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Moseley joins in rhetoric over Washington name

Moseley Getty Images

Mark Moseley, the only kicker ever to be named the NFL’s Most Valuable Player, put his toe — and the rest of his foot — into it with recent comments about the team’s name.

In remarks to the Associated Press, Moseley said, “I’m telling you somebody would have to drop a bomb on FedEx Field to get us to change.”

That’s hardly the best choice of words, but Moseley’s over-the-top characterization illustrates the zeal with which both sides are pursuing an issue that feels like a political campaign that will never end.  Dan Steinberg of the Washington Post has collected a variety of recent quotes on the issue, including the latest attempt to blame the controversy on those with an agenda other than trying to right a longstanding wrong.

Politicians,” former Washington quarterback Joe Theismann said.  “It’s an election year.”

It wasn’t an election year when the debate first gained real traction.  That came in early 2013, when the team coincidentally opted to launch an affirmative defense of the name with a variety of clumsy tactics, such as pointing out all the high schools that still use the name.  The P.R. blunders and missteps continued into 2014, and the team has tried in recent weeks to ramp up the defense of the name in the apparent hopes of delivering the knockout punch, from throwing money at Native American causes to launching a propaganda website to recruiting former players to speak out (the current franchise quarterback has avoided the issue) to multiple interviews with owner Daniel Snyder.

The K.O. hasn’t come.  And it won’t.  Instead, efforts to defend the name emphasize and legitimize the conflict, hardening the two sides.

If the team had merely ignored the scattered complaints and attacks and arguments, the issue possibly would have never gathered momentum.  And it possibly would have continued to be part of the background noise that the media generally ignored.  Instead, the debate now rages more strongly than ever, with politicians, athletes, entertainers (like Gene Simmons of KISS), and others in positions or prominence or otherwise having an opinion and expressing it.  For many, the opinions have become stronger and stronger.

Last year, I predicted that the debate would continue until the name changes in 50 years, that the debate would continue for another 50 years after it changes, and that I hoped to live for as many of those 100 years as possible.  Now, it feels like the first half will be shorter, and that the last half will be longer.

Indeed, the debate will not go away in the lifetimes of anyone who has a strong opinion on the issue.  Strong opinions will likely persist for decades after the name inevitably changes, whenever that may be.

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60 Responses to “Moseley joins in rhetoric over Washington name”
  1. craniator says: Aug 12, 2014 11:29 PM

    “Long standing wrong”. Yeah , okay.

  2. thestrategyexpert says: Aug 12, 2014 11:37 PM

    “All the gods, they cannot sever us. If I were dead and you were still fighting for life, I’d come back from the darkness. Back from the pit of hell to fight at your side.”

    -Valeria

  3. steelhammer92 says: Aug 12, 2014 11:38 PM

    The debate will die down after a while… Once liberals tell us something else we should all be offended and feel guilty about.

  4. 34defense2014 says: Aug 13, 2014 12:02 AM

    No big deal here, just change the name. And of argument.

  5. therealhazer says: Aug 13, 2014 12:15 AM

    Freedom of speech. Everyone’s offended by something. Move on.

  6. charger383 says: Aug 13, 2014 12:17 AM

    On the sidebar, Right beside this, is an ad saying “We’re all Washington Redskins on game day”

  7. asimonetti88 says: Aug 13, 2014 12:47 AM

    good for Moseley for not giving into the liberal media

  8. baseballstars says: Aug 13, 2014 12:59 AM

    The same Gene Simmons who came out in support of Donald Sterling? Terrible name drop, especially if you believe you are supporting the side of non-racists.

  9. akboot says: Aug 13, 2014 1:00 AM

    Glad to hear it Mark, good to hear this coming from you guys. Hope more speak up. Idiotic p/c bunch, they jump on every bandwagon that comes down the pike so they can feel relevant.

  10. sumkat says: Aug 13, 2014 1:09 AM

    The debate only “rages on” because people like you keep trying to fan the embers

    The name isn’t changing, get used to it

  11. claimersays says: Aug 13, 2014 1:17 AM

    The complaints are SCATTERED? That’s a great way of saying there aren’t many.

  12. claimersays says: Aug 13, 2014 1:18 AM

    R e d s k I n s F o r e v e r! HTTR!

  13. cannabisisgreat says: Aug 13, 2014 1:22 AM

    No matter what my opinion is the simple fact is that dan Snyder owns the team. It’s his property. He can do what he wants. I thought this was America.

  14. manilarizzo says: Aug 13, 2014 1:43 AM

    Only kicker I ever loved…and the head of franchising for Five Guys to boot!!! HTTR!!!

