Washington reverts to pointing out high schools that use the same name

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The P.R. effort by the Washington NFL franchise to engage — and in turn to unwittingly help legitimize — the long-simmering opposition to its name began in 2013 with an effort to point out all the American high schools that use the same name.

The P.R. effort by the Washington NFL franchise to bolster its position returned to that topic on Tuesday night, with team P.R. director Tony Wyllie pointing out to PFT that a school board in Wellpinit, Washington decided last week to keep the same name for its local high school team.

“Explain this Mike!!!” Wyllie said via email with a link to the story.

Here’s the explanation — for as long as the Washington NFL franchise continues to cling to that name amid a debate that has become sufficiently strong to cause even the current face of the franchise, a year after decrying the “tyranny of political correctness” on Twitter to refuse to say that there’s no problem at all with the name, other groups that have used the same name will feel empowered to continue doing so as well.

In many cases, the NFL sets the example and the trends for college and high school programs.  While plenty of college and high school programs have abandoned the name and others similar to it without change from the NFL franchise, the all-caps-never-over-my-dead-body stance from owner Daniel Snyder will make it easier for those who want to keep the name elsewhere to do so.

Regardless of how the issue shakes out in any community where the name was applied decades ago to a local sports team, the debate will remain for the Washington NFL team until the name changes.  And we welcome Wyllie or anyone else to let us know if/when a sports team that has never before used that name suddenly adopts it.

That won’t be happening.  Indeed, if that name never had been used at the NFL level, there’s no way an expansion franchise would be allowed to use it in 2014.  Which continues to be the most logical argument for changing it.

183 responses to “Washington reverts to pointing out high schools that use the same name

  1. Why wasn’t this a big issue 10 years ago…5 years. Why now? If you can’t admit it’s being driven by a political machine in Washington that loves to agitate people, then you’re just fooling yourself.

  2. Maybe they should change their name to The Washington Caucasians and change the logo to an average looking white guy. I wonder if that would offend anyone.

  3. Ummm…. Are we talking about the Seattle Seahawks who play in the state of Washington or the WASHINGTON REDSKINS? I’d be willing to bet based on the articles political and biased stance they must be referring to the WASHINGTON REDSKINS….

  4. .
    Sometime in the 70’s, the University of Massachusetts changed their name from the “Redmen” to the “Minutemen” Will the school board be ordering them to change back?

  5. It’s a nickname of a football team meant to honor the original habitants of this country. It’s not a racial slur that some like to make a mountain out of a mole hill for their own agendas.

    Name goes away recognition of Indians goes away with it. All of you that are offended by this must be offended by everything. Get a life

  6. I think you’ve stated you were from Oklahoma or at least grew up there. I’d like to know why government run entities such as high schools and the state of Oklahoma aren’t held to the same standards or smear campaigns?

    Additionally I’d like to commend you for not editing out Rich Tandler’s interview where he says most people refusing to say the name are just trying to grab the spotlight for them self and not really be news reporters.

  7. On this day in 1876 Custer’s 7th Cavalry was wiped out by combined Lakota, Cheyenne and Arapaho forces at the Battle of Little Bighorn in Montana.
    Hail to the Redskins!

  8. You’re so right Florio, why would the Washington Redskins revert to pointing out American High schools, like the Red Mesa High School, which is 100% Navajo native Americans, use the name Redskins with pride? That wouldn’t make any sense…

  9. this is the description with the picture.

    The Redskin Theater in Anadarko, Oklahoma. The town proclaims itself to be the “Indian Capital of the Nation” and its population is 41% Native American.

  10. since its not technically trademarked anymore, it would be funny if one of the new FXFL adopts the Redskins name. what are you going to say then mike?

  11. When the name was adopted, it was not meant to offensive, just as it is not meant so now. If someone takes offense to it, why should it be Dan Snyder’s problem? Guess what? There are offensive people everywhere.

    And I would really like to know…when was the last time an American Indian heard the term “redskin” used in a racist and derogatory way? Does it happen often? At all?

  12. Never seen so many people just trying to bring attention to themselves before. I am 40 years old and live in Mississippi, not one time have I felt or heard anyone complain about the Washington Redskins being offensive. It’s a shame…

  13. Of course the other explanation is that the Native American schools take pride in the name as a way of self identification. It’s well documented by a smothsonian researcher that the name was originated by native Americans. If over time it changed to a derogatory term why can’t its meaning change again. Dictionaries list is as offensive because it hasn’t been used in 100 years except to reference a football team. It’s the know it all attitude at PFT that bugs me. But they get what they want. More clicks anymore comments. HTTR

  14. You make it sound like its a ridiculous argument to point out that Native American Schools continue to use the name. It’s not. If they feel proud enough of the name to use it for their own school, that is significant. Nobody votes for a name to represent them that they consider to be a slur.

  15. Why wasn’t this a big issue 10 years ago…5 years. Why now? If you can’t admit it’s being driven by a political machine in Washington that loves to agitate people, then you’re just fooling yourself.

    This has been brought up many times. I am 43 and remember at least two times it was a big issue. The mid 80s and late 90s both times it was in the news. This isn’t even counting when the Seminoles, Fight Illini and all those schools were under fire.

    People are kidding themselves that its some new issue, this just appears this time its getting the most steam. The Cleveland baseball Chief Wahoo logo and the old Atlanta Braves screaming brave were also under fire. The Braves dumped the logo i think in the late 80s. Cleveland has been using the C more and more the last few seasons. I am not even sure if the chief is used by them now.

  16. Way to leave out the fact that the local high school mentioned is on the Spokane Indian Reservation.

    Also, directly from the article, the “mascot has been a part of the community since 1907”. Almost 30 years before the Boston Braves became the Boston Redskins.

  17. So basically what you’re saying is that you know better than the native Americans who decided to keep the name of their school. Unbelievable.

  18. The only ones who are complaining about the name are the Nanny Staters who think they have the right to tell everyone how to think and what to say. I hope Snyder NEVER changes the name.

  19. I don’t really like the Redskins, but I’m in favor of keeping the name. So what if 10% of the people don’t like the name? Isn’t Giant used as a derogatory term for unusually large people? I don’t see anyone standing up for their rights.

