Boston Globe calls for Redskins to change name


Throughout a tumultuous December, Washington’s NFL team likely was waxing nostalgic for the days when the team’s biggest problem was its ongoing name controversy.

While forgotten during times of organizational dysfunction, the issue remains.  As evidenced by the team’s recent decision to characterize a poll that shows increasing opposition to the name as an affirmation of support.  And by a recent editorial in the Boston Globe urging change.

“The exploitation, prejudice, stereotyping, and betrayal of Native Americans by the US government and many other Americans is encoded in the term Redskins, however much it has grown to mean something different on the football field,” writes the newspaper in the town where the team was located when it changed its name from Braves.

“A name change wouldn’t be unprecedented, as Washington’s own basketball team morphed from the Bullets to the Wizards in 1997 amid concerns about the city’s soaring murder rate.  That was a widely applauded act of civic sensitivity.  The same can, and should, happen with the Redskins.  Team owner Daniel Snyder, unpopular with many fans, has sought to score points with some Redskins diehards by vowing to never, ever change the name.  But Snyder would gain more by showing respect to those who are offended by the name, and opening a new chapter in Washington football history.”

Snyder acknowledges those who are offended, but the team won’t change the name because any offense is unintended.

Ultimately, the name will change.  Whether it takes five years or 50 or something in between, the opposition will grow to the point where it can’t be respectfully disregarded.  And then for another 50 years after that, those who supported the name will continue to argue that it never should have changed.

98 responses to “Boston Globe calls for Redskins to change name

  1. Timing? It’s the biggest week of the NFL postseason. Can’t this nonsense at least wait until the Super Bowl is over? Between this and the Alex Rodriguez stories everywhere you turn, it’s almost as if someone’s trying to kill any interest in football.

  2. Imagine the $$$$ Snyder makes when people buy every peice of Redskin merchandise and memorabilia they can get their hands on before a name change…then the rush to buy new stuff with the new name.

  3. This is just me talking here, but in 50 years…..probably WAY less than 50 years…..this country is going to have SOOOOOO much more to worry about than the name of the Washington football team. This is a football site so its a topic for debate, I get that….but in the overall scheme of the direction this country is headed…it is truly a non-issue.

  4. the difference between ‘The “N” word’ and ‘The “R” word’ is that one never lost its meaning, it was always a slur.

    Because it lost its meaning as a slur, redskin is now simply an adjective and trying to re-establish its status as a slur results in another word that now offends indians.

    the ones that are offending indians are the ones that are saying you must be offended, and if your not, we will tell you that you should be.

    Its similar to kipling’s messages, we will teach our little red brothers how to be outraged.

    its sad

  5. We’ll then, if the Boston Globe thinks the name should change then let’s trip all over ourselves to get that done pronto.

  6. Did anyone watch an FSU game and hear the crowd chanting? Wasn’t that racist? The Cleveland Indians name and mascot, not racist?! The Atlanta Braves, the “tomahawk chop”, not racist?!

    The name Redskins honors proud, Native American warriors. It is not racist. No team would name itself after someone or something that it did not respect. Why would you name your team after an insult?
    It makes no sense at all. The only conclusion can be, the Redskin name is NOT RACIST!

  7. Why doesn’t the Boston Globe call for Belichick to be fired and the Pats Super Bowl victories be taken away for cheating? They are so righteous!

  8. Just change the name. I’m tired of hearing from all the racists that they aren’t offended and then citing other team names that have representation from the U.N.

  9. In my opinion, the name doesn’t insight any hostility or racial slur. In today’s world it is absurd to equate the N word with word Redskins. In all my years of living, I’ve yet to hear the word Redskin used in a negative, hateful manner.

    Leave it as is. If people really had an issue with the name, they wouldn’t support the team or by the team apparel. The last time I checked the REDSKINS have a waiting list years long.

    To all the PC people, get over yourselves. You do not have to impose your beliefs on the world. Just live your life!

