Native American group urges broadcasters not to say “Redskins”

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Several NFL broadcasters have agreed not to say “Redskins” on the air anymore. A Native American group is urging hundreds of broadcasters to join the movement.

In a letter sent by the National Congress of American Indians and co-signed by dozens of civil rights and religious organizations, broadcasters are asked not to use the term, which “has been used to disparage Native Americans.”

“We have a growing list of news outlets and personalities against the name,” Joel Barkin, the Oneida Indian Nation’s spokesman, told the Washington Post. “Now we have people [such as] Lisa Salters from ESPN, Phil Simms and James Brown from CBS, and Tony Dungy from NBC. For people who are thoughtful and take an objective look at the issue, more than likely they’re saying, ‘Why should I use a name if I know it’s going to offend a group of people?’”

That’s a question more and more media outlets are asking. The New York Daily News just announced that it will no longer use the name, and that seems to be the direction that many members of the media are heading.

73 responses to “Native American group urges broadcasters not to say “Redskins”

  1. And, after a ESPNl poll of 1,921 people in a nation of 300 million said they were NOT offended by the name, the groups that are…the actual Native Americans…say they are still offended by the name. Stunned that ESPN didn’t poll them.

  2. Regardless of where you stand on the name at what point does Snyder have to look at this and say it’s just bad business to keep the name as this point due to the negative attention?

    Is he or anyone associated with the team foolish enough to think this will just go away?

  3. Only 29% of Americans want to keep the name Redskins.
    100% of NBC and affiliations want it changed.
    Go figure.

  4. Okay then. It’s time to change the name.

    If it offends enough native Americans the name must be changed.

    Frankly, the argument stating that The name change was not pushed upon by Native Americans should’ve never been talked about in 2014.

    Apparently the Oneida Nation never had its stances in 2013 even though PFT covered their stories then and members were on national radio shows like “The Dan Lebatard Show” and ESPN shows like “Outside the Lines.”

    For us to even ask what Joe Theismann and Mike Ditka is so pointless because geezers like them are not aware of websites like PFT and don’t take time to learn more about the world. Ever heard of the saying “old people never change.”

    Since leaders of Native American groups asked for team name changes and mascot changes for colleges The Redskins will have to do the same. After all since Daniel Snyder has owned the team it’s not as if they are a team that’s worthy of the team name being the losers they are.

  5. The NFL should fire every broadcaster that refuses to use the name Redskins.
    These broadcasters are getting paid indirectly from the NFL and thus the Washington Redskins.
    They are being hipocrites.

  6. Maybe the tiny minority of people who choose to be offended by something so innocuous should just get over it.

  7. Proud Lumbee here
    Redskin is a warrior
    It refers to the red clay we would paint our faces with before battle.
    Only Natives who see a payday from this are offended.

  8. Used to care very much for our Indians, now I don’t know. They have so many social issues within their community and chose to spend so much time and energy.

  9. Snyder should pull the press credentials for those individuals. You don’t want to say the name Redskins? Now you don’t have to, and we don’t have to say your names, either.

    Yes, I know it is possibly a league-wide credential, and Snyder may not have that authority but this is pathetic. The name of the team, whether anyone likes it or not is the Washington Redskins.

    While I personally believe it is much ado about nothing, if it bothers them so much, they should do what that referee did. Ask not to cover the team. Stop showboating and making a spectacle of yourself, and do your job.

    If it means that much to you, boycott the whole team, not just the name. If you truly want it changed and enough people do that, Snyder won’t have a choice.

  10. If a tree falls in the woods and nobody is around to hear it, the name “Redskins” will just become irrelevant.

  11. What does it matter if they say Redskins or not? Everyone knows exactly who they’re talking about anyway, and it’s not like avoiding the name affects the earnings of the team at all

  12. The Daily News is not, last time I checked, a bastion of liberal thought. To the left of the Post, but certainly to the right of the Times. And yet they have joined the call. The times, they are a’changing.

  13. At what point do people think this line of thinking is crazy? If somebody polled a bunch of atheists in New Orleans, would they be offended their team name is religious in nature? What about people of Nordic descent in Minnesota about the Vikings? What about midgets who live in New York City with one of the teams named the Giants?

    I haven’t even gotten to the other Native American-themed names out there like the Chiefs, Blackhawks, Braves, Indians, and so on.

  14. I went to Central Michigan University who has a mascot, The Chippewas. The name honors the local tribe. Much like the Florida State Seminoles.

    The issue in Washington is that the name was first introduced as a racial slur and it offends a large number of Native Americans.

    Vikings, Saints, Giants, Chiefs, Blackhawks and Braves are NOT racial slurs.