  20. Tony Wyllie, a “professional” PR person uses the “but more than 1/1000th of 1% of high schools use it” response, that great

  21. I’m still stuck on why other sports teams with Native American connections, e.g. Cleveland Indians; Atlanta Braves, Kansas City Chiefs; Chicago Blackhawks; etc, aren’t being equally pressured to change their names as well. Braves’ fans do the tomahawk chop during their games, and fans of all those teams dress up in costumes all the time. Those actions would certainly qualify being just as offensive as the name “Redskins,” so I’m at a loss to understand why the Redskins are solely targeted. I’m starting to wonder if it’s simply because the league and media are pressuring Dan Snyder to change it, he’s pushed back and said no, and people don’t like him now.

  22. I am waiting for someone to come up with just one thing that doesn’t offend at least one person…just one…this is America, where democracy was built on “majority rules”…that’s why we do “polls” and “vote”…to determine what the majority of people want…in this case, it isn’t even close, especially by the Native American community people…wanna tackle a real issue? Go after the folks at Monsanto and the crap that gets incorporated into our food supply…now, that’s a cause to die for…

  23. Just to be clear: there is nothing that anyone can do to force Snyder to change the team name and by talking about it every damn day you fools are giving him and the team oodles of publicity.

  24. We’ve got to get rid of the Cracker Barrel and for sure Cracker Jacks’s. I’m so offended I can sleep at night and can’t concentrate at work.

  25. I have been asking the same question over and over to the “change the name” crowd. Will anyone’s life really be any better if the name is changed?

  26. I don’t care if the name changes, but we’ll have to change the State name Oklahoma… Google it’s definition, if you change one name you have to change them all.

  27. Many of the high schools are native American and located on reservations. They have had the mascot names for many years and I guess the liberal media hasn’t convinced them yet it is offensive.

    The facts are frustrating the name change supporters.

  28. Why wasn’t this a big issue 10 years ago…5 years. Why now? If you can’t admit it’s being driven by a political machine in Washington that loves to agitate people, then you’re just fooling yourself.

    It’s actually been an issue for about 40 years but it’s only recently been really picking up steam.

  29. Cleveland Indians, you are next.

    “It’s been offensive since day one,” Robert Roche, a Chiricahua Apache and longtime opponent of the Indians’ team name and logo, told NBC News. “We are not mascots. My children are not mascots. We are people.”

    Roche said his group, People Not Mascots, is preparing to file a federal lawsuit against the Indians over the team name and logo. He expects the suit to be filed by the end of July.

    I wonder how Americans originally from India feel about the campaign against term “Indians”?

  30. The way for this to calm down is for the Redskins to bring in an openly gay player… then all the focus will be on how open minded they are…

  31. It’s cool. If you like the Redskins name you just aren’t offended by a racial slur. It doesn’t make you a racist, just a supporter of a racial slur. All that means is you’re just not decent to certain people when it doesn’t suit you. You can denounce political correctness if you want to hide behind those buzz words to dehumanize and minimalize the people the name is derogatory towards. Like I said it doesn’t make you racist, but it does make you obtuse. Don’t like being called obtuse? Don’t be so sensitive, it’s just a word after all.

  32. The word ‘redskin’ was first used by Native Americans as a way to distinguish themselves from others. It was never meant to be a racist term.
    Nowadays, when sensitive people see a word that contains a color beside the word ‘skin’, they assume it has racist connotations. If people like yourself would just do a little research, you’d realize that this is nothing more than an overblown controversy driven by a small amount of people who, quite frankly, have no clue what they’re talking about.

  33. That won’t be happening. Indeed, if that name never had been used at the NFL level, there’s no way an expansion franchise would be allowed to use it in 2014. Which continues to be the most logical argument for changing it.


    Several team names wouldn’t be approved in 2014 including the Braves, Indians, Chiefs, and Seminoles. If PETA got involved probably not any animal names either.

    The NAACP would never get the word “Colored” approved in the name of their organization. Perhaps they should change it.

    The US Government would never approve the Bill of Rights if were to be proposed today or they would approve it with a truck load of fine print that turns it into something completely different (ie. The Patriot Act does very little to keep Americans safe and everything to do with giving the government the right to do whatever they want whenever they want to you).

    With the surveillance today the American Revolution would never have succeeded, perhaps we should revert to being British Colonies?

  34. Isn’t it ironic that the very people who call everything “bullying” are the actual bullies?

  35. That’s not an explanation to Mr. Wylie’s question. Rather, it’s taking the position that Washington’s NFL franchise influences high schools in regards to the name.

    The question posed is entirely different and addresses the crux of the matter. And is one that opponents of the name seemingly don’t want to, or can’t, answer. If Native Americans find the word “Redskins” offensive, why have they chosen it–of their own volition–as a mascot?

    There are no comparable examples with other ethnicities choosing, on their own, a figurehead that they consider to be a racial slur. None.

    This fact serves as substantial, objective, evidence that Native Americans don’t find the name “Redskins” offensive. Until the opponents address this core issue, their ongoing protestations will remain nothing more than self-serving rhetoric.

  36. Makes you glad our taxes are hard at work with meaningless things like this. How about working on things that will make our nation better or is that too much hard work?

  37. Wow, Mike. Your argument here is almost as weak as the one where you said 83% wasn’t an overwhelming majority.
    The fact that you think that Native Americans need you to tell them what to be offended by is more offensive than any name.

  38. This makes no sense… The Redskins are hurting themselves by continuing to argue with people like Mike who have made up their mind regardless of facts.

    He says: “other groups that have used the same name will feel empowered to continue doing so as well.”


    I guess Mike now feels he has the right to tell these Native Americans how they should have voted and what they should be offended by…

  39. its funny how you chose to leave out that Welpinit Washington is located in the Spokane Indian Reservation. Which was the reason Wyllie sent it to you in the first place, Tell the whole story Mike, why would native americans vote to keep the name redskins for there high school team if as you and the rest of the media say All native americans are offened? EXPLAIN THIS MIKE!!!!