  10. The boston globe also endorsed Elizabeth warren, even when it came to light that in her earlier years, she claimed to be an Indian, very possibly gaining preferential minority treatment on her way up the latter.

    Her only documentation was that her Grandmama told her so.

    The globe, after a through investigation, still kept that endorsement.

  11. Time to change the Kansas City Chiefs, Atlanta Braves, Chicago Blackhawks, Golden State Warriors, NY Giants (offends small people) , Minnesota Vikings, Oakland Raiders. C’mon now people, this is absolutely ridiculous! What have we come to as a society that we need to start changing names of any and everything. You are never going to please everyone. The name Redskins was not created to offend native Americans. You can spin any story and find someone in this great country of ours to find something run with anything. There are A LOT of bigger issues that we need to solve.

  12. Don’t like the team all that much, but keep the Redskins name please. Everyone else can just suck it.

  13. I support the name change. Redskin is defined as a disparaging term by English dictionaries. So why name your team that in the first place? And much blame goes to NFL that approved the name.

  14. It’s kind of ironic.

    Very few of the real men and women who put their necks on the line to protect our freedom have much of a problem with minutae like this.

    But those who comprise the least likely to fight for freedom are the loudest over this kind of piffle. It is this whiny “complainy” group of people whose freedom is protected by others that is the most vocal about stuff like this. The biggest fights they get into involve keystrokes and drafting protest signs.

  15. We’re going to have an armed uprising to do away with this PC crap being forced on the majority. Mark my words, 50 years from now it will have happened and no one will give a lick about football much less the Redskins name. The only thing remembered about football will be the 50 plus year run of abject failure by the vikqueens.

  16. The Globe published this the day after the Patriots won a trip to the AFC championship. Apparently that story didn’t have enough pop, so they wrote about the Redskins instead.

  17. When Snyder gets his new DC stadium, that’s when the name is going to change. Change the name, get on board with the other major dc sports teams and go with the red,white and blue color scheme. One game a year they hold a ” throwback game” and all the skins fans can wear their burgundy and gold, but the team uses the arrow helmet. You root for the team and players on the field, not a mascot.

  18. The pansification of the nation continues…way too many people in this country go overboard trying to please others or be politically correct. How about this; you don’t like it…then don’t watch nfl football…similar to if you don’t like the United States then get out!

  19. It’s pretty sad that Native Americans get breezed over on this. We wiped out so many of them, that the small pockets of reservations left simply have no voice. If you take an outsider view, the name is offensive and needs to be changed. It’s not that complicated guys.

    There are so many other variants of Indian themes named that could work. Heck – we have the Chiefs in the league… who play at Arrowhead.

  20. They referenced the Wizards name change as a good thing? Literally the lamest name change in pro sports history, even after New Orleans tried to take the title by becoming the Pelicans.

  21. This op-ed piece lost all credibility when it described Snyder as being unpopular with “many” fans, which would mean he is not unpopular with virtually all fans.

    Bus it is funny to think how they would report on the Boston Tea Party.

  22. In this sad age of newspapers downsizing staff and even closing their doors altogether in many cases, it’s good to see The Boston Globe doing anything — and I mean ANYTHING — it can to stay “relevant.”

  23. It’s just a call from the editorial board – and it’s a legitimate issue for them to give their $.02

    While many are entrenched in the “they can’t force us to change our name” mindset – and have certain legitimate points that should be made – the Globe’s question of “is a little civic or cultural sensitivity really a bad thing” is one worth asking.

    Dan Snyder’s window to “do the right thing” is rapidly closing – and in fact he’s beginning to turn his organization into the plot of an actual Spike Lee joint.

    Maybe the Globe’s editorial will prompt him to revisit the question of a name change. Barring that, if he’s as smart a businessman as his billions would indicate, he’d realize that a new name will spark a run on current memorabilia and result in sales of newly designed jerseys and logo

    (much more than the Globe’s $.02!)

