Final Thoughts

Lately the Washington Redskins have been facing a lot of pressure to change their name.  The fact is though, that they absolutely do not have to change their name.  No matter how personally offended some Native Americans may feel, it is something that does not and should not have to be changed.  The Washington Redskins have been proudly displaying their name and logo since 1937 and will continue to do so.  Our nation’s history began with the Native Americans and the Washington Redskins is a football team dedicated to honoring their heritage.  It has been proven that most Native Americans do not find the name offense at all and are actually in favor of the team’s name, “According to the Redskins, the team has already received many emails from those of Native American descent stating their support of the team’s name. The Redskins also have presented a 2004 survey that found that over 90 percent of Native Americans were not offended by the name” (Parini).  As time continues, I feel more people look for things to complain about which is why this whole controversy has come back into the public eye.  A very small group of people decided they found the name Redskins offensive and wanted it to be changed, but the fact is that the term “Redskin” has never been proven as a racial slur used against Indians back in colonial times. I personally feel these people are just looking for something to complain about and looking for a way to get publicity, “The hurt feelings of a small amount of individuals should not take priority over a large majority who see it otherwise. As stated previously, there are many individuals of Native American descent who do not see the name as offensive but rather as a tribute” (Parini).

When it comes down to it, the Washington Redskins exemplify what it means to be a true all-American football team.  They have been battered and bruised, yet continue to fight game after game, season after season.  The Redskins have the same fighting spirit as our Native American ancestors who helped America to become what it is today.  I say let us keep the good ole’ American battle between the Cowboys and Indians going on.  Hail to the Redskins and may they forever fight on.

Parini, Jason. “Despite Calls from Congress, ‘Skins Shouldn’t Change Name.”Bleacher Report. N.p., 10 Feb. 2014. Web. 02 July 2014.

From the Other Side

For the most part I am dead set in my ways and I do not agree when it comes to changing the name of the Washington Redskins to something more suitable for today’s society.  After doing some research though, I have found that many people have taken it upon their selves to create a different name and logo for the Redskins.  Even though I will never agree to change the name of the Redskins, I feel it is at least important to look at other options.  I may be as hard-headed as Dan Snyder when it comes to the name changing controversy, but I do like to see what people have come up with as an alternative.

On USA Today’s sports website there is an article ranking 13 of the alternative names for the Washington Redskins.  Each name is ranked from worst to best and given a reason why or why not the name would work.  At the bottom of the list if the “Washington Griffons” which I thoroughly believe deserves to be at the bottom.  This specific name gives too much power to RG3 who has only played on the team for two seasons where he spent a lot of time not playing the game due to his injury.  Another name that appears of the list is the “Washington Americans”.  This specific name does sound better than the Griffons and since Washington DC is the capitol of the United States the name makes sense.  On the other hand though, I do not feel it captures the pride of the Washington Redskins and Americans might be a very high standard to live up to.  On the top of the list is the name “Washington Football Club”.  I personally do not even see how this could even be a name of an NFL team, but Chris Chase feels differently, “So how do you make a major loss feel like a minor win? You don’t change the name at all. You just remove it. The Washington Football Club would be a trailblazing name for a major American sports team. All other teams have nicknames. Washington would be the first to go that route. It sounds cool, even if it has the stuffy pretentiousness of soccer. It also doesn’t alienate the many fans who will be upset at the change (and there will be many), the fans who have spent thousands of dollars over the past few decades accumulating Redskins gear. In Snyder’s eyes, it could allow the name to live on, if only in absentia” (Chase).  Even though the name does make some sense, I still do not believe this would be the most suitable option.

If I absolutely had to choose a name off of Chase’s list of alternative names, I would pick the name, “Washington Renegades”.  I feel this specific name sounds the most similar and still has Southern appeal.  Also, if this name were to be chosen, the Redskins could still use their classis “R” logo everyone knows.  Overall though, I completely agree with Dan Snyder and never changing the name of the Washington Redskins.  When it comes down to it, it is who they have been, who they are, and who they will remain to be.  May the name of the Washington Redskins live on forever.

