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The Redskins Name Controversy

Posted on June 23, 2014 at 5:40 PM Comments comments (0)

So if you’re a sports or football fan then I’m sure you’ve heard this. If your not a sports fan there’s still a good chance you’ve heard it because it’s on the verge of becoming newsworthy. The NFL franchise the Washing Redskins have been advised that they should change their name and have most recently gotten several trademarks taken away from them because Native Americans find the term “Redskin” offensive. This issue has been circulating quite a bit since last year but had once again resurfaced and Redskins owner Dan Snyder has stayed firm in saying he will not change the name no matter what. Despite recent issues having come forth Snyder still sticks by his original statement and says he will not and does not feel he should change the name of the Redskins to something else. On a side note, a neighbor of Snyder took out a patent trademark on the word “Bravehearts” like the movie starring Mel Gibson, most likely this neighbor was told to do this on behalf of Snyder and this is perhaps an insurance policy a.k.a backup option ready to go in the event that Snyder loses his case. After hearing about this I immediately thought of it and gathered my opinion on the matter and while it may not be how most feel I say, use common sense and look at the obvious facts that cannot be ignored.



 

I do not feel the Redskins should change their name. Why should they have to? They have been the Washington ‘Redskins” since 1937 which up to today is 77 years! They have had the name for 77 years and just now the Natives are offended? I would think maybe back then they would have been more offended because there was still tension perhaps? I mean we are a much different society and world today compared to back then so why now are the Natives suddenly offended? Or has this always been an issue but we are just now hearing about it? I highly doubt it’s been a continuing issue for 77 years or any amount of years because the NFL and the Washington franchise would have done something about it by now. So why now?(upon further review the issue has come up a few times over the years but not as strong as it is today) Back in the day when the Redskin’s name was first used no Indian/Native American had an issue with it and I would think an Indian back then would be more offended then one of today but then again I suppose that’s solely my opinion. Perhaps they feel that it represents their ancestors and grandparents in a bad light? I can sort of see that but again they have been around for years so if those before you weren’t offended then why should you be? Now I’m not Native American but I believe even if I was I would not be offended by the term “Redskins” even if it was a quote on quote “bad term” representing a ethnicity as it does right now because I realize that it is the name of a sports team and does not mean to offend again if it’s used as a sports team name and has been around for so long how can it be deemed offensive?



 

I would also like to state another reason as to why this is so odd and makes no sense to me. There are other logo’s and team names which have or represent Native Americans and Indians and no one has said anything about them. Baseball has the Cleveland Indians and the Atlanta Braves. Cleveland’s logo is Chief Wahoo who is a red Indian, isn’t the Redskin’s logo of a red Indian? No one’s said that Cleveland’s name or logo is offensive. The Atlanta Braves logo is an axe or tomahawk, a tomahawk is a Native American weapon. Now while I don’t see this as offensive as the other two since it’s the word ‘Brave” I can’t help but think that since a tomahawk is connected to Indian’s that Native’s should somehow be offended but yet they aren’t. In hockey there’s the Chicago Blackhawks who have a logo similar to the Redskins. I am not sure if the name “Blackhawk” was a Native American tribe but again it represent’s them just as the Redskins do and yet no one has found them controversial. To me if your going to say Redskin is offensive then you mind as well say Blackhawk is too. Also given the fact the logo’s are kind similar another reason to throw them into the spotlight of controversy as the Redskins. College Football has the Florida State Seminoles, now I get that Seminole in fact was a tribe but again if your going to single out one name shouldn’t you look over all other names Indian like and consider if they are offensive or even fair to keep if your getting rid of one? Again 77 years and other names of words to represent Native American culture and this one has got to go? It makes no sense. The NFL also has the Kansas City Chiefs, aren’t Chiefs a high class member of Native Americans? I mean sure “chief” is just a word but if your going to go after the Redskin then you should probably look into your other team. Also their logo is an arrowhead and the stadium is called Arrowhead Stadium, your tying and connecting an object like the Brave’s tomahawk to native American’s. I would think this could in some way also be offensive but again since its not a direct name to an Indian/Native American I can see perhaps why it’s looked over but even so, if your going to go after one then you need to look into all of the names.



 

U.S. Congress has got involved and they are the ones who took trademarks away from the team. Now if this get’s even more serious and the team does in fact have to change their name doesn’t that sort of take away from an amendment of some sort? Doesn’t that go against a whole region’s tradition? There is one more bit of information I find puzzling about all of this. Isn’t the Mascot of the Redskins an actual Native American Indian? From what I remember hearing and seeing, he’s been attending games in his Native Indian attire for over 30 years, 30 years! Why not ask him if he finds the term “redskin offensive” I mean I get that all people have different opinions but if your going to have an actual human and actual Native American as your mascot(official or non-official I don’t think it matters) then don’t you think his opinion matters? Surely he cannot speak for all Native Americans but then again they are a close society of people who tend to stick together and since he is one man representing a franchise in fun then how is it that others are all bent out of shape? So goes my point that one man cannot represent the beliefs and issues of a group of people. I don’t know maybe I’m wrong here but again if your going to have an actual Indian represent your team and he’s totally cool with it, why are you then going to have issues to get the name changed?



 

Back to the whole tradition thing, it takes away from it. Tradition is a annual continuation, it’s fun, it’s a representation and after 77 years they want to take away tradition from a football team just because Native American’s had a sudden lapse in judgement? I am sure if you look at other team names and I mean dig deep and look into small colleges, lesser known sports, minor league teams you will find a a good handful with some sort of name that could be considered offensive. Also these teams are not likely to have been around anywhere close to the years the Redskin’s have so it would not be breaking up and ruining tradition. To me, it just won’t be the same and it will sort of tarnish something that up until now as seemed so normal that the fact it’s now a controversy just does not make any sense. Now if the do change the name what will it be to? I would assume they will try to maneuver around the “Redskin” name and find something similar that is considered less offensive or not offensive at all. As I stated earlier “Bravehearts” could be a possibility but seeing as that was more of a Irish type of thing, how that would work I don’t know. What it comes down to is simple, why now? Why ruin tradition and have a franchise change it’s name after 77 years just because people find it offensive? If it wasn’t a big issue all these years it should not be a big issue now.