Here’s how you know the name “Redskins” isn’t a slur against a conquered and marginalized people but is actually a part of the NFL’s long tradition of diversity and inclusion, on and off the field: a league spokesman said, “The intent of the team’s name has always been to present a strong, positive, and respectful image.”
Exactly. It’s not like they’re called the “Injuns,” or the “Savages,” or the “Inferior Race of People Who Couldn’t Stop the White Man’s Invasion.” It’s Redskins, as in the color of skin most of those people have. I mean, look at the helmet! Reddish skin is an honest description. Just like if you had a team of African Masai warriors, you could accurately call them the “Blackskins.” Or “Brownskins” if you’re not worried about being confused with the team from Cleveland.
The owner of the Redskins, an extraordinarily compassionate gentleman named Daniel Snyder, has vowed that he’ll never change the team’s name. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell stands beside him. In May, 50 U.S. Senators asked the Commish to support a name change. They said that supporters of the nickname “Redskins” were “on the wrong side of history.”
Really? Daniel Snyder knows history. He’s a Jew. Or at least he looks like one, with that nose of his. He knows what it’s like to be called a hebe or a kike. He knows how hurtful certain words can be. If he’s decided that “Redskins” is not a hurtful word, who are we to contradict him?
What could be better than “Redskins”? You wouldn’t want to root for the Washington Casino Owners.
We ask all the sensitive types who want the name changed: Have you got in mind a sobriquet that’s more strong, positive, and respectful than Redskins? “Braves” — already taken, so you’d almost have to get out of the whole American Indian realm, wouldn’t you? And we can all agree that the Washington Bureaucrats just doesn’t have the same sizzle.
So Redskins it is for now and forever. That’s the way tradition works: People keep doing the same thing because it’s essentially the best thing – which is obvious, because everybody does it. Unlike a tradition of slavery, or imperialism, or of being a loser team that never wins anything, the ongoing use of Redskins is one of those beautiful American traditions we can all be proud of.