were to tell that same person, “I’m a big fan of the Fighting Irish,” the whole context is different. Like the example above, the guy still could be offended because he believes that “Fighting Irish” is insulting, but his reason for being so is much different from the hypothetical posed when that term is being stated to him individually.

    ****************
    I see what you did there . . .

    Try this on for size. It would be like saying, “I’m a fan of the Fighting Micks. ” I’ll bet the response wouldn’t be quite as nuanced and contextual then.

  96. hatesycophants says: Jun 14, 2013 6:24 PM

    Frank Luntz is a right wing hack.

  97. shaunypoo says: Jun 14, 2013 6:32 PM

    “slowly-but-surely growing tide of disorganized opposition”

    Citations please.

  98. wheezerswin says: Jun 14, 2013 7:22 PM

    No matter what happens I will always ALWAYS refer to them as the Redskins!

  99. dietrich43 says: Jun 14, 2013 7:29 PM

    I keep hoping that an old Mad TV skit comes true, and the Natuve Americans use casino money to buy sports teams and rename them. For one, Snyder is a horrible owner. And two, it woukd be fun to hear about the Washington Land Robbers or Treaty Breakers.

  100. franklinandbashandflorio says: Jun 14, 2013 8:05 PM

    I am Full blooded indigenous and I agree with the NCAI, (National Congress of American Indians), when they say, ““NCAI supports Mayor Gray’s statement that the NFL’s Washington football team should only return to the nation’s Capital when the team’s name is changed. It’s time for the NFL and the Washington football team to join the 21st century and leave the mockery and racism of the past where it belongs, in the past.”.
    It is time to stop the Ignorance.

  101. voyager6 says: Jun 14, 2013 9:01 PM

    If forced, Snyder may make the DC politicians regret making him change the name.

    How about Washington Government Leeches?

    Or Washington Senate Hacks? or Windbags?

    I am sure imagination can come up with better.

  102. melbatoast123 says: Jun 14, 2013 9:23 PM

    Get rid of all Native American mascots, but especially this one. The American Psychological Association has already recommended it because it perpetuates racial stereotypes against Natives. There’s no more proof of that than the legion of fans who think this slur of a name is acceptable and that it somehow “honors” Natives. They don’t need honors like that. Many Native leaders have said exactly that.

    Stop quoting garbage polls that ask people to self identify as Native Americans. None of them are proof of anything.

  103. jrcoop says: Jun 14, 2013 9:35 PM

    I guess the R word must not be that offensive, since it’s the first word in the title of the article, and used extensively throughout.

  104. aprilwalker2013 says: Jun 14, 2013 10:59 PM

    Synder shouldn’t have to pay for what somebody did way back then!! HTTR

  105. 1standinches says: Jun 14, 2013 11:53 PM

    its funny I don’t hear a single gay person offended by the name Packers, yet someone wants to say the Redskins name is offensive interesting..

  106. the3taveren says: Jun 15, 2013 8:34 AM

    tuckernyg says:
    Jun 14, 2013 3:17 PM
    A little history lesson sheds light on the origin of the name. Back in the day, pro football team nicknames often derived from the name of the local major-league baseball team. So the Chicago Bears played off the Cubs. The Detroit Lions hearkened back to the Tigers. Now let’s examine the likely origin of the “Redskins” name. When the franchise originated in Boston in 1932, the baseball teams were the Red Sox and the Braves. “Redskins” is a clever combination of them both. Nothing more than that.
    ___________________________________________________

    Actually, what you said isn’t accurate, but it is the closest anyone has gotten to the truth yet. Yes, there were two MLB teams in Boston when the team currently named the Redskins was established in 1932. They were first named the Boston Braves and yes they played in the same stadium as the MLB Boston Braves played. When the team moved to Fenway Park they wanted a connection to the Redsox without losing the association they had with Native Americans so Redskins was natural fit.
    Maybe, this wasn’t the most PC choice, but it was the 1930’s there wad no such thing as PC then. I imagine there were people at time that still used redskin as a racial but the simple fact is it is no longer used as a racial slur and with one exception it is only used to represent (with pride) the Washington Redskins. That one exception is in the press where we’re being force fed the name is racist.
    It hasn’t been for atleast 30 – 40 years, but with enough media coverage people will start seeing it as racist. So go on keep fanning a flame and make proud team’s name an ugly thing. Great job, I hope you’re proud of yourselves.

