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Washington Redskins: Time to change the name? Options · View
Liz
Posted: Saturday, September 14, 2013 5:46:05 AM

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Pressure is mounting on the Washington Redskins to change their name because of the offence it causes Native Americans. But will a club steeped in tradition ever buckle?

It's one of the most famous names in American sports, with a logo recognised the world over.

But even fans of the Washington Redskins are facing up to a belief that it might all have to change.

For many years, some people have questioned why the football team has a name that Native Americans find offensive. And now the campaign is building momentum.

Protests have been organised to greet the team at their away game on Sunday in Wisconsin, which will also mark the start of a season-long ad campaign on the local radio airwaves in every city the team will visit.

More and more journalists are refusing to use the name, the most recent refusenik being Christine Brennan at USA Today, who announced the move on Thursday, thereby joining Peter King at Sports Illustrated and Mike Wise at the Washington Post.

Against the R-word

As policy:
Washington City Paper
Kansas City Star
Slate
New Republic
Mother Jones

Certain reporters:
USA Today
Philadelphia Daily News
Buffalo News
Sports Illustrated
Washington Post

Attitudes are also changing at grassroots level. A high school in upstate New York changed its nickname to "Hawkeyes" in April after students complained the longstanding "Redskins" nickname was offensive. A month later, members of Congress formally asked the league to consider a name change.

Players have remained silent but not former players. Washington football great Art Monk said no-one should question why Native Americans feel this way about the name.

The radio ad campaign which begins on Sunday is aimed at educating listeners in every city that hosts the team why the word offends, and is organised by the federally-recognised tribe Oneida Nation.

"It's derogatory, it's dehumanising, it's degrading and it's high time this was addressed and changed because it gives the wrong message to the world," says its leader Ray Halbritter, who says he was called a redskin at school.

The word was used when his ancestors were forced off their lands at gunpoint, he says, and when their children were taken from their homes and forced to go to boarding schools.

"So it's very hurtful for us to hear. The English Dictionary says it's an offensive term and it is. There is no grey area. It's bad for the image of the league to be using a racial epithet and making money out of it."

Read the rest of the article here: BBC News



Adagio
Posted: Saturday, September 14, 2013 8:36:33 AM

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Football is the game...the name should remain. If redskins offend, change to stippends
Buz
Posted: Saturday, September 14, 2013 9:01:40 AM

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Would Blackskins, Whiteskins, Yellowskins, or Brownskins be acceptable? No they wouldn't. Redskins does go too far.

I am part Native-American and yes that name is offensive. Other names based on Native-Americans do not offend me whatsoever though. The Atlanta Braves, my favorite baseball team. Braves? Who wouldn't be proud to be considered Brave? The Braves are perfectly acceptable. The Cleveland Indians does not bother me, but their cartoon mascot logo does seem to bother some Native-Americans. But in general having a sports team nicknamed for your ethnic group should not be offensive.

The New York Yankees? Any northerners offended? I think not.

The Minnesota Vikings? Are the Scandinavian-Americans that dominate that region upset? Surely not.

Does the name Dallas Cowboys bring the wranglers off the range in protest? No

The Florida State Seminoles? The Seminole nation happily supports that name and stated they are proud that FSU uses it.

Some people are definitely too sensitive and it makes them look weak. Take pride in your heritage but don't be a whiny weakling about it, but also don't accept something grossly offensive such as 'Redskins.' If you are offended at every use then you look like a puny people.

There is a Native-American student group out west that started a website selling shirts and hats for 'The Fightin' Whities.' I ordered a cap & t-shirt for myself. Definitely a conversation starter when I wear them. I know an African-American guy that has just about worn his Fightin' Whitie t-shirt out.

Google it Fightin' Whities yourself. Kind of funny.






elitfromnorth
Posted: Saturday, September 14, 2013 10:28:59 AM

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We change in the way we percieve words. If you called a black man a nigger in the 60's you were a regular white person, today you're a racist. I think that the same is with Redskin. It used to be a perfectly acceptable word to use(even if it was meant in a discriminating manner), but today it's not all that ok. If it had been a couple of overly politically correct reports then I would have said show them the finger, because I usually just hate journalists. If the movement and desire for change is at grassrot level, then it's need to change. A club is nothing without it's supporters, and in manners like this the supporters should be heard. Just don't change it to Washington Native Americans, that will just look ridicilous...

