The Washington Post

Another high school considers nixing Redskins nickname

The last time I went here — when the Red Lodge (Montana) School District board voted unanimously this winter to change its Redskins mascot — one of these critics was kind enough to post a list of about 70 U.S. high schools still using the name.

Well, that list could soon be losing another member. A brief AP report out of Maine last month indicated that Sanford High is considering a name change of its own, based on a complaint from the Maine Indian Tribal State Commission:

When September rolls around, Sanford will be the sole Maine community that uses the name “Redskins” for its school sports teams. At one time, several Maine schools called their sports teams Redskins, a moniker native Americans find offensive.

In Sanford, the school committee inched toward change as it heard last week from high school civil rights team leaders about a survey on the high school mascot. The Journal Tribune in Biddeford says team leaders reported the majority of the 448 students, faculty and staff surveyed leaned toward keeping the Redskins name, but about 40 percent were ready for change or at least to talk about it.

The critics will shout that if a clear majority want to keep the name, everyone should pipe down. (And will also dispute the un-sourced claim that native Americans find the term offensive.) The pinkos might counter that most high school mascots wouldn’t prompt 40 percent of students and staffers to consider a change.

You can see that the Sanford Athletics department already does virtually nothing to promote the “Redskins” name, instead sticking with its iconic Stanford “S.” The above-mentioned Journal Tribune also wrote a strongly worded editorial this month on why Sanford should get rid of the name, with passages like these:

You don’t need surveys and contemplation on this one – it’s common sense that a racial slur should not be used to describe a sports team....Yes, the world has gone overboard in the past with political correctness, but there are some terms that hit deep roots of pain for a particular people and we just don’t need to use or endorse those words anymore....As they say in school, sometimes the right choice isn’t popular and sometimes the popular choice isn’t right. It’s time for the Sanford school system to step up and make what may still be an unpopular choice by getting rid of “redskins” and finding a new mascot name of which the district can be proud.

Remember, Dan Snyder addressed the issue during his Super Bowl media tour, saying this to 106.7 The Fan’s Chad Dukes:

“Obviously you’ve not read some of the history of the Redskins and the name of the team and what it means and what the name Redskin means. You’ve seen a lot of lawsuits, and a lot of victories from the standpoint of the Redskins, overcoming those suits. But I think what’s most important is what the Redskins are all about is the tradition of the Redskins, of fighting for old D.C., victory. The terminology Redskin is not meant to be offensive whatsoever.”

Ok, here’s where you get to insult me.

Dan Steinberg writes about all things D.C. sports at the D.C. Sports Bog.


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