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Will Sterling lifetime ban push Redskins issue to critical mass?

Silver AP

In the immediate aftermath of the release of Clippers owner Donald Sterling’s private racist rant, a former NFL team executive suggested that Redskins owner Daniel Snyder likely welcomes the distraction from the ongoing scrutiny of his team’s public and — in the opinion of some — racist team name.

The situations, on the surface, are inherently different.  But as the NBA demonstrates that it has no tolerance for racially inappropriate comments made behind closed doors, the NFL continues to deal with a potentially racist team name hiding in plain view.

To no surprise, Oneida Indian Nation opted to use the penalties imposed on Sterling as a reason to draw more attention to the lingering controversy involving the Redskins name.

“In banning Clippers owner Donald Sterling, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver and other NBA team owners have taken a courageous stand against racism in professional sports, acknowledging that professional leagues cannot be a platform to promote bigotry,” Oneida Indian Nation Representative Ray Halbritter said in a release.  “In taking such appropriate disciplinary action, the NBA has shown leagues like the NFL that they have a moral responsibility to take disciplinary action against people like Dan Snyder, who also continues to proudly promote bigotry with the use of a dictionary-defined racial slur as his team’s name.”

While it’s unlikely that the Sterling situation will nudge the Redskins name controversy toward a critical mass, the unwillingness of the NBA to tolerate an owner expressing racist views behind closed doors highlights the question of whether and to what extent the NFL is willing to tolerate a situation where reasonable minds may differ on the existence of overt racism.

On one hand, the NFL is the ultimate reality show; having a year-to-year subplot regarding the potential change of the name of a team ultimately generates interest and discussion.  On the other hand, the subject of that debate arguably doesn’t reflect well on the NFL, which eventually may have to explain why it allowed the debate to linger for as long as it did.

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84 Responses to “Will Sterling lifetime ban push Redskins issue to critical mass?”
  1. Remember Brian Brohm says: Apr 29, 2014 6:17 PM

    When will the Packers owners be banned from the NFL? Or at least PFT?

  2. thegreatgabbert says: Apr 29, 2014 6:21 PM

    Now we know why Adam Silver was holding the pitchfork in American Gothic.

  3. blackandbluedivision says: Apr 29, 2014 6:22 PM

    This reeks of a someone letting a group secret out and being used as a sacrificial lamb and being shunned from the rest of the group.

    Keep in mind, someone told him about the pictures in question. If the NBA cared about racism, he would have been kicked out years ago.

  4. barneyrumble says: Apr 29, 2014 6:22 PM

    I refer to them as the team from Washington DC and do not use the other word.

    Walk into a casino ran by Native Americans and shout out Hey you bunch of re**kins! And see if is accepted. If it’s not, then why is it in the NFL?

  5. captainwisdom8888 says: Apr 29, 2014 6:24 PM

    We all understand the history of the team and an unwillingness to change, but let’s just think about this very simply. There are an incalculable amount of team names that Washington can have that DON’T offend a whole race of people.

    If you wanna spout off and act like this is some type of extreme injustice to the skins’ nation…just stop and remind yourself that THIS IS SIMPLY A GAME.

  6. prospero63 says: Apr 29, 2014 6:25 PM

    Wow. Be careful you don’t pull something with such aggressive stretching…

  7. brianlee720 says: Apr 29, 2014 6:25 PM

    Cowboys are more offensive to native americans

  8. 700levelvet says: Apr 29, 2014 6:25 PM

    Rename them the Washington Generals… They lose all the time anyway

  9. d2jump says: Apr 29, 2014 6:25 PM

    Now, if we see Washington start losing a bunch of sponsors/money, then maybe they will take this seriously.

  10. reed20fence says: Apr 29, 2014 6:30 PM

    I think Redskins fans would benefit the most if Snyder was banished from the NFL.

  11. skins1970 says: Apr 29, 2014 6:31 PM

    No It has been proven the Redskins is not racist, they were after Lone Star Dietz their first Head Coach who was a Native American, how is that racist?

  12. defscottyb says: Apr 29, 2014 6:34 PM

    Answer to that headline is NO, it won’t.