  15. It won’t end until the name changes. The people that press for these kinds of changes have an inexhaustible well of energy to draw from; the energy that only comes from the constant desire to remind people of how much better they are.

    You can’t fight that, there’s no way to match that level of energy and intensity with principled thought. You can explain that part of what this country was founded upon is the idea that however distasteful it may be, people have the right to think the way they want. People even have the right to *gasp* offend someone else and that there is no “right” to “not be offended”. Perhaps most importantly, people have the right to do with their property as they see fit, even if someone is offended.

    Those words and their importance are never actually considered or contemplated by the self-righteous, they’re simply dismissed as hate speech because after all, it’s a lot easier to debate with someone when you’ve rationalized away the need to consider a different opinion.

    There’s no fighting it. Just deal with it and hope that the next self-righteous crusade they move on to will be every bit as insignificant as this one.

  16. It is not about it being offensive per se. It is about using a racial slur as your team name. That’s it. There would be no Yellowskins or Blackskins, so why does Redskins get a pass? I have never heard anyone offer a reason other than “it’s always been that way”, which is possibly the worst excuse for resisting change ever.

  17. That’s good, I stopped saying it years ago out if respect for native Americans, it’s not hard people.

  18. I work for a native American Tribe in Oklahoma where there are 10 -12 tribal nations in our county alone, I have not found ONE tribal member who finds the name offensive or who believes this should be at the top of any Native American’s priority list.

  19. I find it amazing that people are so uptight about removing an obvious and ugly vestige of times past when racism was publicly acceptable.

    Get over it, times change. You can’t smoke in restaurants anymore and you can’t use racial slurs without the disapprobation of decent people.

  20. How about this? If Washington has a winning record this year, they can keep the name. Losing record, lose name. Put your money where your mouth is!

  21. This is all a waste of time and energy. There is nothing wrong with the name. Everyone knows it but the libs want to look like they care. Enough already!!!

  22. The man who designed the Redskins Logo was Sioux. The name was changed in 1933 to Honor the former Coach, who claimed to be Sioux ( some have disputed that). In South Dakota, which has a large Native American population, they take Pride in their connection to the Redskins. I have several Native American friends who are Redskin Fans, they wear the Hats, Jerseys & Jackets.

  23. If you go to the website for the National Congress of American Indians, they list all their member tribes that are on board with this effort. There are a quite a lot of them and I’m sure you could go to some of their individual websites for more information – as I did. Anyone still preaching that no Native Americans are offended by the name are either ignorant or lying.

    I love how the conservatreads immediately try to associate this effort as some sort of liberal plot. There are very good reasons why almost every minority racial group votes overwhelming against them.

  24. Why let facts get in the way. Lets eliminate all posts that contain facts, because they minimize our weak position against the name.

  25. It’s so laughable when people try to link completely unrelated issues. It’s a mental exercise in futility for people trying to find an explanation for things they cannot control.

    And the responses here are a common tactic amongst oppressors over history — divide and conquer, marginalize minority voices (ie “only media cares about this”, “NA are fine with name!”), being dismissive of injustice in favor of status quo. This is evident you engage slur supporters online, the “honor and respect” they tout ultimately go down the path of name-calling, personal or racial taunting, or worse.

    This is about humanity and dignity in the face of ongoing cultural arrogance. Change the name.

  26. Then stop Oppressing Native Americans and listen to them. They overwhelmingly support the Washington Redskins team and name.

  27. Not offensive? Okay. Next time you meet a Native American, say, “How ya doing, Redskin?” See how well that goes over.

  28. It’s silly to confuse the name of the football team with an ethnic slur. While an Indian (I’m Cherokee) can rightly take offense at being addressed by the term, it’s a lot different when used to talk about football. In the context of football or potatoes, the term Redskin is ok.

    Unless Snyder changes the team name, the NFL should tell its broadcast partners not to refrain from using the team name. That just encourages the PC mob and validates their frivolous complaint. Ignore them and they’ll go away, like the protesters at Braves games 20 years ago did.

  29. marginalize minority voices (“NA are fine with name!”)

    We are listening to them. How is that marginalizing? That is exactly what you are doing by not listening.

  30. nelly837 says:
    Sep 4, 2014 1:25 PM

    Oklahoma means ” red people ” in Choctaw

    Quick, let’s start polling people to see how many find the name Oklahoma offensive. Then, let’s start a movement to change the name of the state.

  31. if you need to make this about “oklahoma” or “the vikings” or “the yankees,” then you’ve already acknowledged that you can’t argue for the redskins name on its own merits.

  32. This is how you help out the very FEW native Americans why don’t you go out to the reservations and ask if they want you to do this or help them in other ways. Just ask the leader of the black feet nation. But I guess that is to much work for you guys.

