Often overlooked in the ongoing debate regarding the name of the Washington NFL team is that plenty of other programs at lower levels of football and other sports have changed names containing terms relating to Native Americans.
Miami University of Ohio once had the same name. In 1997, after the Miami Tribe of Oklahoma withdrew its support for the name, the school changed it to RedHawks.
On Tuesday, after the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office canceled the trademark protection associated with the name, the RedHawks sent a message.
While RedHawks likely wouldn’t be used by the Washington NFL team, the point is that changing the name of a team isn’t nearly as traumatic as some make it out to be. Done the right way, it can be a positive.
And then, after it’s done, the team can twist the tail of any other sports programs that fail to realize or accept the need for change.