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Senator McCain reiterates that he would “probably” change Washington name

McCain AP

Arizona Senator John McCain didn’t lend his John Hancock to the 50-Senator letter to the NFL urging a change of the name of the Washington franchise.  But McCain, a Republican, believes that a change of the name is “probably” in order.

McCain reiterated on Thursday views he previously expressed on The Dan Patrick Show.  Speaking at the Associated Press Sports Editors conference, McCain said that enough Native Americans regard the name as offensive to justify a meaningful dialogue and, ultimately, a name change.

“We have many local tribes in my state of Arizona, and they come to me and tell me its offensive,” McCain said, via USA Today.  “So if its offensive, then why don’t we take that into consideration?  One of the most darkest chapters in American history is our relations with the Native Americans.  When an advanced civilization collides with a less advanced one, really terrible things happen.  And it’s probably the worst chapter in American history, as we went west and became the nation that we are, we really did some terrible things.  And many of our Native Americans are very sensitive because of our history.

“So my view, if I were the owner of the team, I’d call them together and have a dialogue with them and I would probably change the name.”

McCain nevertheless doesn’t endorse the recent stripping of the name’s trademark protection by the federal government.

“I kind of thought the patent office was supposed to be involved in patents,” McCain said of the office known as the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.  “But I do believe if the Native American community views this as offensive, then it’s offensive.”

Some supporters of the name will argue that most or all Native Americans must be offended before the name can be regarded as offensive.  Of course, if that were the case, the defense of the name would likely shift to another crutch that overlooks two basic realities:  (1) the word is clearly offensive when disconnected from a sports team; and (2) there’s no way an expansion franchise in the NFL or any other pro sport could adopt that name today.

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55 Responses to “Senator McCain reiterates that he would “probably” change Washington name”
  1. edithpiaf51 says: Jun 27, 2014 12:06 AM

    I see nothing offensive about the name. I am so tired of pollitically correctness. Edith

  2. scandiman says: Jun 27, 2014 12:09 AM

    Then perhaps he should buy the team?

  3. jdphx says: Jun 27, 2014 12:13 AM

    McCain lost “touch” with reality long ago…

  4. thestrategyexpert says: Jun 27, 2014 12:39 AM

    “When an advanced civilization collides with a less advanced one, really terrible things happen.”

    Interesting that McCain sees no hope for the integration of two civilizations that are not perfectly equally advanced. I guess we’re in deep trouble if aliens ever visit, surely there’s no chance they would ever have any peaceful intentions according to the Theory of McCain. So does he think we should explore deep space and inevitably conquer other worlds, or stay concealed and hidden to protect other civilizations as well as ourselves?

  5. asmodean13 says: Jun 27, 2014 1:03 AM

    Really?

  6. campcouch says: Jun 27, 2014 1:47 AM

    He said “probably” which means whatever gets him re-elected and has no idea how the Patent and Trademark Office works. Amazing.

  7. mutohasaposse says: Jun 27, 2014 2:16 AM

    From the last paragraph it is obvious you don’t even consider anyone else’s opinion. I read three new anti-name stories on here each day and scan through the comments. Never have I once heard anyone say “Most or All the Native Americans must find it offensive.” People say they don’t think it is or from their experience most NA people they have heard about or know don’t have gripes with it. Additionally, “the word is clearly offensive when disconnected from a sports team” is complete nonsense. People post religiously on here examples of how it isn’t. Movie theaters in Native areas named Redskin Theater, high schools (mascots refer to everyone not just the sports team), historical groups of chiefs coming together to meet with the president referring to themselves as redskins. It goes on and on.

    Often people will refer to the only poll conducted ten plus years ago stating 90% of Native Americans don’t find the name offensive. Maybe that data is now too old and completely inaccurate and needs to be revisited. But too often the anti-name people make a blanket “Native Americans” find the name offensive when that is inaccurate. SOME find it offensive. What percentage is not known. We’ve been lead to believe from polls it was 10% … now more recently some larger groups are saying it is offensive but truthfully I hear it more from whites saying it is wrong. If as a white man I can’t say the name is acceptable, then non-Native Americans have no right to say anything either. It must work both ways!

    McCain articulates his view well and without bias. Something that is very rare with this situation. I just wish there weren’t blanket statements made on here that are inaccurate.

