Today in my self-imposed one-post-a-day Redskins name debate roundup: Don Geronimo, Glenn Beck, Al Sharpton, Eugene Robinson, planned protests.
Something something something something Washington Bravehearts.
The D.C. radio legend announced his return to local airwaves on Wednesday. Chad Dukes mentioned something about the name controversy. In between being interrupted by my best bud LaVar Arrington, this is what Geronimo offered:
Here’s the thing, it’s stupid. There is no pack of Native Americans running around with Ellen DeGeneres in front of them, wearing a headdress and saying it’s 2013, this is offensive to all of American Indians. It’s not. They don’t give a crap. And I’ve talked to a lot of them, because they run all the casinos in Northern California, and I go to all of ‘em baby…So don’t change the name, because no one’s offended by it. You know who’s offended by it? The same stupid people that say if you look at someone sideways now you’re bullying them. Bullying has gotten such a bad name. Really it has. That’s how I got most of my success in my life.
And so on and so forth.
Inspired by a recent story about political donations from NFL owners and the Ravens and Obamacare, Beck decided that the entire Redskins name controversy is a result of Dan Snyder’s relatively modest donations to the GOP.
“Oh my gosh! Oh my GOSH! Follow. The. Money. Again, you know what that is, you know what that is, you know what that is? Are you kidding me? Look at that. Ninety-seven percent of their donations goes to Republicans, three percent goes to the Democrats. From the Washington Redskins. That’s exactly what is. Look at that. I will BET you that is to send a message….They’re sending a message to all of the people in the greater Washington D.C. area: we’re going to punish our enemies, and we’re going to reward our friends. We’re going to give $130,000 to the Ravens because they’ll play ball with us, and we are going to torture the Redskins because look at what they do. Look at that. Again, it’s vindictiveness. It is silencing of free speech. Oh my gosh…That’s all this is about, the Redskins story. That’s it.”
And then Al Sharpton responded to Beck on MSNBC.
Oh my gosh. Oh my gosh. I’m calling timeout. Does he really think an NFL team is being targeted because it donates money to Republicans, not because the name is offensive? C’mon Mr. Beck, you’re losing your touch with conspiracy theories. You can do better than this. The same reporting sites also say the San Diego Chargers and the Houston Texans both donate more money to the GOP. So look out Chargers and look out Texans, President Obama’s about to demand we look into YOUR team names.
Protests in Minnesota
From the Star Tribune:
The push to ban the Washington Redskins’ nickname and logo from being displayed or broadcast inside the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome will go to the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority first thing Friday.
Several representatives of the Minneapolis-based American Indian Movement plan to attend the authority’s 9 a.m. meeting at the Dome to ask the board overseeing construction of the new Vikings stadium to refrain from printing or broadcasting the NFL Redskins’ nickname or logo when the team visits Minneapolis for a Nov. 7 game with the Vikings. Activist and child psychologist Alan Yelsey said Thursday that he and several others lobbying for the ban met for about an hour Thursday with authority officials to express their concerns that the nickname is derogatory and destructive and reinforces hurtful stereotypes.
Protests in Denver
From Indian Country Today:
Two Denver-based groups are set to protest against the Washington Redskins refusal to change its name and mascot.
Members of the American Indian Movement and Idle No More in Colorado will call on the football team to change its name at the Broncos-Redskins game on Sunday.
The Post opinion columnist continued the near unanimity among Post opinion columnists on this topic with a column Friday morning. He also seemed to think fans could bring about a change.
Snyder’s vision is clouded by nostalgia and an unjustified sense of grievance. Fans of the team should sharpen his focus by simply declining to use the name — and calling the team “Washington” instead.
If fans don’t allow the slur to pass their lips, at some point the name shifts on the balance sheet from tradition-steeped asset to embarrassing liability. Like RGIII racing toward the goal line, that day is coming fast.