  15. herrcules13 says: Aug 13, 2014 1:53 AM

    “If the team had merely ignored the scattered complaints and attacks and arguments, the issue possibly would have never gathered momentum.” BS. You’ll make sure it keeps its momentum! The “debate” won’t go away until people like you stop covering it as though it’s a REAL issue. And as far as the “election year” comment, you clearly know nothing about politics.

  16. roanboon says: Aug 13, 2014 1:54 AM

    How come nobody felt guilty about the team name in 2012?

  17. bullcharger says: Aug 13, 2014 2:17 AM

    Is it racist or not? That’s the only question to me. If it is then change it, if not leave it. Only Native Americans can answer that question, but once it is determined, I can’t imagine anyone would want to keep it if the concensus is that it is definitely racist.

  18. lawson1974 says: Aug 13, 2014 2:47 AM

    If Moseley had said he was against the name, you would have tripped over yourself trying to pat him on the back. Because he says he’s against it (the majority viewpoint) he “put his foot in his mouth”.

    Great stuff.

  19. bootska says: Aug 13, 2014 2:49 AM

    Idiot kicker.

  20. nickdoggmoneycash says: Aug 13, 2014 4:49 AM

    Finally, someone speaking the truth. Moseley continues to tell it how it is.

  21. stinger124 says: Aug 13, 2014 4:58 AM

    The whole thing IS political and it has ALWAYS been political. It’s all a part of the left wing’s “political correctness” agenda that they’re intent on bullying America to accepting. It’s a privately owned entity and their name is not subject to government mood swings. The Senate has a country to serve. They should keep their upward pointing noses out of sports.

  22. joetoronto says: Aug 13, 2014 5:20 AM

    Gee, I hope his words weren’t hurtful.

    SMH.

  23. bucsorbust says: Aug 13, 2014 5:21 AM

    Really? Moseley’s “over-the-top characterization”? All the man used was a figure of speech, and now a guy can’t even talk any more because everything is over the top. So “wild animals” or “a thousand knives” and the like is all “over the top.” Gimme a break. What is over the top is the shrillness of folks jumping on the bandwagon of the allegedly offended. Joe Theisman is right…it’s an election year. All those who think anyone really cares about the “Redskin” name won’t be hearing a peep after the first week of November.

  24. nachoface says: Aug 13, 2014 5:36 AM

    And now for the parade of mouth breathers…

  25. jimmysee says: Aug 13, 2014 5:42 AM

    Don’t stand in the way of what’s right.

    You’re likely to get bowled over.

  26. jammer88 says: Aug 13, 2014 5:43 AM

    They are the Washington Redskins and always have been and always will be the WASHINGTON REDSKINS!

  27. dallascowboysdishingthereal says: Aug 13, 2014 5:53 AM

    Who cares what Gene Simmons thinks about the name anyway? I would put a little more stock into the thoughts of former players like Mosley and Theismann who actually understand the whole redskin mascot idea more.

    The difference here is the liberal media refers to support of the name as “rhetoric”. But the desperate, and not based on any facts, attempts to change the name are all noble.

  28. tinytoolalldrool says: Aug 13, 2014 6:40 AM

    I back Moseley and Theismann.

  29. outlawjerseywhales says: Aug 13, 2014 7:11 AM

    You lose the last ounce of credibility you (never) had when you describe Simmons as an “entertainer”.
    No one cares about your predictions.
    Mark Moseley and Joe Theismann are right.
    Hail to the Redskins!

  30. olcap says: Aug 13, 2014 7:29 AM

    It doesn’t really matter what peoples’ opinions on the matter are.

    What matters is that this is a business that has had the same name for a long time, and now some people think that THEIR opinion that the name is a slur and must be destroyed, even though there is no law forbidding the use of this name, and the reason for that is the US Bill of Rights.

    As a veteran, I can only shake my head at the way our freedom of speech is so frivolously used as a bargaining chip for the agendas of a minority of voices. The USA is a country that has always been majority rule and for good reason. Too often lately, the majority caves to the whims of the minority voices, and it needs to stop.

  31. kegowhisky says: Aug 13, 2014 7:36 AM

    I have to take exception to the thought that the Redskins totally ignoring the naysayers would let the issue go away. For many years, the Skins did that and it worked. Then, the ante was upped by the press who wouldn’t let it go. From my viewpoint, Mike Wise attacked the issue like a chihuahua sinking its teeth into filet mignon. He wouldn’t let go, the rest of the press glommed on, and then the bucket loads of gloryseeking self-appointed do-gooders seized on to this issue de jour. It’s so big now that it won’t go away. Either Snyder changes the name (and I hope he won’t) or we’re all in for this uncomfortable battle forever. I know some will say “it’s a racial slur”, but that is a matter of how it’s used. In this case, it is only with honor, respect, and pride. Keep the name!