  40. I believe what they are pointing toward is not precedent, rather the fact that there is a decided lack of protest within the Native American community such that those HS names should be an issue. If the best argument for changing the name today is the fabricated climate of contentiousness contrived by politicians and media which would dissuade a similar naming of a franchise today, it is likely that it’s the propaganda machine we need to fix.

  41. I can’t wait until Training Camp so people will stop talking about this because we will actually be talking about football.

  42. dabubble says:
    Jun 25, 2014 6:57 AM
    Why wasn’t this a big issue 10 years ago…5 years. Why now? If you can’t admit it’s being driven by a political machine in Washington that loves to agitate people, then you’re just fooling yourself.
    You are ignorant.

    Why was segregation in school not important in the 1950s but it was in the 1960s?

  43. What about the high schools on reservations that use the name? Explain that. What, no mention of that? One-sided journalism at its finest.

    What about Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill? That man caused more pain and suffering to native Americans than any nickname or mascot could ever do. People are quick to vilify G. W. Bush for his shortcomings, but Jackson continues to be celebrated. Is it because he founded the Democratic Party? One-sided politicking at its finest.

  44. With all the polls on this site, they won’t host a poll on this topic because they can’t handle the truth!

  45. dabubble says:
    Jun 25, 2014 6:57 AM
    Why wasn’t this a big issue 10 years ago…5 years. Why now? If you can’t admit it’s being driven by a political machine in Washington that loves to agitate people, then you’re just fooling yourself.
    Oh since people, until recently, ignored Native Americans objections to the name we should encourage its further use? Wow how twisted.

  46. What benefit would a Native American school have by keeping the Redskin name if it is so offensive? I am failing to connect the dots…a high school or college would really look at a word that some have compared to the N bomb, and say “Well an NFL team uses it, so we should use it.” Makes little sense. The “let me know when someone new comes up with that name” seems like a stretch to me. Can we start to address an overweight white guy dressed as an Indian chief at a Kansas City game….I have heard more people are offended by that.

  47. My high school teams were the Redmen for decades. But they changed in YEARS ago when people realized that it was kinda completely racist.

    But hey, I guess when you have millions upon millions of dollars, you can be racist.

  48. we have a lot more problems in U.S. right now.lets fix those first then waste more time and money on this issue…

  49. plenty of college and high school programs? in the immortal words of jim carrey-REEEHEEHEEEELLY?

  50. Obviously offending a minority within a minority class has political clout.

    I have yet to be convinced that there is a majority even within the American native nations. For Pete’s sake even several of their football teams proudly hold the name.

    Case closed.

    Go Redskins!

  51. Some of those high schools using REDSKINS predates the Washington Redskins. What about that Florio

  52. Why wasn’t discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin a big issue 60 years ago… 55. Why then? If you can’t admit it was driven by a political machine in Washington that loved to agitate people, then you’re just fooling yourself.

  53. Nice job, Washington. To all who are offended that this has to happen, lighten up, sit back, and just enjoy life more.

    Florio’s right. In many cases, the NFL sets the example. It will do that here too and cause the name to be changed soon enough.

    In a year or two, when the names it the Warriors, we won’t even remember this whole thing or care about it.

  54. Again hypocrisy is always entertaining. The most logical argument agrees with “me” and by logic all else is illogical. I don’t care what percent of America says my “logical” opinion is illogical it’s my opinion and so it’s logical. Narrow-minded hypocrisy the building blocks of today’s liberal media. We live in a democracy 80% agree the name is not offensive. All definitions I have found, skipping those fabricated by liberal media, are not offensive and instead are a term of pride for a warrior. There is nothing wrong with the name REDSKINS!!!!!

    Stop asking celebs to try and support your “logical” opinion. I’m pretty sure asking a celeb is the equivalent of insulting your opponent during a debate, in other words you have lost when you are looking for celebs to echo your opinion.

    Stand strong Snyder!!! Never change!!!!!

  55. Regarding “continues to be the most logical argument for changing it”…

    The fact is, there is in fact no logical reason to change the name. That’s the underlying notion of the whole thing. If it were logical to change the name, the name would have been changed long ago.

    When one thinks of the usual racial slurs, the first thing that comes to one’s mind is hatred, disparagement etc.

    When one hears the name Redskin, people think first and foremost and only of a football team. That is the logical reason why it need not be changed. But, the argument to change it has a genesis and a continuation of ill-logic.

    But the illogical in society are illogical for many reasons, one of them being that they are led more by adrenaline, and less by openminded intellect. This is where problems both begin and never end, because the adrenaline of the illogical is never-ending. They will not stop, for like the addict in society, they can’t control themselves due to being led and ultimately consumed by adrenaline. So the logical will always fight for logic and normalcy against the illogical at every turn because the illogical cannot admit simple and honest incorrectness and stop.

  56. Florio, you are right!!! There is no way that an expansion team will be allowed to use the word “Redskins” as part of their name nor will they be allowed to use it in the future. Why??? Because there is already a team with that name in the NFL and always will be!!! Washington Redskins. (And I am still a Panthers fan.)

  57. Did I miss something in the article? I see nowhere that says “Native American High Schools”. There has been a push for many, many years to change names of team names that were found derogatory to Indians. There were a few smaller colleges that changed their names because of it.

    As far as the Washington “professional” football team pointing to the high schools it’s ridiculous. It’s like me saying I stole something because my 6 year old said it was OK to do it. You’re the big brother, if you change your name chances are the high schools will do so as well. #leadbyexample

  58. If Redskins is offensive then Thanksgiving needs to be removed from the calendar (and not celebrated) because it’s connotation is basically the opening salvo to the ‘Trail of Tears’ for the American Indians.

  59. Most local politicians have spoken out against the name, and half the Senate recently wrote letters urging the National Football League to change it because “racism and bigotry have no place in professional sports.” Shareholders in FedEx, which sponsors the team’s stadium in Maryland, have gone public with their concern that the association is a source of “reputational damage”. Nearly 80 media outlets and journalists have boycotted the name, and a sector of the United Church of Christ decided to urge its 40,000 members to keep away from the team. More than 75 Native American, religious and civil rights groups sent letters to every NFL player urging them to publicly support a name change. Even Joe Theismann, the team’s quarterback from its long-lost glory days, sees the writing on the wall. “You have to understand social change,” he told USA Today. Oh, and the president has weighed in, too.

