Discussion: Is the call getting louder for a Redskins’ name change?

October 8, 2013
The shadow of Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-D.C., is cast on the backdrop during the Oneida Indian Nation's Change the Mascot symposium, Monday, Oct. 7, 2013, in Washington, calling for the Washington Redskins NFL football team to change its name. During an interview, President Barack Obama suggested that the owner of the Washington Redskins football team consider changing its name because, the president said, the current name offends "a sizable group of people." (Carolyn Kaster/Associated Press)
The shadow of Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.) is cast on a backdrop at the Oneida Indian Nation’s Change the Mascot symposium Oct. 7 in Washington. (Carolyn Kaster/Associated Press)

Sports columnist Mike Wise suggested this morning that it was just a matter of time before the Washington National Football League team changed its nickname because the objections to same were getting a bit too loud.

Not all of our Readers Who Comment agree with Mike, but many do. Some recall years past when the Washington NFL team did not employ black players. The readers note that the forces of history ultimately changed that and predict the same for the current nickname of the Washington NFL team.

We’ll start with EdDC, who wrote, “Maybe it is time to stop pointing the blame at such Post writers as Robert McCartney, Courtland Milloy, the ombudsman, Sally Jenkins, Mike Wise, Jason Reid, Tom Boswell, Dan Steinberg, and the Post Editorial Board. This has gone national. You can blame the president, since he is so unpopular among supporters of the team name…We all want to be proud of our team and its name. Why not a team name for everyone, not just one side of the cultural wars?”

Richard R suggested, “Why not change it to the Washington Warriors? Nice alliteration & hopefully does not offend anyone. NBA team in the Bay Area, Golden State Warriors, has that name, & if it is OK politically there, should be fine in DC.”

Madasheite proposed, “Mr. Snyder – If you want to honor the American Indian, then change the name to the Washington Native Americans, then you won’t have to change the helmet. If you change it to the Washington Monuments then we can get rid of the helmets and those bland-looking RED, YELLOW, and WHITE uniforms and go back to the throwback REAL burgundy and gold. Bottom line….if you put a winner on the field the name will be an afterthought.”

Justafan said, “This is really not a left/right issue, and as Wise says, it’s not going away (it will only get more intense). Love the team — just change the darned racist name already.”

But pcook52 wrote, “It’s not a racist name. The name doesn’t have to do with race. Its not like the “n” word at all, and needs to stop being associated with it.”

To which Madasheite replied, “It IS a racist name. Even most diehard fans have agreed that it is.”

But Bailinnumberguy said, “The number of people who go to games and/or buy merchandise AND are offended by the name could fit into a phone booth. He’s got one of the most valuable sport franchises in the world. The name isn’t changing.”

Kentonsmith asked, “Is it valuable because of the name? Did the ‘Skins’ lose their fan base when they allowed Blacks to play? Change doesn’t mean the end of prosperity. The Skins post Bobby Mitchell are worth a heck of a lot more than the Skins circa George Preston Marshall.”

Shane Payne wondered, “How [would] guys like [it] if we had a team called the Washington ‘Red Necks’?

rash67 said, “estimates of costs of changing the name of our Redskins run $10-$20 million. Perhaps the 24 Native Americans and the other liberals who are so uptight about the name should foot the bill for this change they want so much.”

Which promted rockfordcauseway to reply, “Totally. Its about time the Native Americans start paying the price for everything they’ve done to us.”

We’ll close with this exchange:

pcook52 asked, “Who even uses the name ‘redskins’ to talk about anything other than a football team in Washington (Landover MD) or a type of potatoes. Seriously, that is the only time I’ve ever hea[r]d the name used. No one uses it as a derogatory term.”

To which kentonsmith replied, “That’s because the Native Peoples of America have been wiped out. Duh!!”

All comments on the column are here.

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Doug Feaver | October 7, 2013