  32. robbieboston says: Aug 13, 2014 7:40 AM

    i am 1/3 wonkintonkin native american and i am offended

  33. GettingNoRespect says: Aug 13, 2014 7:44 AM

    Seen the youtube video? The most powerful statement for me is when the Native American says that “They’ve never asked Native Americans. It’s always someone else trying to speak for us”

    That has been my point all along.

    An overwhelming majority of Native Americans support the Washington Redskins team and the Redskins name.

  34. fjbuon says: Aug 13, 2014 8:01 AM

    Funny how no one had any “strong opinions” just 2 short years ago. Can’t wait til football starts. This will be yesterday’s news.

  35. goodellisruiningtheleague says: Aug 13, 2014 8:12 AM

    One school that still uses the nickname is Red Mesa High in Arizona, located on a Navajo reservation, and where 99.3 percent of its students are Native American. Tommie Yazzie, superintendent of the school district that oversees Red Mesa High School and a full-blooded Navajo, said he is more concerned with the use of Native American war chants and gestures during sporting events. Do we have your attention, Atlanta Braves and KC Chiefs?

  36. goodellisruiningtheleague says: Aug 13, 2014 8:12 AM

    “We don’t use those gestures and traditions. As Navajos we have respect for warfare. Warfare means taking a life. And when a young warrior goes out to battle, [the gestures and war chants] belong there,” Yazzie said. “When you come back into civilian life, you don’t take that back with you. You don’t use the same type of gestures and hollering and bring that back into a sporting event.”

  37. goodellisruiningtheleague says: Aug 13, 2014 8:13 AM

    Senator Maria Cantwell of Washington state, recently circulated a letter among her fellow Democrats demanding that the Washington Redskins change their name for being offensive and disrespectful to Native Americans.

    The letter has gained a fair amount of publicity.

    The issue of the Redskin’s name drew the attention of President Obama last year who urged team owner Daniel Snyder to reconsider it.

    However, Snyder has vowed not to change the team’s name.

    Cantwell told the Washington Post she was appalled during a 2013 playoff game between the Redskins and her home state’s Seattle Seahawks. According to the Post she said the presentation of Washington’s team was “just so shocking to me,” and that the Redskins were offering “a caricature of a team that is not just respected by Indian Country,” she told the paper.

    Cantwell might have been shocked earlier in life. Growing up in Indianapolis, Cantwell attended Emmerich Manual High School. Perhaps not surprisingly, in a state called Indiana, in a city called Indianapolis, the school’s mascot is Indian themed. In fact, its mascot is the “Redskins.”

  38. goodellisruiningtheleague says: Aug 13, 2014 8:15 AM

    WELLPINIT, Stevens County — This little town of 928 — with its one grocery store, one gas station and one stop sign — is far, far away from the national controversies of the day.

    To get here, you drive about an hour north of Spokane, past fields of barley, wheat and canola with yellow flowers, past the forests.

    It is home for the Spokane Tribe of Indians, and for 107 years, the Wellpinit High School mascot name has been Redskins.

  39. noffy32 says: Aug 13, 2014 8:28 AM

    The people in this country want to change the redskins name but the NAACP and the United Negro College fund are ok to keep around? Bizarro world.

  40. salmen76 says: Aug 13, 2014 8:32 AM

    The Redskins name stays. Redskins Redskins Redskins Redskins Redskins Redskins Redskins Redskins! Yep. They’re still the Redskins and they will be the Redskins all season and for another 100 seasons after that. Geaux Saints!

  41. grumpyoleman says: Aug 13, 2014 8:42 AM

    If the name changes someday I hope the majority of people continue to refer to them as they should, the Washington Redskins.

  42. hugeredskinsfan says: Aug 13, 2014 9:03 AM

    Why do name supporters “emphasize and legitimize the conflict”? Maybe seeing it from your side. They are doing the right thing supporting the name with a hard stance IMO.

  43. winninaintsinnin says: Aug 13, 2014 9:12 AM

    Tick tock.

    5 years…. take the under.

  44. GettingNoRespect says: Aug 13, 2014 9:38 AM

    Tick Tock

    Your relevance … 0 seconds … take the under

  45. mdpgc says: Aug 13, 2014 9:49 AM

    More than a decade ago, in the authoritative linguistic survey “I Am A Red-Skin: The Adoption of a Native American Expression (1769-1826),” Ives Goddard—the senior linguist and curator at the Smithsonian Institution—concluded that the word “redskins” was created by Native Americans, and that it was first used as an inclusive expression of solidarity by multi-tribal delegations who traveled to Washington, D.C. to negotiate national policy towards Native Americans. “The actual origin of the word (redskin) is entirely benign,” Goddard is quoted as saying.

