Washington hires blogger to help defend name

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The all-caps-never effort to defend the name of the Washington NFL franchise may soon employ as many players as its football team does.

According to NBC 12, owner Daniel Snyder has hired liberal political blogger Ben Tribbett to “help guide the team’s battle” regarding its name.

“I have been a Redskins fan my entire life,” Tribbett said. “It is an honor to help the team promote a tradition that means so much to so many people.”

It also could be financially rewarding.  It was rewarding enough to prompt Tribbett to shut down his blog, wisely wiping clean any evidence of its existence, and in turn any content that could in some way be used against him now.

Meanwhile, defending the team’s name makes for strange bedfellows.  Tribbett’s blog was the first to disclose a 2006 campaign-trail blunder made by Bruce Allen’s brother, George, who referred to a volunteer for his opponent’s campaign as “macaca,” an obscure racial slur about which Allen claimed to have no knowledge.

And so now Tribbett and Bruce Allen will join forces to defend another racial slur about which Snyder claims to have no intention to be a slur.

Tribbet’s first effort was to help organize the “Redskins Pride Caucus” in the Virginian General Assembly, an exercise in political expedience that will help ensure the ongoing job security of Virginia legislators in one of the only jurisdictions where the debate hasn’t become a hot potato.

Still, it not entirely fashionable for Virginia Democrats to go all in to support the controversial name.  State Senator Chap Petersen explained on 106.7 The Fan in D.C. (via Dan Steinberg of the Washington Post), that plenty of Democrats have opted not to get involved.

“I called a lot of people that are Redskins fans and season ticket holders that were Democrats, that were like ‘Hey man, ride on General Custer,'” Petersen said, using perhaps not the most ideal historical reference, on multiple levels. “They’re kind of like ‘Hey, I agree with you, I think you’re correct, I’m glad you’re doing this, but I can’t be there.’  And I think a lot of people, when there’s an issue like this and they feel like ‘Oh my gosh, somebody raised the race card or played the race card, I’m gonna head for the exits.'”

Tribbett’s hiring could be aimed at persuading other liberal politicians to support the effort to support and motivate the large base of fans supporting the name, possibly through the ongoing use of letters and emails from unconfirmed Native Americans — a practice the team used earlier this year on a weekly basis before abandoning it abruptly and without explanation.  Petersen read such an email supporting the name during his radio appearance.

And don’t rule out the never relevant “I can’t be a racist because I have a family member of a race different than mine.”  Petersen wedged that detour into the discussion when asked whether he’d call a Native American a “redskin.”

“[I]f somebody’s wearing a Redskins jersey I might call ‘em a Redskin,” Petersen said.  “Otherwise I don’t go around calling people anything. I don’t walk up to someone and say ‘Hey you’re black, hey you’re white,’ either.  I try to just deal with people as they are.  And again, we live in a diverse community. In my case, my wife’s actually Korean-American, so my kids are half-Asian, and so what?”

Exactly.  So what?  None of this changes the fact that the term is a dictionary-defined slur and that the National Congress of American Indians — which until Ben Tribbett or anyone else proves otherwise is the leading national representative voice for Native Americans — regards the name as offensive.

But like any political issue, folks will have their own arguments and perspectives.  The real news here is that, at a time when many supporters have decried the fact that politicians are spending their time opposing the name, the team has decided to fight fire with fire and hire folks who will cajole politicians into spending time supporting it.

Regardless, developments like this one show that the debate won’t be going away, and that the team at this point hopes merely to stave off legal, political, and economic pressure to change the name for as long as possible.  While crushing the opposition would surely be welcome by Snyder and company, victory will be measured by each day that the franchise can keep a name that it inevitably will lose.

41 responses to “Washington hires blogger to help defend name

  1. Meaning, “It’s an honor for me to try to defend the use of a racial slur as my team’s name against the wishes of Native Tribal Nations.”

    Middle school team names and bloggers. If a blogger is the next step, Snyder has no tricks left up his sleeve.

  2. I will use this argument until someone can bring up a valid point as to its inconsistency – why is the term Oklahoma accepted and not Redskin? It translates to the same thing.

    Hollywood used the term Redskin as a derogatory term from the 20s – 70s, yes, but Hollywood is stupid. It was used by Native Americans to refer to themselves long before that. I’d post a link but PFT flags it, so just look it up.

  3. Ha, “I can’t be racist.” “If some white guy is wearing a jersey, I might just call him a Redskin.” Wow, that’s totally missing the issue. These guys are perfect to be helping defend a racial slur.

    They need Theisman (if he’s not too classy) to come in a lead a rap where they call each other “Muh Redskin” the whole rap. That might just open everyone’s eyes.

  4. Here is what I would do if I was Snyder:

    1. Declare that the team name is now the “Potomac Football Club” or some other name that they have registered. That ends the debate, and restores trademark rights for merchandise.

    2. Declare that the maroon and gold color scheme will remain. That means that fans who have jerseys and other team color items do not have to replace everything.

    3. Declare that there will be no team nickname. That’s the next thing the activists will demand. Stop it before it starts. In fact, not having a nickname is the ultimate response.

    4. Declare that he will keep the team in the DC area while he owns it or is pressured to do some BS “name the team” promotion. If he is forced to let fans choose the name, let it be chosen by the team’s new fans in LA or Toronto.