  13. iamthegreatcornflorio says: Apr 29, 2014 6:35 PM

    The differences between the Clippers situation and the Redskins name “controversy” are simple, quite obvious and at least partially politically-driven. Sterling’s comments are repugnant and vile on their face. He deserves to be forced into a sale by virtue of his words, and more importantly a long history of racist business practices. However, no one in the media will mention that he s a liberal democrat and prominent, generous democratic party political donor.

    Dan Snyder by comparison has conservative political leanings, and he is being persecuted for the decades-old name of an NFL team that he purchased. Furthermore, practically no one outside of the media and the D.C. socialist political machine cares about the Redskins name. Double standards and ideological shakedowns are alive and well.

  14. ivanpavlov0000 says: Apr 29, 2014 6:35 PM

    Sterling’s situation also included documentation (court cases) of his discrimination against tenants based on race. There’s more to the story than the leaked tape of what he said to one of his mistresses.

    It’s actually a shock that the NBA didn’t take action years ago. When the tape of his comments was leaked, it put a spotlight on all of his other bad acts. The league had no other choice.

  15. dhillca says: Apr 29, 2014 6:36 PM

    Ha

  16. defscottyb says: Apr 29, 2014 6:37 PM

    Ray Halbritter: the man who oppresses his own people, pays them an avg of $16,000 a year while he gets rich off gambling, alcohol, cigarettes, gas and motels. Wow, what a righteous person.

  17. vincelombardi says: Apr 29, 2014 6:40 PM

    Unfortunately this story is far from over …Sterling will take this to court and fight it tooth and nail, based on the idea that the NBA cant legally force him to sell his property. I’ll place money on it that this guy dies, before selling the Clippers.

  18. kingpel says: Apr 29, 2014 6:45 PM

    Nope.

  19. drunkwino says: Apr 29, 2014 6:45 PM

    In a word, no. Move along

  20. jam11163 says: Apr 29, 2014 6:45 PM

    Stop with this already…smh

  21. qdog112 says: Apr 29, 2014 6:45 PM

    Come on, should we ever expect Lord and Master of the “SHIELD” to do the right thing for the right reasons?

    Now if they could hold a lottery or figure way to profit from the renaming of the ‘Skins, then maybe, just maybe they’ll consider it. If they can’t make buck from changing, they never will.

    Not as long as there are boot-licking people fighting change.

  22. gfh71 says: Apr 29, 2014 6:46 PM

    What does a racist owner’s rant have to do with a name that has been in place for decades?

  23. Carl Brutananadilewski says: Apr 29, 2014 6:53 PM

    I think the only way I can be on board with this idiocy is if all slurs are out right banned, period. No more of the “we can use the word but you cant” nonsense. When all slurs are banned, you can change the name. But the N word is a prime example, that in the right “context”, it is a perfectly acceptable word. So one could argue that the context of the name Redskins, is in an acceptable context. Just saying

  24. thestrategyexpert says: Apr 29, 2014 6:53 PM

    Makes you wonder about how things would be if the NBA Commissioner preferred an oblong-shaped ball game to preside over.

  25. shoddymnbridgerepair says: Apr 29, 2014 6:55 PM

    Speaking of critical mass, I wish Viking fans would put the fork down once in a while. Our bridges thank you in advance.

  26. thetooloftools says: Apr 29, 2014 7:03 PM

    No. This is stupid. He bought the teams as the Redskins so why should he be forced to change it?
    This is just stupid.
    If you do any homework, Indians should be proud of the Redskins as they were the bravest of the brave.
    They put clay on their bodies to hide themselves from gunfire and were leaders of their tribes.
    The name Redskins came out because they didn’t know what to call our people.
    We have Indian people who cry and scream here in Cleveland about the Indians.
    I have Indian blood.
    Thank God we still are representing.
    The Redskins is a tribute, not a slur.

  27. Carl Gerbschmidt says: Apr 29, 2014 7:08 PM

    Don’t forget about the Vikes and Priefer !!

  28. NoWearMan says: Apr 29, 2014 7:10 PM

    apple, meet orange.

    and to the guy that asked about walking into a casino and shouting REDSKINS, i am certain that it would be met with indifference.

