Washington Redskins should consider changing offensive name

Washington Redskins should consider changing offensive name


Regardless of the fact that they’ve won only three world championships in their 81-year history, the Washington Redskins have had a strong following of fans throughout their history and still do to this day. This is evidenced by the fact that their stadium that can hold 85,000 people, the highest capacity of any stadium in the National Football League.

Although they have a strong following, the team gets countless complaints about its name. With every year that goes by, more and more people petition the team to change their name.

“Redskins” is considered to be a derogatory term by Native Americans and many others, including myself. It shouldn’t be used by an NFL franchise as their name whether they intend for it to be offensive or not.

If you go back and look at the history associated with the name, it can be understood why people want them to change it. The same struggles that Native Americans have faced with the aforementioned name can be compared to African American’s struggle with the N-word.

To answer to those fighting for the name change, Redskin’s owner Daniel Snyder issued a statement last May: “We’ll never change the name. It’s that simple. NEVER — you can use caps.”

This issue has even been brought to Congress, in which NFL commissioner Roger Goodell had to step in and give a statement.

“The Washington Redskins name has thus from its origin represented a positive meaning distinct from any disparagement that could be viewed in some other context. For the team’s millions of fans and customers, who represent one of America’s most ethnically and geographically diverse fan bases, the name is a unifying force that stands for strength, courage, pride and respect.”

To me, that was a cop out. To me, what Goodell was really trying to say was “We know you don’t like the name, but you should be OK with it because we’re telling you we don’t mean it in a racist way.”

He clearly doesn’t see the problem. People don’t care whether its meant to be racist or not, they just want it gone.

President Barack Obama has also chimed in on the issue. “If I were the owner of the team and I knew that the name of my team, even if they’ve had a storied history, that was offending a sizable group of people, I’d think about changing it.”

Apparently, not even the opinion of the President can sway Snyder.

The Oneida Indian Nation conducted a poll, which concluded that 59 percent of adults in the Washington region say that Native Americans would have a right to feel offended if called “Redskin.”

That same poll also showed that 55 percent of people said it wouldn’t affect their support for the team if they did change their name, 25 percent said it would lessen their support, and 18 percent said it would increase their support.

So why is Snyder so against the name change? There is no clear explanation. If you ask me, Snyder needs to make an executive decision to do what is right for the fans, not what is right to him. He shouldn’t let the excuse of ruining “tradition” cause him to maintain a racist attitude.

I also believe that Roger Goodell is at fault. As the commissioner of an entity as large as the NFL, it should be his duty to overrule this type of racism and stick it to Snyder for the good of not only the Native American people but the good of the NFL as well.

For change to eventually take place, both Snyder and Goodell would have to be on board, which at this point seems nearly impossible.

So, I have a different solution.

The main issue here is part of the team’s fan base understandably wanting a change and the team’s owner being completely unethical and against it.

As commissioner of the NFL, Goodell doesn’t need to take a side, he can simply institute that the Redskins need to conduct a vote.

A fan vote could determine whether the name should be changed or not. If majority rules in favor of a change, fans could be given the chance to come up with ideas for a new team name. Fans could then vote for the top choices for a final decision.

I believe this is the fairest way to go about this issue. It doesn’t force anything upon anyone; it simply gives a team with a controversial name a chance to change it. If the decision is left purely up to Snyder, we may have to wait until the team is under different ownership before we see a change.


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