Chase, Chris. “Ranking the 13 Best Nicknames to Replace ‘Redskins'” For The Win. USA Today, 18 June 2014. Web. 02 July 2014. 

From a Player’s Perspective

When it comes to controversy, people who are involved usually stay quiet, but some football players are beginning to speak out.  Over this past year, many people have been discussing whether or not the name “Redskins” is actually offensive, including some important football players.  Joe Theismann is a Washington Redskins legend and very well known in the National Football League.  He is known as the star quarterback who took the Redskins to victory in the 1982 Super Bowl against the Miami Dolphins.  Theismann has recently decided to speak out about the controversy revolving around the Washington Redskins and his views on the name Washington Redskins differs from most people’s.  He looks upon the name as a name that honors the Native Americans of our past and our of our present.  When Theismann recently spoke out about the topic he discussed how wore the Redskins jersey and logo with pride because of its all-American routes, ““I was very proud to play for the Washington Redskins, and I did it to honor native people in that regard. I think sometimes people perceive words in their own particular way. What happens, what Mr. Snyder decides to do is totally up to him. I can just tell you that when I put that uniform on, and I put that helmet on with the Redskin logo on it, I felt like I was representing more than the Washington Redskins. I was representing the great Native American nations that exist in this country” (Fox Sports).  I really think what Theimann said is important to take note of because he sheds positive light upon a. name that some find disparaging.

Theismann has been one of the few football players to actually comment on their feelings about the name Washington Redskins, but Robert Griffon III did say a few words pertaining to the subject recently.  Like most NFL football players, RG3 knows it is better to keep his opinions to himself regarding big controversies like the one the Redskins are going through now.  RG3 did however though vaguely discussed the topic stating the following, “When it comes to those conversations, it’s just not the time,” Griffin said, via CBS DC. “And I understand, trust me, I’m African American, I’ve grown up being African American my entire life and I understand oppression and all the things that come with it” (Wilson).  Also, RG3 discussed how football players need to focus on what is important and that is football.  When it comes down to it, it does not matter the name of the team, but the history the team has been through and future they have to come.  Football is a sport of passion and dedication and the players must focus on playing the game, “”But for us, like I said, as players, we have to control what we can control right now, and right now that’s the football season. If anything to that extent came up as a player, and you had an opportunity to be the Muhammad Ali of your generation, when it comes to oppression and just things being wrong — my parents grew up in that time, I’ve heard stories about it, I’ve watched movies about it; I understand that — and if it comes to that, then you make a decision at that time, but at this time particularly, we have to focus on what we can control. –Robert Griffon III” (Wilson).  Overall, I truly believe that most players, if not all, do support the Redskins in keeping their name alive, but do not want to risk bad publicity for speaking out on the issue.  All in all, football is what Americans want to see and the players need to focus on keeping their minds clear knowing that they are trying to show that the almighty Washington Redskins will persevere in the end.

“Theismann: Skins Name Is Meaningful.” FOX Sports. N.p., 2 June 2014. Web. 30 June 2014.

Wilson, Ryan. “RG3: ‘It’s Just Not Time’ to Speak about Redskins Name Controversy.” CBSSports.com. CBS, 21 June 2014. Web. 30 June 2014.

We Are All Free Here

What has our nation come to? I thought we lived where democracy was the way of life, not totalitarianism.  Freedom of speech is one of the main amendments to the US Constitution that all people across America have come to know.  Freedom of Speech can be found in the Freedom of Expression Amendment which does not segregate, it defends all persons of the United States, including sports teams, “The First Amendment of the United States Constitution protects the right to freedom of religion and freedom of expression from government interference. Freedom of expression consists of the rights to freedom of speech, press, assembly and to petition the government for a redress of grievances, and the implied rights of association and belief” (Cornell).  It is important to note that the Redskins can and will remain the Redskins because they have every right to be called by the name and in the end they do not have to change names thanks to the First Amendment.

