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Hot Topic: Should the NFL’s Washington Redskins Change Their Name?

Do most people find the nickname offensive?

by
PJ Editors

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October 15, 2013 - 10:22 am

Native American activists have sought since the 1980s to force pro football’s Washington Redskins to change the name of their team, citing its offensive nature. Even President Obama got into the debate, telling the AP last Friday, “If I were the owner of the team and I knew that there was a name of my team–even if it had a storied history–that was offending a sizable group of people, I’d think about changing it.”

The movement is just the latest in a decades-long effort to rename sports teams, or get rid of mascots, that some Native Americans find offensive. The University of Illinois was threatened with sanctions over Chief Illiniwek, its former mascot. The university retired the chief in 2007. Stanford University changed their team name from “Indians” to “Cardinal.” Miami of Ohio teams, formerly known  as the Redskins, are now the “Redhawks.”

But how offensive do people — including Native Americans — find the nickname “Redskins”? Wikipedia covers the controversy and reports on some polls that have been conducted:

Some consider the namesake and logo of the Washington Redskins to be racist.[59] However, a 2013 USA Today poll found widespread support for the Redskins name. The poll indicated that 79 percent of Americans believed that the Redskins should keep their name.[60] There have been movements by certain groups to change the name,[61] but the attempts have been unsuccessful. Others make the case in defense that the Redskins name is intended to honor the bravery and dignity of American Indians and that, regardless of past usage, the word redskins today refers to the football team. Notwithstanding the protests of activists, a 2002 poll commissioned by Sports Illustrated found that 75% of those American Indians surveyed had no objection to the Redskins name.[62]

Redskins owner Dan Snyder is adamant that there will be no name change. In a letter to season ticket holders, Snyder wrote:

“I respect the opinions of those who disagree. I want them to know that I do hear them, and I will continue to listen and learn,” Synder wrote in a letter to season ticket holders. “But we cannot ignore our 81 year history, or the strong feelings of most of our fans as well as Native Americans throughout the country. After 81 years, the team name ‘Redskins’ continues to hold the memories and meaning of where we came from, who we are, and who we want to be in the years to come.”

We’ve heard from the owner, the president of the United States, sportscasters, pundits and commentators. Now it’s your turn to be heard. Should the Washington Redskins change their name? Leave your thoughts in the comments below. If you haven’t registered to comment, please take a few seconds to do so.

Comments are closed.

Top Rated Comments   
Redskins is great. Washington is offensive.
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
You don't name a sports team after something that you wish to mock, you name them after people, animals, or other things with qualities that you wish to emulate.
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
I find the name Washington Redskins to be horribly offensive on a number of levels. To have the name of a tax exempt professional sports team include the name of the wretched hive of scum and villainy that is the Capitol City should be offensive to all Americans, Native or otherwise.

There are only two ways to redress this situation. Either move the team to a city that more reflects the real country; thus dropping the Washington designator. Or, if it is not possible to move the team, by all means change the name to something more reflective of the nature of the city itself. The Washington Obamas comes to mind to reflect their current record. Or perhaps the Washington Kickbacks to reflect the history and future of the city.

Subotai Bahadur
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (173)
All Comments   (173)
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Since it's DC, U.S. Cavalry
44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
WOW...Oregon.Jon...you NAILED it..."The Washington Foreskins"!!...end of new name search!!
46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
my roomate's sister-in-law makes $75 every hour on the laptop. She has been out of work for 6 months but last month her paycheck was $20467 just working on the laptop for a few hours. >>>>>>>> WWW.JOBS60.ℂOM
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
If the team changed their name to something like the Washington Americans, there would be someone who will find fault - probably the Illegal Aliens!
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
Redskins is fine, my recommendation was marked as a comment that included a word that are not allowed,

oh my,
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
They could call themselves The Washington Rednecks, wouldn't bother me a bit!
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
HotAir released a link today that demonstrates that most fans of the team won't stop supporting it should a name change occur. I think this one is more likely to happen than, say, the Atlanta Braves or Cleveland Indians, because "Redskins" simply sounds more like a slur, no matter how much one may argue that it's really a term of endearment or pride.
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
Only if the Notre Dame "Fighting Irish" changes theirs!
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
Get a grip. I think we've all heard/read the pejoratives that Obama liberals employ to identify Americans with conservative convictions. And they think that they are qualified to determine what constitutes an offensive label?
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
If it does not bother or offend the Redskins why should it bother you??? I love the Redskins and think the name should be kept. This was also questioned, not sure if it was in the 40's or 50's but the answer was the same. They like it and we like it so it will be kept. Thank you very much!
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
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