It is an outrage that a multi-billion-dollar organization represents a racial slur. The NFL team in Washington D.C. has decided to keep its name to maintain the history with its fans, rather than changing it to end its disrespect to Native Americans.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has finally addressed the outcry for a name change, while the team owner Dan Snyder has continued to ignore the situation.
“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,” Goodell wrote June 5. “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.”
The term “redskin” is offensive and insulting to an ethnic group. A team name like the Seminoles is adequate, because it represents an actual Native American tribe, and is approved by the tribal committee. Another name for just the generalization of Native Americans, such as the Braves, is also acceptable, for it symbolizes a noble warrior. It is similar to naming a team the Vikings, Musketeers, Spartans or Trojans.
With that being said, it was welcoming to hear Goodell having said this, “We have to do everything that’s necessary to make sure that we’re representing the franchise in a positive way . . . and that if we are offending one person, we need to be listening and making sure that we’re doing the right things to try to address that.”
But the thing is there is an untold number of people it is offending. Hopefully soon, the NFL and Snyder can come to an agreement on letting go of a name’s history, for it is a history of hurting people.