"It's at that point you realise Lady Luck is actually a hooker, and you're fresh out of cash."
sprite
Posted: Saturday, September 14, 2013 10:37:58 AM

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i vote we change it to the Washington Sissy-boys! that's sure not to offend!



Love not hate.
Ruthie
Posted: Saturday, September 14, 2013 11:15:42 AM

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I suppose it is offensive to the native Americans. The team was originally The Boston Braves, in 1932. They played in Braves field in Boston and used the same team name. They moved to Fenway the next year and changed the name, I believe, because it went better with the Red Sox. They probably didn't mean to be offensive, but the times were full of blatant and causal racism.

How about the Fighting Irish? Are they fighting because of the stereotypical view of the Irish as brawling drunkards? I'm a little offended by their name. Why not an honest upstanding team name like Bulldogs, for instance? Why do they have to name their team after an ethnic minority?
_mal_
Posted: Saturday, September 14, 2013 12:20:38 PM

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Yes, since redskin is a slur against Native Americans and their logo is a Native American. Kinda like calling a team the Washington Slant Eyes and having their logo as someone asian-looking.

Someone said something about the Fighting Irish? Sure, one COULD take the stance that it perpetuates the stereotype that the Irish are drunken brawlers.

Difference, though, is that Fighting Irish is not a racial slur. And it could also be given new connotations. Fighting Irish because they fought against English colonialism and domination? Now the connotation is that they are freedom fighters and patriotic for their country and/or culture.

Guest
Posted: Saturday, September 14, 2013 1:16:59 PM

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all they have to do is change the mascot not the name.

see? problem solved, you all are very welcome.

g
Rembacher
Posted: Saturday, September 14, 2013 4:38:21 PM

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I agree with Buz. Change the team name, but don't worry about teams like the Braves, Seminoles, Indians, and others which just reference various first nations groups. It's the slur, not the group of people, that makes this offensive.
LadyX
Posted: Saturday, September 14, 2013 5:10:05 PM

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adagio wrote:
Football is the game...the name should remain. If redskins offend, change to stippends


What the hell is a "stippend"?
LadyX
Posted: Saturday, September 14, 2013 5:16:25 PM

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I think I agree that the Cleveland Indians isn't that offensive. But that they still use this logo is unbelievable. You can't get much more offensive and racist than this:


secretgem69
Posted: Saturday, September 14, 2013 6:13:22 PM

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I don't think so. People are getting way too sensitive and politically correct these days. What ever happened to "sticks and stones may break my bones but words cannot hurt me?" life was so much better back then.
LadyX
Posted: Saturday, September 14, 2013 6:14:59 PM

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secretgem69 wrote:
I don't think so. People are getting way too sensitive and politically correct these days. What ever happened to "sticks and stones may break my bones but words cannot hurt me?" life was so much better back then.


So you'd be cool with a team named the L.A. Spics? How about the Memphis Niggers? This is no different.
Langley
Posted: Saturday, September 14, 2013 6:29:23 PM

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No - leave the name alone - it is so silly with all the problems this world faces , that a debate like this has to take place. What a total waste of time
Guest
Posted: Saturday, September 14, 2013 6:32:13 PM

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The Redskins have been the "Redskins" since i can remember. I'm goin back to the Billy kilmer days. This is also not the 1st time this issue has been addressed . If i remeber right , they didn't always have the current logo . It's been a long standing emblem of thier team regardless. I'm gonna bet that the Name and logo stays . In Memory of jack Kent Cooke.


Reporters are doing thier job and stirring up trouble.
Guest
Posted: Saturday, September 14, 2013 6:49:10 PM

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groucho wrote:
all they have to do is change the mascot not the name.

see? problem solved, you all are very welcome.

g
Yea, ok.
Guest
Posted: Sunday, September 15, 2013 1:43:28 PM

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Gladiators, hairy assholes, over paid dicks. Who cares? Grab a six pack, and the nachos and enjoy. Why so serious?
sprite
Posted: Sunday, September 15, 2013 3:14:43 PM

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LadyX wrote:


So you'd be cool with a team named the L.A. Spics? How about the Memphis Niggers? This is no different.


you left out the San Francisco Faggots, Ms X.



