A Washington Redskins name change has been on the political agenda for quite a while now, but how much support is there for the idea by actual native Americans?
In related reports by The Inquisitr, last year team owner Daniel Snyder was rumored to be considering changing the Redskins name to the Washington Bravehearts. It was only a week later that representatives of the Oneida Indian Nation met with NFL executives to discuss a Redskins name change, but they claim the NFL “defended a racist name.” Shortly later President Obama took to his soapbox to denounce the Redskins name:
“I’ve got to say that if I were the owner of the team and I knew that there was a name of my team – even if it had a storied history – that was offending a sizeable group of people, I’d think about changing it.”
Well, if NFL commissioner Roger Goodell is correct it turns out that “sizeable group of people” is smaller than you would think considering all the controversy. Native American leaders claim the Redskins name is the equivalent of the N-word to the black community, but Goodell claims the name of the football team is “presented in a way that honors Native Americans”:
“The Washington Redskins name has … from its origin represented a positive meaning distinct from any disparagement that could be viewed in some other context. For the team’s million of fans and customers, who represent one of America’s most ethnically and geographically diverse fan bases, the name is a unifying force that stands for strength, courage, pride and respect.”
Goodell is apparently referring to a decade old poll that shows the majority of Native Americans do not consider the Redskins name offensive. And apparently not much has changed according to a Redskins name poll taken in 2013. 79 percent of Americans want the NFL team name to be kept the same while only 11 percent want it changed. But eight percent weren’t sure and two percent never responded to the poll.
Chris Cooley also believes a Redskins name change has been thoroughly investigated and even other organizations using the Redskins name haven’t felt the need to change:
“I can’t say exactly how those people feel, but what I can say is that the Redskins have done a body of research and determined that there are a lot of Native Americans who are really proud of this name. Currently there are over 60 high schools who still represent the name the Redskins. These people are very proud of it. Bruce Allen traveled through reservation to reservation; Bobby Beathard traveled to different reservations, and they established the fact that Native Americans are proud of this name. Now, for me, it’s not to say if it’s right or wrong. But until it’s determined that this one set of people has decided on what is right or wrong, I support the name Redskins because I believe it’s honoring what they represent.”
But the PC brigade out of the other Washington is not giving up. African American D.C. Council member Marion Barry apparently felt Super Bowl 2014 was the right time to bring up the subject:
“It’s Super Bowl time. 4 Washington, we should reflect not on the loss of games, but our loss of honor. [Daniel Synder], YOU CAN redeem it. Do what’s right. C’mon Dan. Let’s elevate this conversation. Do you want to be remembered as stubborn or loved for standing up against a racist past?”
Some have chosen to highlight the debate by pointing out it’d look if the team was called the Washington Blackskins:
Would you support a Redskins name change to the Washington Bravehearts or another name?
Why do these Whiteskins on twitter get so angry when someone challenges them on their cont. use of Redskins slur?Doesn’t sound nice does it?
— Marion S. Barry, Jr. (@marionbarryjr) January 31, 2014