January 21, 2013

People who work up a high dudgeon over the name of Washington’s NFL team have suffered enough. First, they have endured countless years on a planet beset with woes such as famine, disease, earthquakes and tsunamis, etc., that eclipse their No. 1 complaint. As if that were not enough, consider that they have had to endure no fewer than three Super Bowl victories under an unrepentant coach, Joe Gibbs.

While they once sounded like voices crying in the wilderness, they are now a growing chorus. And they now have a playoff loss on which to pin the non sequitur that a happier outcome, bolstered by karma, awaited teams with politically correct names [“What’s in a name? For the Redskins, bad karma,” Metro, Jan. 9].

One immediate problem is the dearth of imagination inherent in such suggested alternatives as “Washington Natives” and “Washington Skins.” Does anyone really believe that the band playing “Hail to the Redskins” is trumpeting a racial slur and that a packed stadium rocking with Redskins hysteria is energized by bigotry?  They just don’t get it.

But rather than berate them, why don’t we just replace the team name with one of equal merit: the Washington Warriors? The term “warriors” belongs to all peoples in recorded history. 

In today’s Marine Corps and today’s NFL, the term “warrior” is the supreme compliment. The Medal of Honor, like the highest NFL awards, is bestowed on the best of the best, who are invariably hailed as “real warriors.” With no inflammatory reference to any color, perhaps the word can be accepted on its own merits.

Gene Simkins, Fairfax