Rick Reilly on the Redskins name

A panel discusses the Redskins name at a symposium about Native American sports mascots in February. (Photo by Jonathan Newton / The Washington Post)

A panel discusses the Redskins name at a symposium about Native American sports mascots in February. (Photo by Jonathan Newton / The Washington Post)

Rick Reilly’s most recent column for ESPN delves into the Redskins name issue, largely decrying his colleagues who have made public shows of rejecting it.

“I guess this is where I’m supposed to fall in line and do what every other American sports writer is doing,” he writes. “I’m supposed to swear I won’t ever write the words “Washington Redskins” anymore because it’s racist and offensive and a slap in the face to all Native Americans who ever lived. Maybe it is.”

He goes on to make points about his Native American father-in-law and “white America.” He brings up the argument that “Saints” and “Angels” are offensive to atheists. That’s not to say whether his arguments are valid nor not.┬áBut the Peter King and Christine Brennan columns Reilly criticized didn’t illicit the same amount of immediate vitriol as this one did.

And then there was the ending.

Doesn’t matter. The 81-year-old Washington Redskins name is falling, and everybody better get out of the way. For the majority of Native Americans who don’t care, we’ll care for them. For the Native Americans who haven’t asked for help, we’re glad to give it to them.

Trust us. We know what’s best. We’ll take this away for your own good, and put up barriers that protect you from ever being harmed again.

Kind of like a reservation.

Reilly is entitled to his opinion, although he never makes a definitive statement as to which side he actually falls on. And both Dan and I said that we’d highlight supporters for both sides of the argument in this space. While there will certainly be a red carpet rolled out for him at Redskins Park the next time he lands in Washington, I’m not sure he did the pro-namers any favors with this one.

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