  8. landrysghost says: Jun 27, 2014 2:44 AM

    Nobody gives a flying fiddlers damn, about that geriatric, morons opinion!!! McCain Sucks, McCain Sucks, McCain Sucks………

  9. kando53 says: Jun 27, 2014 3:16 AM

    The term ‘red skin’ started out and remained a very neutral non-offensive term for a very long time. The rather short period in time in which it took on an offensive connotation would have been mostly forgotten if not for Hollywood resurrecting it in their often stereotyped movies. Outside of older Hollywood movies, however, the offensive use of the term has largely been forgotten, and outside of its use as a name for various sports teams the term is almost never used by anyone in this current era. If a term such as this can be considered to have become derogatory over time, it surely can also be viewed to have regained its original overtones over further time. I can’t begin to imagine that anyone who has ever played for, or supported a sports team with the name has ever begun to think of it in a derogatory manner. Do you think that the numerous native american schools who use the name themselves decided one day that, hey, let’s call ourselves the Redskins, because we secretly loathe ourselves, and wish to let everyone know it.

  10. bigjayoakersonfan says: Jun 27, 2014 4:10 AM

    I can not be the only one who thinks that using the term ‘Washington’ is absolutely positively comedy gold.

    Even though I know it’s an intentional write-around for the term ‘Redskin’ it never ceases to not be funny to me.

    Never.

    I’ve seen it used countless times, and it still is as comical and farcical as the first time I noticed it was being used deliberately and not a change-of-pace type of thing so as not to constantly use the team name.

  11. duncanthecat says: Jun 27, 2014 5:02 AM

    Arizona please do the Country a favor and get rid of this clown.

  12. dallascowboysdishingthereal says: Jun 27, 2014 5:39 AM

    Let’s keep the name redskin and change the mascot to a red skin potato. That might make everyone happy.

    “When ignorance gets started it knows no bounds.”
    – Will Rogers

  13. tribefever says: Jun 27, 2014 5:53 AM

    Redskins the greatest name in all of sports!!!

  14. navydoc1982 says: Jun 27, 2014 6:06 AM

    The whole point to freedom of speach is to say what we want. If people find it offensive, don’t support the team, or don’t support the NFL at all, that’s their right. Forcing changes on companies or individuals goes against our Constitution, leave it alone and allow the paying public to decide by where they spend their money. If the money stops, the Redskins or the NFL will have no choice but to change.
    McCain and others in Congress need to stay out of private business.

  15. purplengold says: Jun 27, 2014 6:16 AM

    Probably… sitting on the fence waving at the cameras

  16. rextraordinaire says: Jun 27, 2014 6:30 AM

    And they kept saying only butthurt liberals were pushing for a name change.

    McCain doesn’t sound like he is personally offended by the Redskins’ name, but he understands that the controversy surrounding it has reached a point of no return. It is simply not going to go away. Dan Snyder is in a really tough spot, but continuing to fight it will only hurt his image.

    In my mind, he will eventually have to get it over with. Its unfortunate

  17. juddgr says: Jun 27, 2014 6:30 AM

    In Order to own a NFL team you must have something between the ears. He is just a politician. So that said , my belief is he hasn’t earned the right to tell hard working Americans what they should do. It is time for him to just fade away. GO REDSKINS.

  18. eagleswin says: Jun 27, 2014 6:32 AM

    I would love to know how many of the local American tribesmen that he’s talking about actually find it offensive. By not naming names, it makes it hard to verify or disprove but makes a heck of a soundbite.

    What’s his feeling on the Chiefs since the founder of the Patent lawsuit against the Redskins has said the Chiefs are next? How about the Indians? Another lawsuit is in the process against the Cleveland Indians for their name also? Come on McCain, are they all offensive? I want to hear what you think about all the names, not just the one deemed “politically safe” to pile on.

    Also, if you feel so bad about what happened to them, how about giving their land back? or help the ones living in poverty with education and employment opportunities? or would you rather take the easy political move by making a meaningless soundbite at time it’s easy to pile on that costs nothing and gives nothing to them?

  19. countmahdrof says: Jun 27, 2014 6:36 AM

    Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words today sure seem to cause more damage to our frail, emasculated psyches than ever before. What would have been laughed off a generation ago now enriches therapists. When did it become a right to not be offended? As if being “offended” by a few syllables is somehow harmful. Pathetic. Only answer is to repeal the 1st Amendment and spend more tax dollars on a host of word police.

  20. juanweiner says: Jun 27, 2014 7:10 AM

    Well thats a compelling enough argument for me, I probably will not change my mind about the Redskins keeping the name.

    There are so many other far more important issues going on in the NFL, yet this one keeps getting the most exposure.

    Its alot like a little kid asking a parent the same the question over and over and gets told NO every time, yet he still keeps asking until he gets the answer he wants.