  24. Message to New Boston Globe owner John Henry-You need to take care of problems in house such as firing Dan Shaughnessy before you take on other city problems.

  25. It’s kind of ironic.

    Very few of the real men and women who put their necks on the line to protect our freedom have much of a problem with minutae like this.

    But those who comprise the least likely to fight for freedom are the loudest over this kind of piffle. It is this whiny “complainy” group of people whose freedom is protected by others that is the most vocal about stuff like this. The biggest fights they get into involve keystrokes and drafting protest signs.

  26. There are SO many more important things in the world to worry about than this issue. My wife is a Native American and she is downright irritated over this subject.

    She’d MUCH rather see the Redskins…and the NFL…take the money it would cost to change the name donate it to an organization that will put it to good use HELPING Native Americans in need. She thinks the NFL should start a program to continue the assistance and use the Redskins and Chiefs as the leading teams to promote it.

  27. This Patriots fan that hates the Redskins hopes that they never change their name. The PC police are growing tiresome. Stay strong, Dan.

  28. This whole argument is an Etymological fallacy. The idea that a present day word has to have the same meaning as the historical one. I, along with a majority of people, didn’t even know this was a racial slur until these people made something out of nothing. They’ve damaged their own cause by reminding people what the word USED to mean. They’ve hit the reset button. If they just let things continue as they were, the word redskin would have lost it’s racial meaning all together and ONLY been associated with a football team, eliminating the word without eliminating it. They’ve just given true racists ammo to use against them.

  29. Its none of the Globe’s business if they should change their name. Period. Hey Globe, why dont you try investigating Ernie Adams and exactly what he does for the Patriots. Try some investigative reporting for once. Maybe look into the allegations of the SpyGate book with an open mind and no bias.

  30. Well said. I can’t wait for Washington to change their name. It is a long time coming and the longer they’re stubborn just shows their ignorance to the term, and how little they care about those who are offended by this-including me as a Caucasian.

  31. Pats are a win away from the Super Bowl and this is what you’re going with? Get off your soapbox.

  32. By the way, I didn’t know that the Boston Globe had any ownership stake or any level of influence whatsoever in the Redskins name so why is this news? The day the Boston Globe apologizes for endorsing candidates for public office who later turned out to be crooked, costing the citizens of Massachussetts millions of dollars in taxpayer dollars and untold hardship is the day that I’ll think about listening to what they have to say. Until then, they are just pandering to their audience which isn’t news in case you didn’t know.

  33. Since “Oklahoma” means “red people” in Choktaw, are they calling for it to be changed too?

  34. I think the Washington DC NFL Franchise should change their name. The reasons are clear and irrefutable. I think the best way to promote this change would be for media outlets like the Globe to simply stop using the name when referring to the NFL team located in Washington.

    Hopefully the broadcast media will pick up on it until the day comes when a game between the the Eagles and the team from Washington is televised and the R word is never mentioned. The day that THAT happens will be the last day the team from Washington DC will have Redskins as a nickname.

  35. In 1972, Massachusetts’ flagship state university changed its name after a group of Native Americans from New York wrote to the university’s administration asked the school to drop the athletic team name, the Redmen. The students were polled and the “Minutemen” was selected as the new moniker with women’s teams being called the “Minutewomen”. Mr. Snyder, the precedent for change was set over 40 years ago. Please make it happen sir and I suggest you let the fans pick the new name to help get them to buy into the change.

  36. Far be it from the Boston Globe to capitalize on the exposure of Championship Weekend with the local team in play. Nice to see the D0-Gooder’s in MA haven’t lost their touch.

  37. That photo with this article that says the “r-word is = to the n-word” is precisely why the name change argument lack real substance. Redskins is nowhere near equal to the n-word.

  38. Agreed. As society evolves, intolerance for the name will continue to grow. Eventually ownership will get so tired of this dispute and the criticism that they will acquiesce and change the name. May as well give in now so we can all get on with other things.