The name Redskins does not imply a negative racial slur, yet it exemplifies pride and perseverance.  The football players proudly wear the Redskins logo across their helmet because they know they are playing for a team who has made great football players throughout the generations.  The name Redskins defines the football players, not the Native American population of the US.  People are finally realizing enough is enough and beginning to step up and defend the name of the Redskins.  In the past week, lawmakers from around Virginia formed the “Redskins Pride Caucus” to show their support for keeping the name, “”This is also about making sure that we protect our businesses, and be a voice for them to say ‘we’re not just going to let you get beaten up by Washington,'” added Loudon Republican Del. David Ramadan” (USA Today).  The Caucus does not plan to take any legal action, but instead gather more support from Virginians who also do not want to see the Redskins change their name, “the lawmakers say their group would support “commercial freedom” in Virginia and oppose what they call Congress’ “inappropriate involvement” in issues related to the Redskins” (Reilly).  As time goes on people all over Virginia are realizing that this issue of the name change has gotten way out of hand and that it is time to shut it down.  Virginia is a part of the United States meaning the people here have the freedom of speech, press, and assembly.  I personally look forward to the impact the Redskins Pride Caucus will have on the name change controversy in the near future.

“First Amendment.” LII / Legal Information Institute. Cornell University Law School, n.d. Web. 29 June 2014.

Reilly, Mollie. “Virginia Lawmakers Are Forming A ‘Redskins Pride Caucus'” The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, 23 June 2014. Web. 29 June 2014.

“Va. Lawmakers Form ‘Redskins Pride Caucus'” USA Today. Gannett, 23 June 2014. Web. 29 June 2014.

We Care Too Much

After reading through a few articles, it has come to my attention that most Native Americans do not find the name Redskins offensive, yet the “white” people of this nation are the ones causing all the ruckus.  Throughout this country, the people who are fighting for the name change because it is racially offensive are actually the ones who are digging a deeper hole.  The name Redskins has never been proven that the white settlers used it in a derogatory way and that it was actually the Native Americans who used it as a way to identify themselves.  Most of them look upon the name as a name on honor and how are we as Americans to be the ones to tell them that Redskins is actually offensive when they could seem to care less? I loved the way Rick Reilly discussed this situation in his article titled, “Have the People Spoken?” where he stated, “For the majority of Native Americans who don’t care, we’ll care for them. For the Native Americans who haven’t asked for help, we’re glad to give it to them.  Trust us. We know what’s best. We’ll take this away for your own good, and put up barriers that protect you from ever being harmed again.  Kind of like a reservation.” (Reilly).  Reilly makes a legitimate point that people are trying to right something that was never wrong and trying to protect them from harm which is just like putting them on a reservation.  Not only has this discussion been between the people and the sports world though, now even President Obama seems like he needs to add some insight to the discussion.

First off, I do not believe that Obama needs to personally get involved with this specific controversy because he is the President of the United States, not of the NFL.  Just recently, Obama decided to strip the trademark for the Washington Redskins leaving them without the power to officially own the name and allowing other people to use it how they would like.  Yes this sucks and was unneeded, but all the Redskins have to do is appeal the ban on their trademark to get it back and it is something that has been done before.  Rush Limbaugh makes a valid point in his article, “You take away private property rights and you may as well take away the right to free speech.  And that’s exactly what has happened here to the Washington Redskins” (Limbaugh).  feel strongly that Obama needs to stop worrying about this subject and concentrate on the bigger issues our great country is facing, like the fact that soldiers are still overseas or the fact that many Americans do not have jobs because they are all being shipped overseas to China.  I know this particular topic probably came across Obama’s mind while he was golfing, since that seems to be what he doing with most of his time anyways, but he needs to let the NFL owners deal with it on their own.  All in all, the Washington Redskins has been a name of pride for 81 years now and I personally believe that Obama should not be getting involved in the controversy and if Native Americans do not find it offensive than no one should.