  21. olcap says: Jun 27, 2014 7:16 AM

    That definitely seals it for me. If McCain says it should be changed then it absolutely should not.

  22. NoRespect says: Jun 27, 2014 7:16 AM

    Who gets to decide if a word is offensive or a slur?

    A. Democrats
    B. Republicans
    C. Redskins Fans
    D. General Population
    E. Party to whom the offense is supposedly intended.

    Me, I’m gonna go with E. Lets table this until we can get a consensus amongst Native Americans. Give me a thumbs up if you agree, or a reply with your choice if you disagree or want to choose another option.

  23. raiderbob56 says: Jun 27, 2014 7:17 AM

    Typical RINO.

  24. qdog112 says: Jun 27, 2014 7:25 AM

    Poor old John, the radicals will slam you for that. To them they already call you a Rino.

    Name change support, is almost as bad as being seen showing respect for the president. This is red meat for the extremists.

  25. wiley16350 says: Jun 27, 2014 7:35 AM

    The word is not clearly offensive unless you think there is actually something wrong with being a redskin. If you think there is something wrong with being a redskin, then you are a racist. Just because the dictionary makes a claim that the word is offensive doesn’t make it so, there has to be an actual definition of the word that is offensive. Until someone actually provides a true definition of the word that actually shows the word itself is offensive, then you have no real case that it is offensive. As has been shown before, the word Yankee has been used to offend northerners/ Americans by the south/ British. But it has become a beloved term due to the baseball team. That is possible because the word doesn’t have an actual definition that is offensive. Just like redskin. People have used the term to offend (supposedly) and people have used it inoffensively. That can be said for many many words. Mentioning skin color wouldn’t be a big deal in a society that isn’t racist. Since skin color has no bearing on who someone is and their value to society. If you get all worked up about the mentioning of someones skin color (in a matter of fact way), then you might actually be a racist, for there is no reason to get worked up over it if you see no difference in value or worth due to skin color. This whole thing has nothing to do with the term Redskins. The people fighting the Redskins name want all Native American references out of sports, they just see the Redskins as the easiest fight.

  26. wiley16350 says: Jun 27, 2014 7:42 AM

    Also, my brother has a 1930’s dictionary and the term redskin was defined as “native american” or something to that affect back when the team was named. I don’t know when the dictionary changed it to it’s current definition but I do know the term redskin was used a lot more back in the 30’s than it is used today. The current definition was probably put in place by the PC police. Ultimately though, just saying something repeatedly doesn’t make it true, you have to have an actual definition that defines redskin as something that a someone wouldn’t want to be or wouldn’t want to be called. Why wouldn’t you want to be called a redskin? Is it because there is something wrong with being one? That is the part that gets lost on me, I don’t see what is so wrong with being a redskin.

  27. irishgary says: Jun 27, 2014 7:50 AM

    McCain should change jobs and shut up.

  28. craigkintexas says: Jun 27, 2014 7:55 AM

    The name “Saints”; “Angels”; “Padres” I’m sure are highly offensive to atheists. Why are we not up in arms about how they must feel?

  29. wiley16350 says: Jun 27, 2014 7:55 AM

    I have said it before although, it has repeatedly not been put up on the site. The N word can be defined as a man that is owned/ controlled by another man. That is the context that slave owners used in reference to their slaves. That is something that no man wants to be. That is why the word is offensive. Racist white people will still use that word in that context. That is why it is wrong and will always be wrong to use the N word. That is also why the term redskin doesn’t compare.

  30. melikefootball says: Jun 27, 2014 8:19 AM

    What would be refreshing if our congress would get together and have dialog to fix the real problems of this country.

  31. thetruthcampaign says: Jun 27, 2014 8:47 AM

    Washington needs Theisman (if he’s not too classy) and other old, former players to come in and lead a rap song where they call each other “Muh Redskin” the whole rap. That might just open all the hater’s eyes.

  32. avbanig33 says: Jun 27, 2014 9:09 AM

    Again, so much for it just being only “liberals” calling for the name change.

    In Virginia actually, most politician Democratic and Republican alike don’t think the name should be changed!

    That’s probably political also though, they have Redskins Park in Virginia, and they now have training camp in Richmond thanks to all the money the tax payers are chipping in for that.

    It’s clear to me these Virginia politicians are setting themselves up to make a stadium push in the future and have the team move from Landover (a Maryland DC suburb) to a (Virginia) DC suburb.

    My hope is the Redskins still go back to DC. It’s nice having the wizards, caps and Nats there.