Love not hate.
Milik_the_Red
Posted: Sunday, September 15, 2013 3:22:29 PM

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LadyX wrote:


So you'd be cool with a team named the L.A. Spics? How about the Memphis Niggers? This is no different.


This. Maybe the Vikings should be nicknamed the crackers? Wonder how that would go over?

I don't have an issue with the Braves and I can sort of accept the Indians, but Redskin is a pure derogatory term.

Surely silence can sometimes be the most eloquent of replies
- Unknown
sprite
Posted: Sunday, September 15, 2013 3:23:10 PM

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Milik_The_Red wrote:


This. Maybe the Vikings should be nicknamed the crackers? Wonder how that would go over?

I don't have an issue with the Braves and I can sort of accept the Indians, but Redskin is a pure derogatory term.


i like crackers, specially with cheese on them. drunken



Love not hate.
LadyX
Posted: Sunday, September 15, 2013 5:31:30 PM

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Highwayman wrote:
Gladiators, hairy assholes, over paid dicks. Who cares? Grab a six pack, and the nachos and enjoy. Why so serious?


Because we're way overdue on removing a racial epithet from a professional sports franchise's name. The beer and nachos will no longer compete with a bad taste in our mouths once it's gone.
Ruthie
Posted: Sunday, September 15, 2013 6:25:42 PM

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Milik_The_Red wrote:


This. Maybe the Vikings should be nicknamed the crackers? Wonder how that would go over?

I don't have an issue with the Braves and I can sort of accept the Indians, but Redskin is a pure derogatory term.


There used to be a minor league team called the Atlanta Crackers.
secretgem69
Posted: Sunday, September 15, 2013 7:48:12 PM

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Ajax wrote:
The Redskins have been the "Redskins" since i can remember. I'm goin back to the Billy kilmer days. This is also not the 1st time this issue has been addressed . If i remeber right , they didn't always have the current logo . It's been a long standing emblem of thier team regardless. I'm gonna bet that the Name and logo stays . In Memory of jack Kent Cooke.


Reporters are doing thier job and stirring up trouble.


I definitely agree with you. And the reporters are definitely doing a good job. I find it amusing and interesting that reporters have the ability to draw our attention away from much more pressing issues that are not getting appropriate attention such as our economy, jobs, education, and the environment just to name a few. Once our attentions are in a different direction, those issues remain untouched and unfixed. Then, once we get bored with whatever it is they came up with, they come up with something else.
Buz
Posted: Sunday, September 15, 2013 8:14:07 PM

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Ruthie wrote:


There used to be a minor league team called the Atlanta Crackers.


The Atlanta Crackers were a very popular AAA team that ended when the Braves moved to Atlanta from Milwaukee in the mid-1960s. There was also a team called the Atlanta Black Crackers for black players. They played in the Negro Southern League and shared the stadium over at Ponce de Leon Avenue with the Atlanta Crackers, however, if the Crackers were playing at home, the Black Crackers would play over at Morehouse College or Morris Brown College. The Black Crackers then helped form the African-American major league called, the Negro American League. The league didn't last too long and they returned to The Negro Southern League. About that time, Jackie Robinson became the first black player in the white major leagues, breaking the color barrier. Soon after the Black Crackers moved to Indianapolis and became known as the ABC's, and the Negro Southern League, along with the other leagues for black players faded into history as baseball became integrated.

By the way, Jackie Robinson was from Cairo, Georgia.

PS. Like I said above, Redskins goes too far. It is offensive.







Guest
Posted: Sunday, September 15, 2013 10:46:00 PM

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Dear Lady, the US, in general, is founded on bad taste. Foundations built on the use, and abuse of anyone that was not white or seen as heathen. Changing the name of a football team will not change the prejudice, and racism that runs deep. If we wanna get serious, then we should do it seriously and not in some politically correct way.