  60. Hey Florio, the name will be changed someday. When it does, what will be the next name that you find offensive but didn’t find offensive until about 5 years ago.

  61. For all of those who use the “would you call a native person a Redskin to their face” I ask would you go up to a very large individual and say Hi Giant? Anything can be shown as bad in the wrong context.

  62. “We assembled peacefully and we carried signs,” Blackhorse says. “We carried flags for the tribes we represented, to show that we are proud people and very diverse, from many different tribes. We wanted to show that we are human beings, not mascots”…

    “They yelled at us, ‘Get over it.’ And, ‘Go back to your reservation.’ And all the stereotypical things that we are all alcoholics: ‘Why don’t you go get drunk?’ And they shouted so many profanities that I won’t repeat”…

    “I got to see firsthand how our culture was being mocked,” she says. “So many fans were wearing war paint and feathers and they were whooping and hollering. Some of them got belligerent and angry with us. They threw beer at us. That’s not OK. I was afraid for my safety.”

    Now I see how it’s respectful.

    Tick tock.

  63. Whether they keep the name or not, Washington seems to have the most clueless PR department. Which I assume means Dan Snyder micromanages it.

  64. You should’ve discarded the email the second you saw that he used three exclamation points.

  65. I’m hoping all Americans are getting tired of being told how to think by the elites.

    We can figure it out for ourselves.

  66. Florio’s refusal to use the name used to bother me – but now I actually get his decision – even if I don’t agree with him I won’t give him grief over it any longer.

    Personally I have never heard the name used as a slur. However I have heard an NFL team name used as a slur over and over again when I was in junior high and high school. That is why I avoid the “P Word” and only refer to that team as Green Bay.

    I respect Florio’s position on this issue and I am sure he understands and respects mine.

  67. Why wasn’t this a big issue 10 years ago…5 years. Why now? If you can’t admit it’s being driven by a political machine in Washington that loves to agitate people, then you’re just fooling yourself.


    I’m not even weighing in on the name, but it’s a simple fact that what’s acceptable in our society has always changed, and will always continue to change. Calling it PC or blaming anonymous liberal conspiracies is just a great way for the political machine in Washington to agitate people.

  68. Why now? Why not 5? 10? 15 years ago? Easy. The NFL has created a rule set to penalize any and all individuals on the field (players, coaches, officials) when any racial slur is used (specifically the N-word). How could the NFL penalize a Jacksonville Jaguars player for using a slur against an opponent while playing against the Washington RacialSlurs? The League would have to penalize itself for the entire regular season. They would have the good fortune of not having to penalize themselves in the playoffs because the RacialSlurs won’t make it. But why now? Because it is racist-as-hell and the right people finally have the “sack” to stand up for what is right.

  69. So some schools will feel empowered to keep the name but as long as the Redskins keep their name but some school already changed their name. So in other words it really has nothing to do with the Redskins franchise. Some teams will keep it and some wont.

  70. What I am waiting for is when an Atheist Group comes forward and says they want the SAINTS name changed because they find it offensive.

    Or Animal Rights Groups want the Dolphins name changed because They are Mammals too, and they were never consulted about their image/likeness being used for profits/gains.

  71. Florio is clueless…in this country MAJORITY always rules…this is such a non issue, Career politicians and the igorant like to ignore the 90% or Native Americans who would rather have the attention on the poverty that exists on ALL the reservations than this waste of time argument.
    Just like idiot Peter King of SI (a RAG by the way all advertising and weak articles) & thin as a piece of paper……”oh I wont use the Redskins name in my artices any more Boo Hoo!” …..GOOD we wont read your lame word and sentence structure…..

  72. Actually it has been an issue for a long time so I have a question according to the Snyders “redskin” is a term of endearment to Native Americans do White people feel as affectionate about “pale face” and if so how about a team called the Washington Pale Faces

  73. The Redskins are correct. High schools do use the name. High schools on native American reservations. It’s amusing that you would bash them for pointing out facts. I can tell that you’re getting very frustrated knowing that the VAST majority do not agree with you.

  74. The deeper the media digs, the harder the owners and fans will push back. There is no vast majority out there crying out for change. Nothing will change as long as it remains that way — especially now, when Americans are more leery of what they see and read in the news, than ever.

  75. It’s only offensive if people decide to be offended. In this case, it doesn’t seem like it has to be offensive. If the people who say it’s offensive would simply decide not to be offended, the problem goes away.
    I don’t see how the name is demeaning native Americans, anyway. It seems like they could just as easily decide to be proud of it.

  76. Meanwhile, many Native Americans don’t have running water. But this is the real problem facing them.

  77. Love people who say native Americans like they are one people. Multiple nations, multiple tribes, and if just one says it’s racist all the white guys in the world complaining doesn’t change the fact that it is racist

  78. Oriental isn’t derogatory term it’s just out dated. I think redskin is the same way. Personally I don’t think they need to change the name.

  79. “In many cases, the NFL sets the example and the trends for college and high school programs. While plenty of college and high school programs have abandoned the name and others similar to it without change from the NFL franchise, the all-caps-never-over-my-dead-body stance from owner Daniel Snyder will make it easier for those who want to keep the name elsewhere to do so.”

    Why would a 91% Native American High School (Wellpinit) on a reservation that established its name in 1909 well before the Boston Redskins in 1933 need the NFL team to tell them whether their name is offensive to Native Americans? This is just too comical. Sounds exactly like other people are telling NAs how they should feel about their culture.

  80. To answer the short sighted question of “why now and not x number of years ago?”

    It’s quite simple actually. Social awareness on this issue has grown and more people are taking note of it. People who are members of minority groups are empowered to speak up for themselves.

    Understand the term was NEVER acceptable!

    This is just an extension of that. The term is a racial slur. And you can’t see that then you’re really part of the problem.

    You’re welcome.

  81. Redskins Fans:

    “Where are all the Native Americans that are mad about it?”

    /78 Native American Organizations and 13 Tribes sponsor 2 minute commercial during prime time

    “Eh, it’s all white liberal guilt.”

    “It’s an honor to have the name.”

