In their zeal to defend the name Redskins against disorganized and scattered opposition that gradually is becoming more organized and less scattered, the NFL team bearing that name has had a tendency to seize in knee-jerk fashion upon anything that supports the position that the name isn’t offensive.
The two primary tactics having entailed citing the various high schools that still use the name (there are fewer all the time) and trumpeting the opinions of Native Americans who have no problem with the name, and who ostensibly would regard as a compliment the greeting, “What’s up, redskin?”
As explained by Dave McKenna in an item published earlier today by Deadspin (yeah, I know that one of the morons who works there recently called me a moron . . . again), a supposed Native American Chief whom the Redskins recently trotted out in support of the name isn’t a Chief, and may not even be a Native American. But the Redskins, who apparently have chosen to dispense with steps like vetting a guest, put the guy on their in-house web show, described him as a Chief, and had him explain why he supports the name.
And, yes, the guy actually said that Native Americans on the “reservation” actually great each other with, “Hey, what’s up, redskin?”
Complicating matters for the league is that Commissioner Roger Goodell recently pointed to the same non-Chief-possibly-non-Native-American in a letter to member of Congress defending the ongoing use of the name Redskins.
The full item is worth a read, even though it’s a little lengthy. Also, it probably should include a disclaimer that the author once triggered a defamation lawsuit from owner Daniel Snyder, which gives McKenna a natural bias.
But the point has been made. Yet again, the Redskins end up looking bad while trying to make their name look good.
If nothing else, we now know why they’ve hired Frank Luntz. Then again, maybe they think he’s a Chief, too.