  29. ducknichols50 says: Apr 29, 2014 7:12 PM

    Don’t worry, that one was saved too.

  30. gmen5280 says: Apr 29, 2014 7:15 PM

    First and foremost, I do not support nor condone racism but the “precedence” this ruling has created will be interesting to follow going forward.

    The most important thing to take away from this mess is, assume you are always being recorded or video taped. This was a private conversation. But that does not matter in the court of public opinion.

    Wouldn’t you truly love to hear what the other professional sport owners are talking about in their private conversations?

  31. melikefootball says: Apr 29, 2014 7:17 PM

    To bad people don’t take this much interest and effort in issues of this country as the leaders in Washington DC and all the illegals in this country and the people hiring them than worrying about a interest in the name of entertainment. We are ripped off daily yet we walk by it with no concern. Do we really believe the Indians rung gambling facilities taking money from the white man really, really cares about a sports team name, come on.

  32. dalcow4 says: Apr 29, 2014 7:18 PM

    Government bailout for the Redskins coming soon.

  33. dolphincritic says: Apr 29, 2014 7:20 PM

    Let’s play like the media has one oar in the pool of reality. Will the NBA or any other professional sports league. Fine players and ban them for similar offenses once TMZ or whomever has published their callous, racist, sexist or antisemitic remarks? Probably not! So let’s move on.

    By the way, I still like renaming the team “The Despicable Minions!” The cheerleaders, if there are any, can wear those skirt minion outfits. The team can be yellow and denim blue. Everyone can wear those cute little goggles. RGIII would be a perfect Stuart or Dave!

  34. mcguenther13 says: Apr 29, 2014 7:23 PM

    If Sterling is so racist, then why did he hire Doc Rivers who has the team in the playoffs????

  35. slim1337 says: Apr 29, 2014 7:27 PM

    Change it to Blood thirsty savages with a pagan
    warrior on the side of the helmet.

  36. Andre's Johnson says: Apr 29, 2014 7:31 PM

    Oh stop.

    Saying “I don’t want black people to attend the games” is racist.

    Having a team called the “Redskins” with a depiction of a Native American badass on the helmet is racial.

    It’s different.

  37. slim1337 says: Apr 29, 2014 7:31 PM

    Rainbow warriors …….. with a rainbow on the purple helmet. They could come in and out of the tunnel to AC/DC’ dirty deeds (i’m happy to be your back door man… dirty deeds done dirt cheap)

  38. knew8411 says: Apr 29, 2014 7:36 PM

    Do we really need to bring this issue up everytime someone get an itch? I am sick of hearing about it!
    We all know that the liberal bleeding hearts, and their media lap dogs are the ones puching this isse. I believe the vast majority of ppl, to include the Native Americans who have responded to this…do not see a need to change the name.
    Now….LET IT GO ALREADY!!!!
    Thank You & God Bless

  39. igornathanhiggers says: Apr 29, 2014 7:37 PM

    If you walked into a reservation and started calling all of them “Geronimo” that’d prolly be offensive too…

  40. txfinfan says: Apr 29, 2014 7:47 PM

    I’m just wondering what we are going to do when people run out of things to be offended by…

  41. ariani1985 says: Apr 29, 2014 7:47 PM

    What about the Packers and AA?

  42. ghost26 says: Apr 29, 2014 7:48 PM

    BTW–Very good article

  43. logicalvoicesays says: Apr 29, 2014 7:51 PM

    The Vikings dynasty has just started.

    After winning multiple superbowl rings, we will officially be the most decorated franchise of any sport.

    Redslurs wish they were us!

    #Vikingsdynasty

  44. doe22us says: Apr 29, 2014 7:53 PM

    Two entirely different issues sometimes i wonder what happened to critical thinking, connection, and logic?

  45. kingpel says: Apr 29, 2014 7:55 PM

    I’ll feel better when guys like Aldon Smith are getting lifetime bans.

  46. hendawg21 says: Apr 29, 2014 7:58 PM

    This has to be one of the worst comparisons…Dan Snyder has not told anyone to not show up at his stadium with Native Americans nor has he disrespected them, to even compare the two is ignorant.