    /Old news articles released showing $200 bounties for “Redskin scalps”


    The fact is Native Americans make up about 1% of the U.S. population. To have their voice heard, others have to help get the message out. Complain all you want about the media. Too bad.

  82. dabubble says:
    Jun 25, 2014 6:57 AM

    Why wasn’t this a big issue 10 years ago…5 years. Why now?

    Actually, there have been attempts at having the name changed on a political level since at least 1972.

    And in case you missed it, this became an issue in the media shortly after the whole Donald Sterling thing, which caused a renewed focus on racism in professional sports.

  83. It has been an issue for a long time.
    Just because some Americans choose to ignore it.
    Think about how many people have gotten into trouble lately for using the n-word.
    Just because it is still used doesn’t make it right.

  84. Native American Schools think it’s Okay if Native American Schools use the name. But not anyone outside of the culture. I guess that’s similar to other “Slurs”… It’s okay if we use it, but not okay if you do. They also expressed their displeasure with using any native chants during football games (Seminoles). We killed all their darn people, let them have this, change the name like all the colleges who have a longer “history” and move on.

  85. If this particular high school had decided to abandon the name “Redskins” name, then no doubt PFT would be touting this as proof there is an unstoppable trend to eliminate the name from sports. Instead, the school decides to keep it, so PFT’s “explanation” is not an explanation, but just a rant as to why Washington is setting a bad example. Frankly, I don’t think one high school’s decision changes the debate either way, but the fact that a substantial number of schools have decided to keep the name suggests that there are reasonable arguments in favor of leaving the name as is.

  86. Not surprised by their bumbling stance. They’ve been just as inept in their on-field decision making since Snyder took over.

  87. So sick and tired hearing about this, what happened to the old America where you can actually do and say things and get away with it?? The team name is not Racist at all. For decades there was the same name and their was no problem but now all of the sudden it’s Racist. I know true native Americans in Washington state where I once lived on an Indian reservation and they have absolutely no problem with the name, there is a few who do and they just want to be on the news and get their own name.


  88. It is a derogatory name. If you do not think so, go up to a Native American today and call him a redskin to his face. Hell, go up to a black person and call them a negro. Negro, is not racist. Yet it is a term we do not use anymore.

  89. I like that Washington mentions Brian Orakpo’s team, the Lamar Redskins. There is one problem with that though. The Houston Independent School District board voted to change the name a few months ago. They are now the Texans.

  90. Obviously, you are only 6 years old, because this has been an issue for YEARS! It’s just now gaining the steam needed to make it a national story.

  91. A similar issue is playing out in a large high school outside of Philadelphia. The student editors of the school newspaper decided not to publish stories using the school nickname because they found that many consider it to be offensive. The school board somewhat overturned them by finding that they editors are not allowed to prohibit opinion pieces by other students that choose to include the word. While the issue ultimately was about student speech, it says a lot when 16 and 17 year old kids understand that they don’t want to be associated with something that is clearly considered to be offensive to many people.

  92. Porkcrisp

    I think I could call a black person a negro and they wouldn’t care. I do agree redskin is an outdated term I just don’t think it’s derogatory

  93. @porkcrisp –
    Not that you don’t have a point. After all as you point out there are simply words we no longer use and this I understand.

    but as an aside do you feel comfortable going up to a native American today and calling them “Chief”?


  95. I have a solution. Snyder should agree that if the state of Oklahoma, the word = “red people” changes its name, he will change his as well. There is no difference in the interpretation so if its such an issue, lets force the State leaders, the Universities, the citizens and all the offended liberal media get that done and I think you have more then reasonable argument for change.

  96. So Washington’s pathetic argument is that is other people use racist wrong names then ~ “golly it is ok for us! ”

    If people in history had used the same argument the Washington team have then ~ we would still have segregation in the south ~ women would not be allowed to vote ~ there would be no unions and you would be working 6 days a week for about a buck an hour !

    Grow up people the name IS wrong and it WILL change

  97. This whole situation is offensive. This supposed issue has been mostly fabricated to distract the public and serve as air cover for an ineffective president and congress and is politically based (note the partisanship; 50 senators and not one Republican). Worse, the lies and level of sheer ignorance and antiAmerican thought and behavior is astounding. Our forefathers are rolling over in their graves.

    To begin, Redskins is not a slur, nor in it meant to conjure up a derogatory image. The name was chosen by Native Americans for a team coached by a Native American to honor Native Americans. Polls of actual Native Americans show vastly more (well over 90%) Native Americans approve of the name than the few (almost all Native Americans put forward as opposition are politically motivated by casino interests tied to democratic politicians). Now the hypocrisy, there are many names right w/in the NFL that are based on poor images (Vikings, Buccs, Raiders – do you understand that Vikings were thieves and killers)), Redskins is not one of these.

    The disturbing part and scary part for our countries future is how gullible some are to false media slants and attempts by the politically motivated to tell others how they should feel and to create a controversy and issue that is simply not there. Though some may try to paint this as not politics it is strictly politics, and bad partisan politics at that.

    Native Americans are probably the most wronged group in our country and they deserve real help (not this casino nonsense where guys like this Halbritter tool can benefit). Native Americans should be outraged at this attempt by liberals and politicals to use them, and to, in fact, attempt to erase Native American images from the public. As said, vastly (over 90% Native Americans do not have any problem the the name, if fact, there are many, not one or two, schools in Native American areas that use this very name). The Redskins name was created and brough forth by Native Americans. The name refers to war paint laden warriors and promotes a positive image; the name, as created and used for the most part was not used to talk about skin color, and even when it was, it was not in a derogatory fashion. To even think a sports team would use its name to slur a people is so far beyond absurd it is incomprehensible. It is offensive that politicians think people are this dumb.. though many apparantly are. And to Mike G from Mike and Mike…a show I watch and like… of course you would not use name to refer to Native Americans… as that is not what the name is…. your argument actually supports the keep the name argument, as it is not used to slur anyone. It is time for Native Americans to stand up, demand real help, denounce this political sham and support the Redskins. Speak for yourselves and DO NOT allow the libs to use you for their purpose and vacate your existence in the process. Get onboard and actively fight the libs… demand real help. I am all Redskins fans are on your side, we are proud of the association and the image.