“Obama Regime Strips Redskins Trademark – The Rush Limbaugh Show.” RSS.  Web. 26 June 2014. 

Rick Reilly. “Have the People spoken?” ESPN. ESPN Internet Ventures, 18 Sept. 2013. Web. 26 June 2014.

Why Now?

I understand that the issue with the name of the Washington
Redskins has been around for quite a while, but why is it just now starting to reappear?

Last year, in 2013, a group of Native Americans began campaigning and picketing outside of stadiums about how the way Native Americans were being portrayed in a negative way, which grabbed the attention of the media.  Since then there has been a rise in the headlines about changing the name of the Redskins to something less “racist”, even though the connotation of the name does not derive from anything offensive.  After gaining national attention, people have been voicing their opinions and concerns about this specific subject.  The owner of the Washington Redskins, Daniel Snyder, recently spoke out about the name change saying that the team will “NEVER” change its name because he believes, “our team name captures the best of who we are” (Dyke).  I fully agree with Snyder on the fact that the Redskins is who the team is and also on the fact that the do not have to change their name.  When it comes down to it, people can either look at the name offensively or look at it as the name of a multiple championship winning, nationally recognized, source of revenue for Virginia, and all around best NFL team out there.  I personally believe the Redskins have every reason to stay the Redskins, it is who the team is for goodness sakes.

The other factor that really irks me about this specific topic, is that there are so many other professional teams out there that have “offensive” names, yet nobody is trying to get them changed.  What about the New York Yankees or the Dallas Cowboys?  How about the Cleveland Indians or Atlanta Braves?  Some people find these names to be offensive, but in reality the percentage of people who do is very small and this same fact also pertains to the Redskins.  I would bet that there are more Redskins fans out there than there is Native Americans who find the name “Washington Redskins” to be offensive. To me, people now-a-days find the negative in almost everything they can and when they do this they try and change things that do not need to be changed.  Especially in today’s society, if people can pick out the negative in something they will try and get it changed to the way that is more suitable for them, but may not be for other people.  When it comes down to it, I strongly believe that we as a country need to forget about changing the name of the Redskins and leaving them to be the strong fighting football warriors we have to come to know and love them by.

“Redskins Owner Will Not Change Team Name, Sets Up Foundation To Address “Genuine” Native American Issues.” BuzzFeed. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 June 2014.

 

The Washington Redskins Name Controversy

The topic I will be focusing in on for my blog with be the name controversy dealing with the Washington Redskins.  A name change for the football team has been a topic of discussion for many years,
but lately it has resurfaced and has made itself prevalent in today’s news.  The name “Redskins” is apparently offensive to Native Americans in the United States because it derives from people scalping Indians for money which therefore left the skin on their head red with blood (Adler).  Although many Americans do not find the name offensive, there has been a strong moveblogggggment to change the name of the team.

As a diehard Redskins fan, I choose this topic because it really aggravates me that people want to change everything about the Redskins.  I cannot express it enough about how annoyed and angry I get when I hear the topic of discussion about changing the name, especially lately.  During these past few days I have been ranting about why the Redskins should remain with their name because it has reappeared in the news again thanks to Obama.  This blog comes at perfect time for me to research more about the topic and argue for keeping the traditional name of the Washington Redskins the Redskins.  I thoroughly believe that a name change is unnecessary and in the end it is not something the team has to do.  As time goes on, I really feel people find in worst in everything and get so upset about things that should not cause such a scene.  This being said, I personally feel it would be completely stupid, sorry for my language, to change to the name of the Washington Redskins. This specific blog I hope will influence not only Redskins fans, but football fans in general and any American that would like to keep the history of our great nation alive.

“60 Years Of Shocking Redskins Headlines.” BuzzFeed. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 June 2014.

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