  47. xcerebus1 says: Apr 29, 2014 8:07 PM

    I’m shocked at all the comments made by people that haven’t actually listed to the tape or the story behind his ‘rant’ His Mistress has been openly flaunting her affairs with Black men. He asks her not to bring them to the stadium. I’m curious if a Black celebrity, politician, or athlete will face the same criticism for calling White men White?

  48. fjbuon says: Apr 29, 2014 8:15 PM

    Let it go already!

  49. tomthumbsblues says: Apr 29, 2014 8:19 PM

    The answer of course is no, because one has nothing to do with the other.

    The narrative continues.

  50. tigersfandan says: Apr 29, 2014 8:20 PM

    Breaking News: Dan Snyder did not name the Redskins.

  51. slick50ks says: Apr 29, 2014 8:21 PM

    One of your weakest attempts ever.

  52. Ferdinand says: Apr 29, 2014 8:23 PM

    Daniel Snyder has never shown any signs of reality-based awareness. Why would he start now?

    Goodell is NOT the man Adam Silver is and has never shown an inclination to try to be.

  53. renberg19 says: Apr 29, 2014 8:24 PM

    Sterling-Racist remark in the privacy of his own home.
    Redskins-Racist for the whole world to see.

  54. genericuser8888 says: Apr 29, 2014 8:26 PM

    I saw a Native American activist on tv today saying that we should scrub the presidents’ faces off of Mount Rushmore because to her, that monument was a celebration of her people’s genocide.

    These are the same people calling for the Redskins to change their name.

  55. boycord says: Apr 29, 2014 8:47 PM

    Change the name.

  56. 87hollywoodhorn says: Apr 29, 2014 8:52 PM

    Answer: No

  57. njoberg says: Apr 29, 2014 8:54 PM

    I blame Barry Soreto for all this

  58. zeke2517 says: Apr 29, 2014 8:55 PM

    You are aware that a guy saying that he doesn’t want a race of people coming to his arena is and a different guy who owns a team refusing to change a name that’s been in place for going on a century now are two different issues, right?

    Nice try though, Geraldo.

  59. bmd2099 says: Apr 29, 2014 8:58 PM

    The situation is not even close to the same

  60. aceakking says: Apr 29, 2014 9:17 PM

    Just change the name already and get it over with.

  61. aceakking says: Apr 29, 2014 9:17 PM

    How about Washington Warriors. That’s catchy.

  62. chunkderrrty says: Apr 29, 2014 9:23 PM

    They’ve already been banned from being relevant

  63. djalakas25 says: Apr 29, 2014 9:27 PM

    It really cracks me up.. The redskins name is not racist, it is acceptable, it is part of great tradition. Except for the large demographic of people that feel it’s racist to them. Don’t worry, their opinion doesn’t matter lol

  64. grumpyoleman says: Apr 29, 2014 9:38 PM

    Hope not

  65. stixzidinia says: Apr 29, 2014 9:49 PM

    Snyder should change the logo to a 15th century white man and re-name the team The Conquerers just to spite everyone. It’s what i’d do.

  66. mightbegoingtohellforthis says: Apr 29, 2014 9:53 PM

    He should change the name to the Washington Congressmen and budget more for defense than all the other teams combined.

  67. purpleppleeaters says: Apr 29, 2014 10:00 PM

    Has anyone EVER heard ANYONE call ANYONE ELSE a “Redskin?”
    That’s not because it is offensive, but because it is so antiquated (offensive or not) that the only true meaning anyone finds in it is with the Washington football team.

    Are folks offended by “Yankee”, too? Same deal.

  68. rcali says: Apr 29, 2014 10:31 PM

    Synder will change the name when he can be guarenteed all the profits that come from the new merchandise instead of sharing it with the league….at least for a period of time. Remember, it’s all about the money. Sounds like an easy deal for the NFL to make as well.

  69. huskersrock1 says: Apr 29, 2014 10:34 PM

    When is the NFL going to ban the racist nickname “Cowboys”? The term cowboys originally referred to black cowpokes, hence “cow BOYS”.

