I knew it would happen when the Washington Redskins football team came to Phoenix recently to play the Arizona Cardinals. Sure enough, there were protestors out in force although not as many as I thought there would be; maybe 100. Maybe it’s because Washington team owner Daniel Snyder has steadfastly repeated that he will never change the name of the team. Good for him; the Washington franchise has been the Redskins since 1932 when they played in Boston. The team was moved to Washington in 1937 and remained the Redskins.
I don’t see what all the controversy is about. A poll taken within the last year said that 79% of those interviewed saw nothing wrong with the name. Plus, the name has been around for a long time and it is only in recent years that problems have evolved. I would blame a lot of it on the liberal mentality that we have to put up with in this country; especially since Obama has become president. Of course, he dislikes the name as does liberal publications like Slate and Huffington Post. Also, Bob Costas of NBC derided Snyder last year for not changing the name. Does anyone care what Bob Costas thinks?
The Arizona Republic has also joined in with some sportswriters failing to recognize the name so they just call them the Washington team. It’s a real mature group down there; aren’t you impressed at what sensitivity they have?
Smithsonian linguist Ives Goddard has shown that “European settlers in the 18th century seem to have adopted the term from Native Americans, who used ‘red skin’ to describe themselves, and it was generally a descriptor, not an insult.” What do you think of that, Costas?
It seems like sensitivity rules these days. With the liberal mindset that has become entrenched in some groups, there is very little that one can say or do without offending someone else. These people are taking themselves way too seriously. The Cleveland Indians American League baseball team has been under fire for some time over their depiction of a mascot called “Chief Wahoo.” The Atlanta Braves have had similar demonstrations over the term “Braves” and many years ago the Stanford University Indians changed their name to “The Cardinal” to avoid further criticism from some tribes.
It’s a good thing these people didn’t live a few years ago when nicknames were given to almost everyone. The difference between then and now is that people were a lot more mature in those days and were able to laugh at themselves. Those who wore eyeglasses were many times called “4 eyes” or “seal beams” with the latter referring to a car’s headlights. I heard those terms aimed at me a lot during Air Force basic training along with other niceties. Others like me took those insults like a grain of salt as they were expected. At 6-5 in height I wish I had a dollar for every time someone asked me how the weather was up there.
If you have a problem with team names, just remember the mascot of the U. of California Santa Cruz. They are called the "Banana Slugs" and I've yet to hear any banana slugs complain.
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