  33. wiley16350 says: Jun 27, 2014 9:24 AM

    The word is not clearly offensive unless you think there is actually something wrong with being a redskin. If you think there is something wrong with being a redskin, then you are a racist. Just because the dictionary makes a claim that the word is offensive doesn’t make it so, there has to be an actual definition of the word that is offensive. Until someone actually provides a true definition of the word that actually shows the word itself is offensive, then you have no real case that it is offensive. As has been shown before, the word Yankee has been used to offend northerners/ Americans by the south/ British. But it has become a beloved term due to the baseball team. That is possible because the word doesn’t have an actual definition that is offensive. Just like redskin. People have used the term to offend (supposedly) and people have used it inoffensively. That can be said for many many words. Mentioning skin color wouldn’t be a big deal in a society that isn’t racist. Since skin color has no bearing on who someone is and their value to society. If you get all worked up about the mentioning of someones skin color (in a matter of fact way), then you might actually be a racist, for there is no reason to get worked up over it if you see no difference in value or worth due to skin color. This whole thing has nothing to do with the term Redskins. The people fighting the Redskins name want all Native American references out of sports, they just see the Redskins as the easiest fight.

    Also, my brother has a 1930′s dictionary and the term redskin was defined as “native american” or something to that affect back when the team was named. I don’t know when the dictionary changed it to it’s current definition but I do know the term redskin was used a lot more back in the 30′s than it is used today. The current definition was probably put in place by the PC police. Ultimately though, just saying something repeatedly doesn’t make it true, you have to have an actual definition that defines redskin as something that a someone wouldn’t want to be or wouldn’t want to be called. Why wouldn’t you want to be called a redskin? Is it because there is something wrong with being one? That is the part that gets lost on me, I don’t see what is so wrong with being a redskin.

  34. pwcis says: Jun 27, 2014 9:33 AM

    But 1) the name IS connected to a sports team, and 2) the fact that no other team would adopt it (says you) makes it unique.

    It was never intended to be derogatory, the name was given by their own people, and I have a hard time believing it breeds hate. The writer who shall not be named said it “evolved into a racial slur.” Really? I’d say it devolved into strictly one of two things: a pro football team or a kind of potato. The only people persecuting native Americans is and always has been the government. So when the government goes to the NFL and Snyder to force a name change, they should turn it around and demand Andrew Jackson be removed from the $20 bill for his part in the Trail of Tears.

  35. asimonetti88 says: Jun 27, 2014 9:49 AM

    Majority always rules. End of story.

  36. steelerben says: Jun 27, 2014 10:08 AM

    Saying that redskin can’t compare to the “n word” is valid on the one hand because we are all saying redskin, but we are just saying “N WORD”. On the other hand, calling a handicapped person a cripple or a gay person a fairy wasn’t considered all that offensive at one point in time, either.

    As reasonable human beings, it shouldn’t be a matter of fighting back the PC police. It should be a matter of keeping an open mind and being respectful of other people.

  37. gt40bear says: Jun 27, 2014 10:09 AM

    Doesn’t he have some FBI sting to be caught up in or something? I would think he has more important things to deal with! Pathetic!

  38. winkeroni says: Jun 27, 2014 10:11 AM

    Usually I only give John McCain credit for being a POW and making an attractive daughter. I’m conflicted because he’s making a little bit of sense here. He’s just suggesting that the two parties meet and if the name is considered offensive to change it. He is a member of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs. It is his job to hear and act on the behalf of Native Americans so I think what he says carries some weight.

    I’m not ignorant enough to think that the Native Americans all decided to settle in Oklahoma, Montana, Arizona, etc, on reservations through their own free will. If they do find Redskins offensive hopefully they would be able to work something out to maintain a mascot similar to the Redskin one but under a label that isn’t offensive.

  39. weneedlinemen42 says: Jun 27, 2014 11:02 AM

    “the word is clearly offensive when disconnected from a sports team”

    Not everyone agrees with that; so, no it is not a clear issue. It’s not even an agreed apon issue amongst all Native Americans.

    In fact it starts to get dangerously patronising when the opinions of Native Americans who have no problem with the name are given less weight than people of other ethnic origins who didn’t have a word to say about the matter until very recently.

    If the issue was so clear, why were certain reporters who have stopped using the word only recently, using the word the believed to be transparently offensive within the last few years.

    Given that they had reported on the name changes cases for some years before it could not be through ignorance of the case or the arguments.