Black cracker? Somewhat of an oxymoron.
Guest
Posted: Monday, September 16, 2013 1:45:09 AM

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LadyX wrote:


Because we're way overdue on removing a racial epithet from a professional sports franchise's name. The beer and nachos will no longer compete with a bad taste in our mouths once it's gone.
Why stop there? Why not sweeping changes across the board? At the High School, College, Minor league, Semi pro levels?

/shakes finger at you I'll tell you something right now. Native Americans are offended by a lot more than some football's team's name/logo. Even if the skins did change thier name it wouldn't stop there.

The Washington Bullets (NBA) changed thier name to the "Wizards" because 'Bullets' offended somebody. Lfunny What good did that do?

The Redskins did not choose thier team name and logo with intent to offend anyone. That's a key point and stark reality.


What really happened is some sports journalist didn't get the interview he wanted for his story. Got pissed of about it, took his notebook to the native American community, and asked them to sign his petition to stirthepot up some controversy ,took it and ran with it. How dare those Redskins, mess with his bread and butter!
LadyX
Posted: Monday, September 16, 2013 6:39:10 AM

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Highwayman wrote:
Dear Lady, the US, in general, is founded on bad taste. Foundations built on the use, and abuse of anyone that was not white or seen as heathen. Changing the name of a football team will not change the prejudice, and racism that runs deep. If we wanna get serious, then we should do it seriously and not in some politically correct way.


You're right that the US was founded on bad taste, but the rest we'll have to disagree on. We should take positive change, big or small, wherever we can get it, and whether or not it's considered fatuous political correctness by some. It might not substantively reduce the scour of racism in this country, that's true. But it won't make it any worse in the process of removing a racial blast from a pro team's name. This one is just simply overdue.
sprite
Posted: Monday, September 16, 2013 7:48:49 AM

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Ajax wrote:


/shakes finger at you I'll tell you something right now. Native Americans are offended by a lot more than some football's team's name/logo. Even if the skins did change thier name it wouldn't stop there.



i queried my wife on the subject - we were discussing the virtues of a teal called the LA Spics, as Ms X, suggested (she has latino blood, and could easily pass for mexican). her take is basically, sure, there are more pressing matters i'd rather see addressed, but even so, having a team called the spics would just piss me off, you know? kind of like another slap in the face.

and really, racism shouldn't just stop there - we should do everything in our power to eradicate it. little gestures, large gestures, everything. just my My 2 cents

conversely, if i go along with your logic, you shouldn't have an issue with the Pittsburgh Steelers, an entirely male orginization, having their name changed to the Pittsburgh Rapists, would you? i mean, it's only a name/logo, right, even if it does paint the male gender in a somewhat sterotypically bad light? :)

just another thought. don't mind me - it's early and i didn't have my morning sedative yet. angel7



Love not hate.
sprite
Posted: Monday, September 16, 2013 7:55:28 AM

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Highwayman wrote:
Dear Lady, the US, in general, is founded on bad taste. Foundations built on the use, and abuse of anyone that was not white or seen as heathen. Changing the name of a football team will not change the prejudice, and racism that runs deep. If we wanna get serious, then we should do it seriously and not in some politically correct way.

Black cracker? Somewhat of an oxymoron.


sometimes the little things add up, tho. no, it won't change the prejuidce and racism, but maybe it will draw attention to it and get people talking. i mean, do you have ANY idea how HUGE football is in the US? :)



Love not hate.
LadyX
Posted: Monday, September 16, 2013 7:58:46 AM

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Ajax wrote:
Why stop there? Why not sweeping changes across the board? At the High School, College, Minor league, Semi pro levels?


More and more, teams at all of the levels you mentioned are changing their names, and in most cases they're far less racist than "Redskins", too.

Ajax wrote:

/shakes finger at you I'll tell you something right now. Native Americans are offended by a lot more than some football's team's name/logo. Even if the skins did change thier name it wouldn't stop there.


You're right, they're offended by much, much more than the Washington NFL team's logo and name. I'm willing to hear them out on those things too, aren't you? If not, then why wouldn't you be?
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