  39. i am a eagles fan but come many year NO one had a problem with their name ? and they suck, so why this commotion ? …people are bored, we are in trillions of dollars of deficit and this is what we care about ?

  40. Logo is worse than the name right now. Both need to change, but a logo change is more practical and likely, so we should work for that. Baby steps. Plus, they already have a cool alternate logo in the stylized “R” that could be used.

  41. Of course “increasing opposition” is a relative term. And let’s face it, someone is always offended about something now days; as if it’s a constitutional right. The right to be a victim as it’s called.

    Every poll conducted showed less than 10% of Native Americans are offended. Polls also show less than 10% of non-Native Americans are offended.

    Even with the addition of the recent Native American tribes joining the opposition of the name; the total number still makes up less than 2% of the Native American tribes federally recognized by the United States’ Bureau of Indian Affairs.

    No company makes a business decision based on the opinions of less than 10% of any demographic. Nor should they.

  42. As long as its not changed to something goofy like the “Wizards” or “Pelicans” then Washington fans will stop complaining within a year or two. And if the team actually starts to win consistently it will be even more irrelevant.

  43. Things That Will Happen:

    – White America becomes a minority in the early-2040’s

    – Soccer eclipses NFL football in the early-2030’s

    – The washington racial epithets will change their name in the early-2010’s

  44. The name needs to be changed. If any one calls me a “redskin” I will try to rip his face off, just like I tried to do that good ole boy who said I look like a “high yeller” after I found out that that was another derogatory racial name!

  45. The Boston Globe offends me so they should change their name, this is asinine! I have a full blooded Native American grandmother who is not offended at all. Everyone in this country get their feelings hurt over absolutely nothing anymore! What’s next someone got mauled by a Seahawk and now the Seahawks need to change the name to something else? People need to grow up and if they want to fight a battle and make a stand do it on something that actually matters like abortions.

  46. We also demand name changes for the Patriots, Vikings, 49ers, Cowboys, Steelers, Packers, Saints, Buccaneers, and Giants as all of these name COULD be offensive to a human being that is being over sensitive about life! Get over it for crying out loud!

  47. Also the Texans, Titans, Bills, Chiefs, and Raiders….. And all Browns Fans are offended as well but that is for other reasons.

  48. The Washington Redcoats seems fitting, since this country was founded in part because of a tax revolt, and now the Federal Government is taxing us to death, just like the British Redcoats…

  49. To the fools disparaging Elizabeth Warren . . . I recently sat across from her on a flight from LAX to Logan. She sat in coach with no entourage (not a single one) and worked the whole flight, putting the rest of us to shame. I have worked for and consulted to a number of investment banks and financial institutions. They all know her to be one of the smartest if not the smartest senator and realize she understands their business as well as they do. Larry Summers would be heading the Federal Reserve today if it was not for Warren’s political and financial acumen in blocking him. No one protects the interests of working Americans better than Warren. By the way, Romney and Kerry always had an entourage when I saw them (the worst was Cardinal Bernard law who had a larger entourage than a heavyweight champ).

  50. “But Snyder would gain more by showing respect to those who are offended by the name, and opening a new chapter in Washington football history.”

    Ignorant statement. Snyder would lose any DC fans he has left if he changed the name willingly. Anyone saying Skins should change their name should have no gripes if they were told to change their name.

  51. Doesn’t the Boston Globe have better things to do then worrying about the Skins nickname?

  52. The only thing ignorant about Redskins is that people are actually equating it to the “n” word. Why do people continue to ignore the overwhelming majority of Native Americans that are proud of the name? A Redskin was a warrior… I think most people are confusing it with the term red man… Like white man… It would be laughable if it wasn’t so sad and pathetic that people are letting their own ignorance get them worked up over a perceived ignorance. Redskin was so coined because of the paint color the Lenape used to paint themselves. People need to quit inventing controversy.

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