    Whites were called roughriders or frontiersmen until Gene Autry made the term cowboy popular in the 30’s

  70. cfballfan1 says: Apr 29, 2014 10:42 PM

    I wonder what the President if Notre Dame feels about the Sterling imbriglio? How about the owner of the Atlanta Braves?

  71. railcarcowboy says: Apr 29, 2014 10:49 PM

    I’ve always felt that the name and the stoic Redskins logo was a tribute to the Indian people as a whole. I’ve never given it much thought but I guess subconsciously to me, the Redskins logo commands respect. I love that logo. Like it or hate it, I don’t believe that the name and logo has any bad intentions behind it and that’s what really matters.

  72. thaiphoon1969 says: Apr 29, 2014 10:57 PM

    Riiighhht. If that’s the case then the whole state of Oklahoma needs to change its name. “Oklahoma” was loosely translated as the word “Redskins” in the Choctaw Indian language.

    While we’re at it, I’m of Scandinavian descent. I don’t wear a horned helmet and am not blonde. I don’t go raiding villages and kill people. So the Minnesota Vikings need to change their name ASAP as it is offensive to people with my ancestry.

    /sarcasm

  73. thereyougo2 says: Apr 29, 2014 11:20 PM

    Critical mass, is that one of those hour and a half’s with lots of singing?

  74. charger383 says: Apr 29, 2014 11:31 PM

    Do Not ever change the name

  75. eagles512 says: Apr 30, 2014 12:37 AM

    I can’t believe these 2 situations are actually being compared. Unbelievable

  76. cfballfan1 says: Apr 30, 2014 7:33 AM

    Weak comparison.

  77. mdpgc says: Apr 30, 2014 8:31 AM

    There is a big difference between the REMARKS that were made by Donald Sterling and the Redskins team name. Sterling made REMARKS that were both racist and disparaging and his comments were made towards numerous ethnic groups. The Redskins organization has not yet made any racist REMARKS or comments toward Native Americans.

    Apples aint got nothing to do with oranges!

  78. witchrunner says: Apr 30, 2014 10:11 AM

    If they are going to ban anything the PC, left, socialist crowd should be banned from everything. They are taking over our country, determined to destroy it.

    But, if they need to rename the Redskins, I propose changing it to the “White Honkey Crackers.” That’ll teach all those white honkey cracker bigots! Of course, no matter how blacks try to insult us, it just never sticks. We grew up in the days of “sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me.!” Apparently the black culture of the upstanding citizens of professional sports aren’t real men, but soft sissies, as they can dish it out, but they can’t take it.

  79. tominma says: Apr 30, 2014 11:11 AM

    I don’t think the Clippers and Redskin cases are related at all. Im sure that when the Redskins were named, that no insulting racist intent was intended. MANY teams were being named after Native Americans.

    In the Clippers, we have a known bigot who made statements that clearly showed his overt racism. I don’t know why the NBA didn’t discipline before now. Perhaps because he involved the entire NBA with his views becoming public! I agree with the NBA’s decision. I would oppose the renaming of the Redskins because, initially, no harm was intended, and only culture shifts make it an issue now. That’s just my opinion!!

  80. 10and46httr says: Apr 30, 2014 12:48 PM

    Free Speech, why do you delete me!

  81. 10and46httr says: Apr 30, 2014 12:49 PM

    Dicators post what they want but dont like the truth or anyone to speak against them. huh Florio!

  82. 12is3times4 says: Apr 30, 2014 2:16 PM

    I highly doubt the NFL is willing to either go to the mat to force Snyder to change his team’s name, or pay him off as exorbitantly as they would probably have to in order to get him to change it willingly.

    The most likely outcome is that the league waits for Snyder to either sell the team or transfer it to his heirs. Then the league will have all the leverage it needs – the other owners can force the would-be new ownership to change the name as a condition for approving the sale or transfer. This, you may recall, is how MLB strong-armed the Houston Astros into switching leagues a couple of years ago.

  83. natelan69 says: May 6, 2014 5:51 AM

    Love it. Force Snyder out of the league. Washington might actually become winners in a couple years.

  84. Dogsweat says: May 6, 2014 2:49 PM

    Washington Bravehearts 2015

    Cleveland Barons 2015.

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