    “Stop talking and start doing!” – Robert Doore, Blackfeet Nation

    The white man should worry about themselves and not what he thinks we are worried about.

  33. I see about 2/3rds of the people in every discussion about changing the name wants to keep the name. But if a 3rd of the room wants to change or is offended, that’s a lot of people. I’m not a liberal but I am of the mindset that if I’m offending thousands of people, I may want to consider. Besides, this is a great opportunity to market off something new and bigger $$$

  34. The NFL had better get it’s lapdogs in the media to tow the line & stop bullying, muckraking, and discriminating against one of its teams – THE WASHINGTON REDSKINS – and their fans. All of this nonsense breaks the NFL’s high commandment: “Thou shalt not impede the making of money for the League and it’s members”.

  35. Did I miss your article on the recent poll stating that nearly 70% of people don’t think the name should be changed and isn’t offensive.

  36. Why I remember when players didn’t wear all this fancy “safety” gear and we didn’t have to listen to people with all their fancy “ideas”.

  37. This whole thing is going to backfire on Native Americans. All the people that used to sympathize with them are starting to dislike them over this. It’s making them look bad and stirring up needless hate against them. I wish they understood this and what it’s going to do to them. They think it’s going to get them respect when the opposite is what’s happening. They should just back off this whole Redskins issue and worry about the real problems facing Native Americans. Changing the name won’t help anyone and just create unnecessary racial tensions. Plus it opens up a huge can of worms for your favorite team down the road. It won’t just stop at Redskins if they ever get their way.

  38. In related news, nobody seems to care about equally disparaging nicknames of sports teams related to traditional cultures like “Viking” or “The Fighting Irish” or the worst of the bunch “Texan”.

  39. Halbritter, pushing to change the Redskins team name, had already entered into an undisclosed television agreement with NBC Sports when Bob Costas delivered his on-air editorial condemning the Redskins name.

    NBC Sports did not disclose its ties to the Oneida Indian Nation at the time of Costas’ editorial.

  40. Always with the Oneida Indian Nation….

    It won’t stop here. I’m offended by ‘Patriots’, they owned, killed, and raped slaves. They also killed natives and took their land.

    I have a SERIOUS fear of flying, please don’t say Jets, I beg of you!

    Vikings came to my wife’s land and did nothing but rape and pillage. The buccaneers too.

  41. and not a peep about the Cleveland Indians mascot, which is basically “blackface” in RED. At least the Redskins first QB was a Native American along with the O-line and an image that most resembles them. Not that crap in Cleveland.. *smh

  42. rajbais says:
    Sep 4, 2014 9:52 AM

    Since leaders of Native American groups asked for team name changes and mascot changes for colleges The Redskins will have to do the same. After all since Daniel Snyder has owned the team it’s not as if they are a team that’s worthy of the team name being the losers they are.
    Funny you mention the line,

    “After all since Daniel Snyder has owned the team it’s not as if they are a team that’s worthy of the team name being the losers they are.”

    Facto – They are the 3 rd highest valued team according to Forbes @ $2.4 billion – Lots of money to the NFL and if a new stadium is built they will probably go back to being the highest which they were for a lot of years

    Facto – A consecutive sellout streak began in 1968 and is still alive today. No other NFL team can claim that long a string of sellouts. There are a lot of people who support theses losers

    Facto – You stated “it’s not as if they are a team that’s worthy of the team name being the losers they are.”

    I laughed when I saw this line, because if you didn’t know history tell us that the Native American were “losers” to the Federal Gov’t…At the start of the twentieth century there were approximately 250,000 Native Americans in the USA – just 0.3 percent of the population – most living on reservations where they exercised a limited degree of self-government. During the course of the nineteenth century they had been deprived of much of their land by forced removal westwards, by a succession of treaties (which were often not honored by the white authorities) and by military defeat by the USA as it expanded its control over the American West.

    Facto – So if the Washington REDSKINS are losers as you stated, the name fits the team perfectly…What I don’t understand is those Native Americans who oppose the name… they are fighting the wrong battle. They are angry because a team is named REDSKINS, but should be fighting the entity that opposed them and ultimately set them back as a people.

  43. This is the same Native American group that has always, or at least recently, been against the name. Big deal. Cause celebre for them and others. All the other lemmings are just immature and shallow thinkers. Why don’t you join the large majority of people and accept the name for what it is: a football team name with an native American logo. The intent of the name and logo is to invoke an image of pride and bravery. By the way, there are as many who claim to have no opinion as those who are against the name. I believe these people would support the name but are afraid of being mislabeled racist.

  44. Phil Simms drops Redskins a a lot on MADDEN 15 why did he say it on there? I guess the pay check was too big? Just an honest question, please dont delete.

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