Blog #4 Redskins

There has been a good deal of speculation and argument over the usage of Native-American referred names in relation to profession and collegiate sports teams throughout the past century. There has been a lot done to change certain names that where flat out offensive, however, the Washington Redskins name has still not been touched despite a good deal of conflict. There is plenty of debate over this name for both sides of whether it should be kept or changed. Many that argue it should be kept say that it has nothing to do with anything besides that sports team and it only refers to the team and nothing else. As long as the name isn’t meant to be derogatory towards the Native people there shouldn’t be anyone thinking that it is. On the other hand, arguments for the removal of the name are that it is in fact offensive using a name that has racist origins. All in all there are many different ways that this situation could be argued and there may not be a legitimate answer.

As it says in the Sports Illustrated “The Indian Wars” article, when Native people have been polled and asked whether or not they think the name should be changed, majority have been supportive for keeping the name. Even though it is pretty obvious that the name has a racial background it is hard to enforce this argument when actual Native-American people think that the name is not offensive and that it should be kept. Personally, with these kinds of results there shouldn’t be much argument for changing the name when the actual people that are effected by the name support keeping it.

A strong quote from the Indian Wars article was from Billy Mills when he said,”a team named Redskins in the capital of the nation that committed genocide against Native Americans is the equivalent of a soccer team in Germany being called the Berlin Kikes.” This is a very powerful quote and it can put the Redskins situation into perspective. It may not be as extreme as being compared to Nazi Germany but it is very similar. However, even though this is a valid point the article also shows that the name of sports teams isn’t meant to refer to anything but the team itself.

At the end of the day my personal answer to the question of should the Redskins name be changed is no. Changing the name of this team really won’t change much. The name will always be there and won’t be erased from history. People will always know that this team name existed. There is not an overwhelming support group rising up and rioting trying to get the name to be changed and until something like that happens I don’t see a change happening. At the end of the day these are sports teams that are being dealt with and there is certainly zero intent that the their names are trying to imply racism or disgrace toward Native Americans.


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