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Change the Damned Name

For all that is holy and good, change the damned name.

There’s a growing movement to pressure the reluctant owner of the Washington Redskins to change the name of the team, but Dan Snyder insists “WE WILL NEVER CHANGE THE NAME.” (I added the caps at his request).

Travis Waldron at Think Progress delves deep into the history of the team and the name in his article “The Epic Battle to Save the Most Offensive Name in Professional Sports,” going all the way back to the Carlisle Indian School (of cultural genocide).

True story, in an effort to win the PR battle, Dan Snyder hired, for real money despite earlier denials, as Jonathan Chait so artfully puts it, an “All-Star Team of Villains”:

LANNY “who’s paying you now?” DAVIS
and believe it or not, this is no joke line

I won’t get into the DC team’s recent history on the field but if this is the owner’s go-to fix-it team, you don’t even have to guess what their record is.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said he was listening carefully to the discussion but the name was meant to honor the American Indian.

To which the Oneida Nation Representative Ray Halbritter replied:

It is deeply troubling that with the Super Bowl happening on lands that once were home to Native Americans, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell would suggest that the dictionary-defined R-word racial slur against Native Americans is somehow a sign of honor. Commissioner Goodell represents a $9-billion brand with global reach, yet insists that it is somehow no big deal that his league uses those vast resources to promote this slur. In the process, he conveniently ignores all the social science research showing that the NFL’s promotion of this offensive word has serious cultural and psychological effects on native peoples. Worse, he cites the heritage of the team’s name without mentioning that the name was actually given to the team by one of America’s most famous segregationists, George Preston Marshall. Mr. Goodell also seems unaware that the R-word is an epithet that was screamed at Native Americans as they were forced at gunpoint off their lands. The fact that Mr. Goodell doesn’t seem to know any of this – or is deliberately ignoring it – suggests that for all his claims to be listening, he apparently isn’t listening at all.

Read Trayvon Waldron for the facts and the article by Jonathan Chait because it’s tasty delicious. And press to make them Change the Mascot.

H/T for the video from our friend Rick Murnane


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