    Prominent Indian leaders of the 19th century—from Sitting Bull (a Hunkpapa Lakota Chief) to French Crow (Principal Chief of the Wahpekute band of Santee Sioux) to Tecumseh (a Shawnee chief)—are documented as having referred to themselves as “Red Men” or “Red-skins.”

  46. GettingNoRespect says: Aug 13, 2014 10:41 AM

    Those who you are trying to “protect”, don’t want your “protection” and support the Washington Redskins team and the name.

    Until that changes, all your arguments fail.

    Are we going to again impose our will on Native Americans for “their own good”.

    As my father-in-law used to say: Nothing is so terrible as something done for “your own good”.

  47. pftcensor1 says: Aug 13, 2014 11:09 AM

    The problem name change proponents have is consistency. For example a group of Original Americans is offended by the Washington team name – a group of of Original Americans is also offended by the Kansas City team name.

    For some reason name change proponents wish to honor the wishes of the first group but will seemingly ignore the wishes of the second group – or use very interesting logic to rationalize this inconsistency.

    I remind all name change proponents that if a group of people is offended by the name the name must be changed. This is the acid test established by the name change proponents. Clearly Ms. Blackhorse and others are offended by KC’s name.

    Name change proponents that don’t advocate changing both names are inconsistent at best and bigoted at worst.

  48. eagles512 says: Aug 13, 2014 11:21 AM

    My new favorite kicker

  49. colonelred2001 says: Aug 13, 2014 12:02 PM

    Redskins is a name of honor for honor and anyone not trying to social engineer for the purpose of divide and conquer or anyone that is not an idiot understands this.

  50. shatho1 says: Aug 13, 2014 1:15 PM

    how about the media just stops trying to cram it in our everyday lives. no one cares to read or hear about this anymore. on that note leave the damn name alone. signed a cowboys fan

  51. packerfansarefatdrunkandstupid says: Aug 13, 2014 1:44 PM

    The name will change.There’s nothing you mouthbreathers can do about it.

  52. gregmorris78 says: Aug 13, 2014 1:47 PM

    Geeez Mike, I couldn’t even finish this one…

    Can we talk about the American Indian being a heroic symbol for once? Redskin is just the same as Blackfoot isn’t it as is Geronimo (Means Warrior Chief in Apache language)? Can you guys get over it already?

    Not too late to embrace the cultures of the various American Indian tribes and to turn the page from a more ancient time? Of the many ways the Washington Redskins represent the name, in 2014, one is nothing more than competitive spirit? You’d think maybe there should be a rivalry between the Patriots And Redskins huh?!

    Blackfoot too got their name from white settlers who noticed the bottom of the tribe’s moccasins were charred black, making the soles more durable. It is questionable if they also dipped them into natural pine tar and then ash as well for the same reason

    Certain Southwestern tribes had very red skin from the sun. Redskins. I don’t care that a few people used it in a derogatory way 150 years ago.

    Also, about half of the known Apache male names literally mean Warrior & Chief.

    Can we begin to wind this down? There is no fish to fry here – never was…

  53. cletusspucklerredskinsfan says: Aug 13, 2014 2:00 PM

    that kicker got it right. mr snyder aint gonna change the dang name.

  54. gregmorris78 says: Aug 13, 2014 2:08 PM

    Personally, I encourage Mr Snyder to use the spear helmet more often – it’s pretty cool.

  55. lbaldand says: Aug 13, 2014 2:12 PM

    I need someone to help me understand why the Washington Redskins’ name is racist? Generally no one likes to be attached to negative racist things they generally try to get rid of it… it is generally a bad thing. No one wears anything remotely close to something they hate, fear, see in a derogatory way, or no longer want around. This is not the case with the Washington Redskins. What bad negative light is being pushed upon society by their name?

  56. cletusspucklerredskinsfan says: Aug 13, 2014 2:19 PM

    no indians and politicians are gonna make us change our name.

  57. rcali says: Aug 13, 2014 4:10 PM

    Joe Theismann played at Notre Dame, not for the Washington Huskies. I don’t understand what the problem is with pointing this out.

  58. floriothenbclapdog says: Aug 14, 2014 12:33 AM

    Free speech is nothing more than the ability to offend or be offended. It is a bizarre world we live in where the ‘media’ lobbies against freedom of speech, expression, or the ability to offend.

  59. floriothenbclapdog says: Aug 14, 2014 12:34 AM

    #stopthebullying

  60. defscottyb says: Aug 14, 2014 6:45 PM

    Dan said NO and NEVER. What part of that didn’t you understand?

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