  5. Enough already, just change the name. It is obviously demeaning, so why cling so tightly to something that time will eventually reveal to have been one of those unbelievable things that people routinely did in the past.

  6. Money trumps everything. Liberals are no different than anyone else when it comes to situational principles. Just ask Harry Reid.

    And Little Danny always approaches everything as a PR issue. Always.

  7. I really don’t have any words for this one. The pressure is building for this name to go away. I actually didn’t think it would happen. As a football fan first, this would be terrible. They’re not making fun of the name, there’s no caricature of the name like the Cleveland Indians have. Wahoo is terribly offensive because it’s not serious.

    This can’t be good for the team or the league. I understand a group doesn’t like the name and believe it’s offensive. But if you look at the name in general, it’s meant to be a warrior-like, tough name. I didn’t think the name would actually change, but now unfortunately, I do.

  8. The only press the Washington team gets is from this. I guess if the “any press is good press” maxim holds, the team is doing yeoman’s work on the pr front.

  9. Republicans, Guns, God and Glory, we are all here to stay just like the Redskins name. Change is coming guys but not by Obama or nor will it be the Redskins name.

  10. “I have been a Redskins fan my entire life,” Tribbett said. “It is an honor to help the team promote a tradition that means so much to so many people.” CODE FOR: That weasel Snyder’s money was too good to pass up!

  11. Can you say DESPERATION?

    Snyder’s the typical rich guy who goes in the corner and cries when he doesn’t get his way.

  12. When Danny is offered the fee he wants to change it, he will. Snyder is a smart businessman, he is playing to the fans with the refusal to change the name but he knows sooner or later he will have to change it. It’s now about Snyders compensation to do it.

  13. Why Synder wouldn’t change the name is just bad business. He has a free chance to change the name and get every fan to buy new gear. He would make billions overnight, and look like a hero. Now he is in between a rock and a hard place. Dude needs to hire a new PR team, this has already cost him millions. What is he thinking.. fight a losing PR battle or rack in billions?

  14. Redskins should be changed if it was meant as demeaning but no team would name itself something it disrespects or thinks is dishonorable. The Washington Redskins had Native Americans design the logo. I’m sure they weren’t offended and were honored to do so.

    The name is meant to signify tough, brave warriors. People need to get over this. Were at the point where everyone is offended by everything. Stop being so sensitive and take up causes in your life that actually matter instead of the names of pro football teams.

    And don’t even get me started on the congress. Congress has other things to focus on instead of being offended for everyone over a team name. The middle east is on fire, we have troops all the world and domestically our economy is extremely shaky at best and people are divided. Work on things that matter. The fact you even take 5 mins to focus on something like this is a waste of my tax payer money. This is why no one likes you.

  15. Everyone keeps saying they’re so worried about tradition….so why is the tradition of the word “Redskin” excluded? It came way before the team. They are only focusing on things to help them and are hypocrites and just succeed in looking like jerk. This whole issue is very frustrating.

  16. Ben Tribbett is nothing more than a fan boy with a blog…blah blah…Danny Snyder is grasping at straws…change is a comin’ Washington fan! Why Roger Godell doesn’t see the irony in that anybody who says something negative about Michael Sam gets crucified by the PC police but the NFL is completely fine with continuing the use of a name for a franchise based on an ethnic slur…

  17. This shows that liberals only have core values until they get their own payoff. Just ask Al Gore who took millions in oil money.

    Snyder needs to just cut to the chase and write a check to a Native American charity, then say that a % of merchandise sales will continue to go to that charity.

    The protests would go away quickly.

  18. Just change the name already. What a waste of time and energy for what? To continue being racists?

  19. We gotta get the name Eagles changed too. The smaller birds are offended. The Muslims are offended by the Patriots. The 49ers are offending silver. The Giants are offending little people. The Red Sox are offensive to the creator of blue sox. Don’t get me started on the White Sox. The Seahawks are offending the hawks that don’t live near the sea. Etc etc etc.

  20. The economy just contracted 3%, first time ever.

    There may be more important issues than the name of a football team, but this is one of the many things they’re using to try to distract.

  21. Force a name change of the Washington Redskins and where do you stop because all of the NFL team names can be spun to be bad by the PC people. All of the names suggest a predator of sorts, even the NE patriots would be offensive to the progressive, communist indoctrinated PC people. After all flying old glory is offensive to them and that is why you can burn an American flag or be forced in this country not to display it; or even allow illegals in this country to fly their home country flag above it.

  22. I was in favor of a name change; that’s WAS, as in past tense. Now that they’re going after the Kansas City Chiefs I hope Snyder keeps the name. How can Native Americans possibly be offended by the “Chiefs”?

  23. Ha, that’s my cousin. Normally a liberal I disagree about everything with but for once he’s made me proud. Go Ben!

  24. It has been said that it may take two to four years for the trademark issue to be settled. I, for one, am tired of living in the country where now the minority rules. We were founded on the notion that you take a vote and the majority rules. Since this will take 2 to 4 years to settle, we have an election coming up in 2016. Put it on the ballot, a simple “Should the Washington Redskins change their name?” yes or no. See how people vote when they are behind a curtain and no one knows how the voted. Majority rules. What ever happened to “I don’t agree with what you say but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it?”.

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