Letter to the Editor

Redskins, Potomacs, Spies — or no nickname at all

I was struck by a simple fact while reading the Feb. 8 Metro story “Redskins name change urged at race symposium.” Part of the problem stems from the North American tradition of decking sports franchises with official nicknames. Forbes lists the world’s most valuable sports franchise as a soccer team, Manchester United, followed by Spain’s soccer giant, Real Madrid. Both are best known by their simple titles.

Could it be time to try something prosaic such as Washington Football Club?

Dennis Jones, Bethesda

●Regarding Robert McCartney’s Feb. 7 Metro column “Drop ‘Redskins’ name? Time to take a stand”:

I understand the intellectual argument for changing the name of the Washington Redskins, but it is like saying I have to change the name of my child. As a lifelong, passionate Redskins fan (I am 51), I have never once thought of the name of my beloved team as derogatory. My guess is that there are far fewer people who feel strongly about changing it than there are those in love with the Redskins football team, which the name exemplifies.

My hope is that owner Daniel Snyder not yield to the politically correct view of changing the name. Too many Redskins fans are attached to it. Football is a game, an American tradition of fun and escapism, not a political statement.

Marie G. Rivers, Arlington

Every time I hear about the absurd position of the team’s owners and whatever proportion of its fans clinging to its racist moniker, I hear my mother’s voice from long ago: “When someone says, ‘You’re hurting me,’ your only appropriate response is, ‘I’m sorry, I’ll stop and I won’t do it any more.’ ”

Really, it’s way past time to ditch that pejorative relic from one of the most shameful periods of American history.  We owe it to Native Americans, past, present and future.

Shireen Parsons, Washington

If the name Redskins is to be changed, and I agree that it should be, I’d like to propose Washington Potomacs, to honor Native American history in this part of the world in a thought-provoking way. We could keep the team colors and logo but change the offensive part of the name.

Byron Brought, Friendship

If the time has come to rename the Washington Redskins, I suggest Washington Spies. It sounds threatening enough to other football teams. The mascot could be a large character in a trench coat carrying a briefcase with spy gadgets. The cheerleaders could be dressed in glamorous outfits that rival any James Bond love interest. I’d leave the helmets red and replace the current Native American image with a large black spy fingerprint with a huge W/S logo on top of it in a khaki gold color.

The football team and management could have fun making lots of money marketing all kinds of cool team spy stuff like decoders, camera pens, secret messages, Washington Spies temporary tattoos and tiny, camera-shaped earrings. Have some athletic-shoe company do the outline of a phone on the bottom of a shoe. Come up with some kind of fedora that a spy might wear with a trench coat, martini glasses and even sunglasses. The possibilities are limitless.

Mary R. Adler, Waldorf

 
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