    We should all be alarmed by the left preying on ignorance and destroying the freedoms that made America great (and yes, I acknowledge that the far right is also a problem, but they are not as outright devious or unAmerican in approach). I hope this absurdity is a tipping point in what I call “the war on libs”. This past election, and the consequences of that election, should illustrate for all, not just Republicans, the danger of doing things for appearances and not understanding qualifications or issues for yourselves. We need to overlook our politics and divergent issues and make better decisions w/o race and similar things being “the” issue.

    I have been a Redskins fan for over 40 years (yes I’m old), I am a very opinionated person, but I have never ever used, associated, or heard Redskins used in a derogatory fashion referring to people. I take great pride in my team and our name and I will not let ignorant “clowns” tell me different because it suits their purpose.

    As a country, we are losing our way… our freedoms and the values that made this country are going fast…. we are not doing well… as I said, let this nonsense be a tipping point in the war against PC and political crap… and let’s all (Democrats and Republicans alike) begin to see the danger in how the liberal group w/in the Democratic party operates.

    Long live Native Americans! Long live the Redskins!


    Hail to the Redskins!

  98. Well, that high school mentioned in the article is on an Indian Reservation, if anyone has the right to use the work, it would be them. This is a similar argument used when a black person uses the ‘N word’.

  99. The mascot for a high school on the Navajo Nation Rez is the Redskins an I know some Navajo’s whom are all pissed at Washington for using it. Police yourself first and others may take them more seriously.

  100. @pftcensor1

    If the native American was a Chief of his band, I would call him Chief. It would be disrespectful not to call him a title he earned. I also call doctors, Doctors.

    You must not live in a community where there is a high native population.

  101. bushido49ers says:

    Understand the term was NEVER acceptable!

    Except to native Americans who use the name at the high schools on their reservations, it appears heh.

  102. The only question is how Indian-related will the new name be? When Redskins goes away, I think it will be Indian-related to keep the logo. Then again, they may do a total rebranding to a new theme.

  103. Good for them, you have a few let me get this correct American Indians that are looking for a pay back. You have not heard them one time go after any Pee Wee football , high school or college programs , let alone baseball.They are after another buck here.

  104. Article Title Reads: “Washington reverts to pointing out high schools that use the same name”

    Article Title Should Read: “Washington LOGICALLY POINTS OUT high schools using the same name”

  105. @porkcrisp

    I think my community is beside the point – and your inquiry – is a veiled or subtle dig that did not go unnoticed and was unnecessary.

    But if you must know I do in fact live fairly close to, but not on, a reservation.

  106. You say,

    “Well, that high school mentioned in the article is on an Indian Reservation, if anyone has the right to use the work, it would be them. This is a similar argument used when a black person uses the ‘N word’.”

    So, by that logic an all african-american high school could us the N-word as their name. Would they? No, because its a racist slur

    The Native Americans used it because they don’t consider it to be a racist slur.

  107. I feel the tide turning…..REDSKIN NATION is the new CALVARY …. Mobilize RN for the NAs!!!! Native Americans should be GRATEFUL we are keeping THEM in our thoughts…..oh did i I mention Snyder donating MILLIONS to Indian Reservations……because of this JOKE OF an ARGUMENT. So basically this whole debate is HELPING the NAs and their REZs. Keep it going Daniel!

  108. @pftcensor1

    Not meant as a dig. Just assumed if you live near a native band you would know that “Chief” is not a derogatory name.

    Maybe it is a cultural difference, since I am a Canadian, but here the name “Redskin” is considered racist. We don’t even use the term “indian”. Aboriginal, first nations, or Native American are the terms preferred.

    Again, no dig meant.

  109. I think it’s relevant that a Native school is using “Redskins” as their mascot, but the point made here is that it’s sad when an NFL franchise stoops to the level of justifying themselves based on what a high school in a tiny western town is doing.

    I think Redskins fans should start thinking about what they want the next mascot/logo to be; it’s only a matter of time before economic pressure is applied by sponsors and Snyder sees an opportunity, being the businessman that he is. Personally, I like the logo, so “Warriors” and keeping the logo, or changing back to the ORIGINAL mascot name- “Braves” would be the best option for fans and the team in order to make the smallest change possible.

  110. asimonetti88 says:Jun 25, 2014 10:07 AM

    Isn’t that the alma mater of Sen Maria Cantwell?

    No, she did not attend Wellpinit. She was raised and attended high school in Indianapolis. Don’t post lies- fact check yourself.

  111. The best on this is the one from the Economist in this morning’s (Tuesday’s) one-liners. Its the power of privilege to say what words are OK and what words are not OK … which is not OK.

  112. So many incorrect “facts” from top to bottom here. On both sides.
    In this country, majority does not always rule. In fact it is designed to never rule. Law rules. The Constitution rules. If majority ruled we would not need a constitution, or a Supreme Court.
    America is not a Democracy.
    If schools decide right and wrong based on what a NFL team does, it explains why we are in such a world of hurt right now.
    The reason the protestors were insulted was because they were protesting and those throwing insults did not agree with them. They did not say “go back to the reservation” simply because they were Native Americans. They did so in response to the protest. This is not the appropriate response. But it does highlight the difference between insulting Native Americans and having a team named the Redskins. Calling them drunks was meant to hurt and insult. Singing Hail to the Redskins after a TD is not.
    A handful of “insulted” members of a handful of tribes do not speak for all Native Americans. But the ones that simply do not care are not going to carry picket signs saying “I don’t Care!” So it’s the squeaky wheel approach. That is ultimately why it will get changed. Not because its the right thing to do. Why now? Because that Indian group decided to grumble about it now. But just because Florio didn’t care 5 or 10 years ago does not mean it was OK then. Our history is littered with changes where something wrong for many years and was fixed only after someone stepped up and said “this is wrong” and others followed and said “you know you are right.”

    But the case here is, a small number of Native Americans don’t like the name. The weak minded will assume they speak for all, not be able to grasp that context matters and a growing pool will want to help poor them.
    Too many will fear stepping up to say this is stupid, or won’t care enough (after all its just a football team).
    Years ahead the name will change. The white liberal will feel validated. No Native American will experience a tangible benefit.