  107. mute617 says: Jun 15, 2013 8:42 AM

    I find Bills offensive being in Buffalo because it reminds me of a movie serial killer. We must change their name. I find 49ers offensive too because the best gold diggers came in 48 which cause the rush. I’m offended for cowboys everywhere by the Dallas Cowboys… Change it.

  108. reaganyears says: Jun 15, 2013 10:41 AM

    …yawn…….

  109. thrstr says: Jun 15, 2013 2:45 PM

    I’ve enjoyed this site over the years, but if this PC political crap continues it will continue the downfall of whatever significance PFT has enjoyed as a “sports” info site, possibly began with merger with NBC? Drop it already.

  110. Always On Slightly Off says: Jun 15, 2013 3:42 PM

    A voice of reason would say that there should now be a moratorium on any future stories, posts, articles, statements. political leanings, musings, whispers, mutterings, rantings, or any other form used to continue this issue. The name is not going to be changed no matter who protests it. PLEASE find something else to write about. Even if it is a slow news day.

  111. skinsfansince71 says: Jun 15, 2013 3:46 PM

    jackbassett says: Jun 14, 2013 3:09 PM

    Washington Foreskins because they haven’t done d!ck in ages.

    Wow this is still here and my post get deleted.Can you please come up with something new?

  112. frenzy95 says: Jun 17, 2013 10:22 PM

    Where does it stop? Will the Cleveland Indians have to change names? Atlanta Braves? Chicago Blackhawks? Kansas City Chiefs?

  113. musicman495 says: Jun 19, 2013 11:57 AM

    And while we are on the subject of racism in the NFL, would someone like to start looking into whether George Preston Marshal was alone among NFL management from 1930 – 1980 in his racial attitudes? Does anyone think it was coincidence that AFL teams had about 4 or 5 times the black players on their rosters as NFL teams? There are many stories told about NFL teams always having an even number “quota” of black players (either 2 or 4) so that the black players could always room with each other for road games.

  114. condor75 says: Jun 20, 2013 8:16 AM

    mikeyhigs says:
    Jun 14, 2013 2:24 PM
    I still have trouble believing that anybody who hears the term Washington Redskins would think that it is intended to be racist.
    It wasn’t intended to be racist, it is racist. It the equivalent of the N Word to blacks. Stop trying to defend the indefensible. REDSKIN had no positive connotation, PERIOD. There are no teams named “GUIDOS” of “WAPS” and there shouldn’t be.

  115. The Prophet says: Jun 20, 2013 10:13 AM

    Thank you Florio for continuing to push this issue which is hopefully making some PFT readers at least think about re-considering their view of leaving well enough alone, but also your push will continue to stir the pot amongst other national media folks.

  116. The Prophet says: Jun 20, 2013 10:16 AM

    frenzy95 says: Jun 17, 2013 10:22 PM

    Where does it stop? Will the Cleveland Indians have to change names? Atlanta Braves? Chicago Blackhawks? Kansas City Chiefs?
    ———————————————–

    It stops when the offensive names are gone. Chiefs, Braves, and Blackhawks are not racial slurs, Redskins is. And Indians is an incorrect term, but more offensive is that cartoon logo of a Native American. I would think the Cleveland Indians would be next, but will probably change quicker since Washington DC already set precedent for gimmick changes.

  117. skinsfanwill says: Jun 20, 2013 11:10 AM

    Politicians want the name changed to remove any relevance of native Americans in this country. They will soon follow up with taking the rest of their land and their profitable casino’s. They have already started taxing them on the cigs and gas in NY state. any time politicians are involved the deed is never what it seems. Native Americans better wake up and keep their name on every sports team possible. Out of sight is out of mind.

  118. davis1321 says: Jun 30, 2013 9:08 PM

    If some one calls me a cracker, the white man or redneck do you think I care? No… these other races just need to calm down. Its just a word.

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