  40. CKL says: Jun 27, 2014 11:18 AM

    If this were really about racism and not deepest pockets and highest exposure for themselves politically, as well as restriction of private property rights, the government should be starting with removing all public monies that go to schools with “Redskin” as a team nickname until they change the nickname. They are pressuring a high profile private business instead of doing what’s actually in their bailiwick to do. It’s not that complicated.

  41. mutohasaposse says: Jun 27, 2014 12:01 PM

    I do think it is funny how people say this issue is hurting Snyder. For ten plus years he’s been considered the biggest joke of owners along side Jerry Jones and Al Davis. Now because of this issue, what do you see? a lot of, “I’ve always hated Snyder but I’m starting to like him!” “Never liked Snyder before but stick with your guns!”

    This agenda has actually helped Snyder’s image greatly.

  42. mdf53 says: Jun 27, 2014 12:04 PM

    It is a senseless debate in which the American Indian people are once again being victimized for the name they call themselves and the symbolic meaning that they have given to it.

    Let’s give them the credit for their sense of pride in using the name as they use it instead of making them feel worthless because of it.

    The name Redskins is a part of their proud heritage that reveals their inner strength with unwavering courage.

    They have been offended by being kicked off the land that they are entitled to, not by the name that they chose to adopt as a rallying point of faith, but by the insensitivity of greedy political jerks that still stand by and watch the lingering degenerative conditions go on.

    The name serves also as a reminder of the senseless wrong that has still been left unattended to and corrected.

    If political powers to be really were concerned, they would do whatever it takes to right the wrongs of the past instead of using yet another word spin doctor to make a name of pride into a slur!

    Dan Snyder, don’t you move one bit! Show them what the original Redskins could not do and that is survive and hold your position to be recognized with the pride and honor deserved.

    Go Redskins!!!

  43. nodak2de says: Jun 27, 2014 12:09 PM

    I have nothing against using the name redskins. But, let’s be honest. The redskins suck, maybe a name change would do that sorry franchise good.

  44. censorshipstinks says: Jun 27, 2014 12:14 PM

    The Red Mesa High School Redskins are on a Navajo Reservation. The entire reservation had to vote on the team. That is the name that won.

  45. dalcow4 says: Jun 27, 2014 12:46 PM

    McCain is a scumbag traitor to his state and nation.

  46. surfinbird1 says: Jun 27, 2014 2:07 PM

    He then asked “where the hell am I anyway?”

  47. trollaikman8 says: Jun 27, 2014 3:09 PM

    Put me in the 3rd category. Not offended, and I like the NFL legacy HOWEVER I want to see Daniel Snyder suffer.

    #ChangeTheName
    #WashingtonFC™
    #RGWoundedKnee

  48. redskinsnamesupporter says: Jun 27, 2014 3:43 PM

    It is now inevitable that this cause against the Redskins shall lose as it has in the past and continue to lose in the future. The Chiefs being added to the lawsuit assured that. Big Redskins Win!

  49. simonator917 says: Jun 27, 2014 4:20 PM

    Now I am definitely against the name change.

  50. dobe420 says: Jun 27, 2014 7:58 PM

    John McCain: “My friends, I’m willing to buck members of my own party, just ask Elizabeth Dole, I stole her checkbook. Forged bad checks all over D.C., ruined her credit rating.”

  51. flyeaglesfly79 says: Jun 27, 2014 8:27 PM

    Am I the only one who noticed that Sen. McCain claims to be representing the interests of American Indians in Arizona, yet refused to vote in favor of urging the NFL to make the team change the name? I realize that the 50 senators who signed the letter were Liberals, and not a single Republican signed. Party allegiance is more important to McCain than actually representing the people he claims to represent.

    When a senator’s political position trumps doing the right thing for his or her constituents, I’d say THAT is a pretty sad chapter in American History.

  52. dallascowboysdishingthereal says: Jun 27, 2014 9:23 PM

    “Suppose you were an idiot, and suppose you were a member of Congress; but I repeat myself.”
    -Mark Twain

  53. defscottyb says: Jun 28, 2014 3:34 AM

    John McCain doesn’t care either way. His comment “probably” is a way to appease both voting sides in the upcoming election. That way he doesn’t alienate anyone from voting for him. He doesn’t care about the Redskins.

  54. skins1970 says: Jun 28, 2014 10:34 AM

    None of the politicians on either side of the debate really care about the name they are just looking for votes.

  55. floriothenbclapdog says: Jun 28, 2014 12:19 PM

    Wouldn’t it be awful confusing having 2 NFL teams called the Redskins?

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