  113. Do predominantly Native American schools use the Redskins name, yes.

    Are there any schools use the n-word, or any variation of it, no.

    The reason, they are not remotely similar issues.

    Ones a reference to red warpaint worn by native tribes, the other was part of a culture of oppression directed against an enslaved people, which lived on through the decades of segregation and discrimination that followed after abolition.

    See, not the same sort of thing at all.

  114. themisdirectingtruthcampaign, why they use it in personal discourse does not negate my argument. Would they use the name to represent themselves and their school? Simple question that I am sure you can answer, but will you? The correct answer to that is where the truth lies, your avoidance of the answer is where you lie.

  115. Hey Florio, nice failure to address that the high school you were asked to explain sits on an Indian Reservation. Hard to claim the word is racist/offensive if the Native Americans are using it for their mascot as well.

  116. This school has had this name since 1907, well before The Washington Redskins existed.

    It makes no sense to say that that “if one native says its racist, its racist”…no, its racist to that one person. Doesn’t feel right to ignore the majority of other natives, that say its a source of pride for them. Haven’t they been ignored enough?!?

  117. There are several NFL team names that wouldn’t be quite kosher these days for one brand of awkwardness or another. The Chiefs would be out for the same reason as the Redskins. The Raiders, Vikings, and probably Buccaneers would have too much of a negative violence association. The Packers and Steelers would be too anachronistic. The Browns would be too weird. The Bills would be boycotted by PETA. Liberal Massachusetts would never tolerate the corny nationalism of the name “Patriots”. The Saints wouldn’t happen in this era of rising atheism. Even the 49ers would probably be rejected in some sort of opposition to the negative aspects of western expansion.

    Basically, every team would be given 100% generic and sterile animal names like Panthers and Jaguars. They would be hard-pressed to navigate the PC waters in coming up with anything different.

  118. Here’s the biggest logjam in the whole process: the snag no one seems to be discussing. Snyder and the NFL posit that the name is OK because it’s not intended to offend anyone–there is no active, targeted bigotry. If the name is changed, it means Snyder and the NFL were lying: the name is intentionally racist, and specifically designed to demean the Native community.

    The fact is, no matter what the new name would be, we would know they are really the Washington “Redskins”; our children will know they were the Washington “Redskins”; and our grandchildren will know they are in actuality the “Redskins”.

    Essentially, until the end of time, the Washington franchise would be crippled by the stigma of being that racist, evil “team formerly known as the Redskins”.

    Don’t just thumbs down– discuss–If anyone on either side can think of a solution to this issue, please post it below.

  119. The irrefutable facts are these. Those who find the term offensive are in the minority. Those who support the term have no concept of “tyranny of the majority” which is self evident from the comments they post. Most would agree that those who find the term offensive could be described as more sensitive. The logical conclusion here is that those who support the term are less sensitive, one could even describe some as insensitive, which is also self evident from the mocking banality of the profusion of comments. It has been posed that those who find the term offensive have sought to contrive a meaning that no longer exists or never existed. Those who support the term have incessantly refused to acknowledge that the debate, in and of itself, is prima facie evidence of a pejorative connotation.

  120. The fallacy is in your statement
    “If the name is changed, it means Snyder and the NFL were lying: the name is intentionally racist, and specifically designed to demean the Native community.”

    Snyder and those in favor of keeping the name are not lying, the name is in no way inherently racist, and is specifically designed to honor the Native American community. So, if the name is being forced to change it does not mean any of those things.

  121. Also, in saying that the name is not inherently racists, does not mean someone can’t use it in a racist manner. The word “black” is not inherently racist either, but one could certainly use the word in a racist way.

  122. So some schools have abandoned the name Redskins already and some haven’t. The ones that haven’t are because of the Redskins Franchise? Maybe some schools don’t find it offensive like the Native American schools that use it and the ones that changed caved under this pretend outrage. The name changing has nothing to do with the Redskins Franchise itself. Tell me if the Redskins are forced to change their name how will this help the Native Americans anyways?

  123. this argument is pathetic on so many levels…the only people who could possibly agree with it are the fans of the football team in Washington who are also equaly pathetic i might add…

  124. So the redskins are they only business to use a term like that, at least thats what it seems but what about redman tabacco the even use a logo similar to the redskins, andalso since we want everything to be politically correct the name indian is a slur as well due to the fact that they called them indians becuase they thought they were in india, and also the government, since they want to get involved they need to eliminate columbus day, becuase he didnt discover anything, the natives were already there, but im tired of the focus being solely on the redskins all dan did was buy the team he did not create the name.

  125. I only asked about the Chiefs because there are also Natives that are against that name as well which mean it may/should/could be the next offensive name to be considered.

  126. If the Redskins name is changed does the KC Chiefs have to change their name too I know Native Americans who don’t like being called Chief.

  127. If anyone wanted the name changed it should have been done when George Preston Marshall was the owner but no one tried to like he was to forced to integrate the team he could have been forced to change the name too but they didn’t.

  128. I have said this same thing. How does one feel that a private organization like the Washington Redskins must change their name when schools still use the same name and used it before the Redskins football team existed? The name Oklahoma is also an Indian word meaning “red people” why doesn’t that name offend Native Americans? It is because the Washington Redskins is global brand making millions of dollars. If high school teams were global brands making millions of dollars, then perhaps changes would be demanded. However, they aren’t so it must be okay for them to continue using the name. Or is it because the Native Americans are the only ones who want to use the nickname Redskins for themselves? Once schools, a government funded organization, are mandated to change the name, then maybe the Washington Redskins professional team would be convinced to change their name.

  129. Oklahoma means Okla-humma in Choctaw Native Language: translation is “Red People”. If it’s good enough for a US State then it’s good enough for a football team.

  130. If the name Redskins is not an acceptable term for native Americans then Indians is not acceptable either because they are not from India nor have they ever been to India and Native-Americans is not acceptable because they are being named after a land that Europeans named, after the natives had been living here for who-knows-how-many years. So, my point being there is no politically correct way to describe their race as a whole as anyone can find some flaw in anything

  131. If the name Redskins is not an acceptable term for native Americans then Indians is not acceptable either because they are not from India nor have they ever been to India and Native-Americans is not acceptable because they are being named after a land that Europeans named, after they had been living here for who-knows-how-many years. My point being there is no politically correct way to describe their race as a whole as anyone can find some flaw in anything.

