ONTD Political

Washington D.C. Mayor wants Redskins to discuss name change

2:31 pm - 01/10/2013
If the Washington Redskins ever want to return to the city of D.C., the team will need to seriously consider changing its name.

That was the message sent by D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray, following a press conference Wednesday. Gray said that the team, which lost to the Seattle Seahawks in the NFC wild-card game Sunday, must consider a name change if it is serious about moving from FedEx Field in Landover, Md., to a stadium inside D.C. proper, according to Yahoo! Sports.

“I think that if they get serious with the team coming back to Washington, there’s no doubt there’s going to have to be a discussion about that,” Gray said, according to the Washington Post. "I think it has become a lightning rod, and I would be love to be able to sit down with the team … and see if a change should be made. There’s a precedent for this, and I think there needs to be a dispassionate discussion about this, and do the right thing.”

For decades, the team name has been a controversial issue. Some call the "Redskins" moniker nothing short of a racial slur. Others argue that the team's name, which dates back to the 1930s, is tradition and does not need to be changed. In 1992, a quarter century after the name was formally trademarked, a group of Native Americans filed a disparagement lawsuit against the brand, reports the Christian Science Monitor. The suit was dismissed in 2009, when the Supreme Court declined to hear the case, but calls have continued for the team's current owner, Dan Snyder, to approve a name change.

In October, the D.C.'s alternative weekly, the Washington City Paper, announced it would no longer print the team's official name, which the publication said was a "pejorative term for Native Americans." After an online reader poll, the City Paper began referring to the team as the Washington Pigskins.

Snyder, however, remains unswayed.

If the pro football team were to change its name, the organization would join a growing list of sports teams that have already ditched the name. For example, The Monitor reports that between 1991 and 2008, 11 high schools and two colleges stopped using the name Redskins for their teams.


What do you think? Extreme political correctness or justified discussion considering many think the name is derogatory toward Native Americans?
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roseofjuly 11th-Jan-2013 02:58 am (UTC)
Others argue that the team's name, which dates back to the 1930s, is tradition and does not need to be changed.

This argument doesn't even make sense. Just because it's old (which is really what they mean by tradition) doesn't mean it's okay. In 1930 it was also tradition to lynch black people at barbecues and deny women admission into universities and jobs.
gretchystretchy 11th-Jan-2013 03:02 am (UTC)
This needed to have happened years ago. Our local paper (the KC Star) won't use it, actually - they always just refer to the team as Washington.
sihaya09 11th-Jan-2013 04:59 pm (UTC)
That's awesome.
oceandezignz 11th-Jan-2013 03:11 am (UTC)
Not everything that's old is good, slavery's old as hell - not exactly a good thing.

They should just suck it up and do it. Its been coming, so they gotta get it over with.
paksenarrion2 11th-Jan-2013 04:13 am (UTC)
My high school used to be the Redskins until they changed the name to the Red Storm. I don't remember when they made the change but it was sometime in the early or mid nineties. (I graduated in 1982) There was no big controversy or anything, the school just said it was time and the right thing to do.

I do think they could have picked a better name than the Red Storm though....

teacup_werewolf 11th-Jan-2013 03:34 am (UTC)
This needed to happen years ago, Cleveland needs to do the same with their baseball team.
anjak_j 11th-Jan-2013 03:41 am (UTC)
I would also like to see the tomahawk and other Native American aspects of the Braves logo changed as well.
zinnia_rose 11th-Jan-2013 03:41 am (UTC)
This is waaaaaay overdue. The name is racist and cringe-inducing and needs to go.
gailmom 11th-Jan-2013 03:53 am (UTC)
My first thought was this: If it was the "Washington Negros" there wouldn't be any doubt about it needing to change, so obvious would be the wrong. so why is their argument about it when it is a term Native Americans find derogatory? It should be just as obvious it is wrong and should be changed.
keeni84 TW: RACISM AND FUCKED UP RACIST LANGUAGE11th-Jan-2013 02:52 pm (UTC)
"Washington Negros" there wouldn't be any doubt about it needing to change, so obvious would be the wrong.

The reason why we don't have the "Washington Negroes/Negros" is because white people saw nothing honorable about black people. In white peoples' twisted, disgusting, racist minds, black people were lazy, drunks, sexually promiscuous, intellectually inferior and basically subhuman. Hence, we don't really have sports teams named after black people.

On the other hand, white people saw Native Americans as warriors, with a never-ending fighting spirit. Native Americans were simplistically aggressive, powerful foes. These fucked-up stereotypes led to many white sports teams naming themselves after the very people they tried so hard to subjugate/eradicate.

Instead of making teams like the Washington Negroes, white people decided to humor themselves by naming various places after black people. Hence, we still have places affectionately referred to as Niggerhead/Nigger Creek/Nigger Lake and actual places called Negrotown and Negro Bill Canyon (I'm guessing these names were changed from "nigger" to reflect U.S. policy in the 1960s.)

So when you say it's "obvious" that no one would accept the "Washington Negros" I agree with you. But it's not for the point that you think you're making.

