The Washington Redskins: Innocuous or Insulting?
In the capital city of our nation, the term "Redskin" is still attached to the professional football team that plays there every Sunday. Does this shock or offend you? If not, I know of one particular ethnic group that does find this offensive...Native Americans. The term "redskin" is a term that is disparaging and denigrating to Indian people. This is a fact, yet the Washington Redskins with its owner Dan Snyder have decided to keep the name now and for the foreseeable future. Protest of the name began in 1968 with a resolution put forth on behalf of the National Congress of American Indians. This was to no avail however despite numerous efforts after the initial resolution was brought forth, and the name remains in place.
The biggest reason why the name is intact is because the other clubs in the N.F.L. are okay with it and the name has caused no adverse market reaction, as ticket and memorabilia sales remain steady. The biggest problem with changing the name however lies with the Redskins owner Daniel Snyder. The public opinion of Snyder, especially in the Washington area, is highly unfavorable. In my opinion, Snyder is among the most cynical owners in all of professional sports and there's proof to my claim. During the '08-'09 recession, the Redskins decided to take legal action and sue season ticket holders who were unable to pay during these tough times. The kicker to this situation is that Snyder had publicly boasted that there were at least 200,000 people on the season ticket waiting list. Ticket and parking prices continue to rise despite the team posting sub-par seasons under Snyder's ownership. After being pressured to change the name, Snyder fired of this gem of a press release. "We’ll never change the name. It’s that simple. NEVER — you can use caps.” I wonder if Mr. Snyder is familiar with the term, cynicism? It's apparent Snyder will remain obstinate and pigheaded(pun intended) on this issue and that's really a shame.
I think the term redskin is outdated and antiquated therefore it must be removed. We've come a long way with race relations in this country,so why not keep it that way? My only solution is to remove Snyder along with the name so that we may put a stop to the injustice being perpetrated against the Native American people. Given our rocky relationship with the Natives, I feel we at least owe them the decency of removing a name that insults them on a deep personal level. I would leave you with "happy thanksgiving" but that's another story for another day...