Daniel Snyder's NFL team has the most offensive name in American sports, at least the most offensive we're aware of. That name will eventually change, but not in the foreseeable future.
"This name is not likely to stand," Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.) said on The Erik Kuselias Show Thursday morning. "It would be much better if Dan Snyder did what [Wizards owner] Abe Pollin did. Now, Abe Pollin was not criticized when he bought the so-called Washington Bullets but changed the name because he didn’t think it was particularly appropriate for a big city team to be named bullets. You know, that’s good sportsmanship."
"Here is somebody who claims that . . . who it would seem to have some kind of principled reason for keeping a name that the great majority of Native Americans find derogatory. What’s the principle? Let me tell you the opposite. Do you remember the Dan Snyder that sued the City Paper here in Washington because of an article that he regarded as derogatory but pinpointed particularly a picture that accompanied the article that he said was anti-Semitic? Here’s somebody who had his own ethic sensibilities [offended] and is unable to turn the other cheek and understand why Native Americans would feel disparaged."
Norton went on to point out that this is not an issue Snyder should want to be tied to in history.
"Who wants to have a name that some regard as derogatory?" she continued. "You know why this has not received I think the kind of cache it would have received if we were talking about African-Americans or Latinos? It’s because Native Americans are less than 2 percent of the population. They are a very silent minority. Well, they don’t speak up a lot but they’ve spoken up on this count. If the other side has a good reason to keep the name then I want to hear it. So far I haven’t heard it."
Norton has a good point there. Daniel Snyder was so concerned with his own image that he sued a Washington area newspaper for poking fun at a person many consider to be the worst owner in the league. The problem is that Snyder is oddly stubborn with the team's name. It's a bad name, and it needs to change. It looks bad for the NFL and the team.
Do you think the Redskins should change their name? Drop us a line with your thoughts on the matter below.
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Sigh! Norton is the highly regarded local civil rights leader who is also the District's non-voting representative to the House of Representatives. Redskins fans, the people who spend money on Redskins stuff and who considers themselves Redskins, do not care about the issue.
D.C. would like to lure The Washington "Football Team" back to the District on the grounds of old RFK Stadium. I guess if you pony up $600M to $1B in public funds, you might get to talk about it. Unless Maryland and Virginia take the same position, DC faces an uphill fight on that point. Progressive Maryland might do it. Conservative Virginia will not. (DC lost the bid for the Redskins' training facility to be in Washington. It will be in Richmond.)
If the Redskins change the name, it will be for the most American of reasons -- paying customers stop buying "Redskins" product. Opponents can fight it using the most American of strategies. Put their money where their mouths are. Start a fund. Collect enough money, whatever it takes, to buy the trademark rights to the name and retire it.
The Redskins will be the Redskins when Ms. Norton leaves Congress.
(The opinion expressed are my own and not necessarily that of Bloguin.)