TL;DR: Don't use the situation of black people to illustrate why racism against Native Americans is not okay.
wikilobbying 11th-Jan-2013 03:55 am (UTC)
"it's tradition" is one of the worst excuses used to support and maintain offensive crap. and at the end of the day, when you consider everything that goes along with a sports team name, it's more than the name. sports teams whose names reference native americans one way or another typically come with a whole slew of racist imagery, cheers, merch, etc. it comes with fans dressing up in "war paint" and "war bonnets" doing the "tomahawk chop" (not sure if the last one is a washington thing, but it's been used by fans of teams like the atlanta braves). and while these teams use native imagery, references, slurs, and stereotypes, how many natives get a chunk of the profits those teams are generating from all that? so no, i don't think wanting teams to change their name is ~political correctness gone mad~ if that name and associated imagery is racist.
etherealtsuki 11th-Jan-2013 04:35 am (UTC)
It's not a thing with the Skins, but it's definitely a thing with the Kansas City Chiefs.

I do like there's a section of Skins fans who refer as the Pigskins, which IMO, would be a perfect name change considering.
teacoat 11th-Jan-2013 04:06 am (UTC)
Personally, I prefer the Yo Is This Racist solution.

In all seriousness, though, yeah, this is ridiculous and should definitely be changed. Besides, a name change could be a huge publicity boost for the team, especially coming off of one of their best seasons in quite a few years.
encircleme 11th-Jan-2013 04:54 am (UTC)

sorry, clarification time LOL @ the Yo Is This Racist solution. I <3 Yo Is This Racist.

Edited at 2013-01-11 04:54 am (UTC)
goreplz 11th-Jan-2013 04:07 am (UTC)
Totally. Yes. For once I agree with Mayor Gray.
My brother and mother don't see a problem with the name. I was trying to tell them how just because they don't think it's offensive doesn't mean that it isn't offensive. My dad hates the name and thinks it should be changed. We live in DC btw.
ljtaylor 11th-Jan-2013 11:39 am (UTC)
yup, gotta say every time I see or hear the words "political correctness gone mad" it makes me cringe
underfiend 11th-Jan-2013 04:21 am (UTC)
It's about damned time.
astridmyrna 11th-Jan-2013 04:36 am (UTC)
nesmith 11th-Jan-2013 05:31 am (UTC)
I would love to see the Chiefs, Braves, Indians, Redskins, and any others go. I hate seeing them and hate seeing other pasty-ass white people trying to defend their right to use them.

But the real say is with those who are hurt by these images.
shadwing 11th-Jan-2013 01:52 pm (UTC)
In the case of the Cheif's the name isn't in relation to Native American's but in honor of a KC Mayor whose nickname was 'Cheif' I believe.

Ah here we go- From Wikipedia-

"The name, "Chiefs" is not only derived from a fan contest, but also from Mayor Bartle, who 35 years prior, founded the Native American-based honor society known as The Tribe of Mic-O-Say within the Boy Scouts of America organization, which earned him the nickname, "The Chief."[2]"

They have abolished the original NA on Horseback mascot they had, replaced by 'KC Wolf'
bananainpyjamas 11th-Jan-2013 05:33 am (UTC)
I am a huge 'Skins fan and want very much for them to change their name. I'm glad Gray is taking this step (though TBH I don't know if the team is all that serious about moving back to DC proper). Unfortunately Dan Synder (the team owner) is an entitled idiot and would probably never go for it.
thatdamnninja 11th-Jan-2013 05:40 am (UTC)

It's 2013. Time to change that shit.
thewhowhatwhats 11th-Jan-2013 05:40 am (UTC)
It's racial objectification. I'd like to see them change the name to the whiteskins with an angry white man mascot.
chibi_lurrel 11th-Jan-2013 05:50 am (UTC)
The worst part of the 'Skins winning was that Dan Snyder had happiness in his life.

Also I had to explain to a friend over Christmas that this was, in fact, a super offensive name. So let's get to changin'.
ennifer_jay 11th-Jan-2013 07:05 am (UTC)
yes pls

I side-eyed the Thanksgiving Day Game: Redskins vs. Cowboys. 99% probability it was accidental, but seriously y'all?
bananainpyjamas 11th-Jan-2013 07:15 am (UTC)
What do you mean by accidental? 'Skins-Boys is a classic rivalry and people purposefully play up the "cowboys and indians" aspect of it. Having it on Thanksgiving was probably seen as a bonus.
maenads_dance 11th-Jan-2013 08:08 am (UTC)
"Many think"???
tabaqui 11th-Jan-2013 12:23 pm (UTC)
Hello, no-brainer. Just change it, already. I don't follow sports - do they still have that incredibly unattractive and gross 'Indian face' as their logo or whatever? Or was that somebody else?
imnotasquirrel 11th-Jan-2013 02:39 pm (UTC)
YES, change it. Tradition is no excuse.

[insert something about the Fighting Irish here]

Edited at 2013-01-11 04:35 pm (UTC)
wrestlingdog 11th-Jan-2013 04:45 pm (UTC)
'Bout damn time.
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