  132. Ya’ll ain’t gonna like it, however if you so choose, I am more than happy to shoot down every single, trite, mocking, idiotic defense of those inclined to support the bigoted, ignorant, discriminatory reference. I’ll start with skins70, patronizing, look it up. Anyone remember “Name That Tune”? I’m already down to one note.

  133. It appears that the only 2 arguments left for keeping the name are (1) It’s tradition, and (2) Don’t we have bigger things to worry about? (ie, get over it).

    Tradition often gets a pass because everybody has a positive connotation with it. But traditions perpetuating an injustice should be broken, and there’s plenty of (sorry) tradition for doing just that. Separate drinking fountains in the south was a tradition for decades. Women staying home to raise the kids and clean the house (and not vote) was a tradition for thousands of years. Children working in industry under the age of 14 was a tradition for hundreds of years (and continues to this day in some countries).

    Tradition doesn’t make it right. It just makes it harder to change.

    And yes, there are many problems in the world that have more harmful consequences than the name of an NFL team. This is the argument people use when they run out of real arguments. It’s a red herring. If they truly followed this mindset, they would never clean their house, mow their lawn, scratch an itch, or pay their credit card bill, at least not until communism is eradicated, world peace is achieved, cancer is cured, and the US government hums along without discord. The human mind can manage multiple problems at once, even (especially) those that are small, like this one. The people who use this argument also fail to recognize the irony in the effort they take to defend the R-word name, posting on message boards and facebook. Why take so much time to defend something you find so insignificant? Why not let the people who are (on both sides) passionate about, and personally affected, take over the discussion?

    The simple fact is the R-word is to Native Americans what the N-word is to blacks. “Negro” may have been acceptable 200 years ago; it no longer is. Trying to hold the R-word up as a tribute is like somebody saying “I love [n-word]s. They endured so much, and America would not be what it is without them. All hail to the [n-word]s!!”

    Changing the name is not about appeasing a few people. It’s about doing the right thing simply because it’s the right thing. Because we don’t need to have such discord when the fix is so simple. Because when the choice is between offending a few people (even when you don’t intend to) and not offending anybody by exerting a little effort, the decent action, the Christian thing to do is to not offend anybody.

    I know it’s unlikely my rant will change anybody’s mind, but over the last 2 years, my mind was changed on this topic, so I’m hopeful others will be as well.

  134. superjroch missed the primary reason. Native American schools use the name Redskins with pride. ESPN did an article not too long ago explaining how these people now feared they would be forced to change the name of their schools from Redskins to something else.

    If Native Americans chose the Redskins name with pride, then how could it possibly be a negative slur against them?

  135. There are actually multiple arguments for keeping the name.

    1) Tradition
    2) There has been little opposition from within the Native American community as a whole until last year
    3) Some native american high schools still use the ‘Redkins’ as a mascot – indicating that the word is likely not offensive
    4) The ‘person’ bringing this issue to the forefront is a corrupt business man who is a morally bankrupt vulture looking for the best way to get his name in the papers. That is, the motive of those making the claims can be called into question.
    5) The majority of people don’t find the use of the term in this context offensive…Forcing change because a handful of people find something offensive is foolish. Should we stop using the word “black” because it can be used in an offensive context? If the offense were intended or obvious, change it of course…but there is so much evidence to the contrary, that this is ridiculous. And there are so many more things to worry about…like the actual conditions that the Native Americans are living in. If Halbritter wants to throw money at something, maybe he should do more to help ‘his’ people (most of whom couldn’t care less about this issue) than try to get his face on camera as much as possible.

  136. Hey, here’s an idea: if the names are so hurtful to so many, then it is absolutely proper that schools and other institutions that cater to our youngsters social education end their use of the hurtful names FIRST.

    What kind of message are we sending to our impressionable youth where there is an outcry about hurtful team names, yet these kids are going to schools and universities and colleges that still are using these names?

    You guys in the press helped blow this into insane proportions, so now assume your responsibility into forcing the issue where it should be focused for the education of our youth.

    Or shut the hell up!

  137. usedjock says: Jun 25, 2014 8:09 AM

    I have been asking the same question over and over to the “change the name” crowd. Will anyone’s life really be any better if the name is changed?

    Well used, I would ask you the same if is not changed?

  138. Well I am offended by people trying to change the game we love because they are sensitive to a teams name. If you don’t like the term Redskin, don’t fear, you weren’t called one. It’s not like they go onto random reservations and call out “Redskins”. The Washington Redskins name is just that, they support the brave warriors that hailed from the region. Their fight song is encouraging. The team is not using the Redskin name in any derogatory fashion.

    What’s next? Cowboys who were outlawed? Eagles offend people who are bald? Giants offend the obese? How about the Carolina Panthers, are they a panther activist group? Enough is enough. Counter sue these idiots for defamation, give the tax payers back their money that this is wasting.

    American Football is American heritage. It is our way of life now. Many of us live, breathe, and dream of this game every day. And now, someone is offended by a name, and they want it to change? Try focusing your efforts on reservation issues that actually affect your life. For example;
    highest rate of school drop outs (about 54%), highest rate of child mortality,highest rate of suicide, highest rate of teenage suicide ( 18.5 per 100,000), highest rate of teenage pregnancy, lowest life expectancy ( 55 years)… the list goes on. Not to mention more than half do not work and are poor. All this wasted money spent on trying to get a business to award your more. Unbelievable.

  139. The same group of people that are supposed to be so offended by the word Redskins are actually not offended by it and want to continue to use it as their nickname…..You’re right Florio, not a bid deal.

  140. Don’t be mad at the Washington Redskins, be mad at the white government who escorted Indians off the their land and put them on reservations.


  141. Easy solution: ‘change’ the name to “Red’s Skins”

    Up in Canada, we have a football team named “The Red Blacks”, evidence that more ridiculous names exist.

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