NFL "Redskins" Name Change and Issues of Race

Discussion in 'Other Sports' started by jenny12, Aug 3, 2013.

  1. jenny12

    jenny12 Well-Known Member

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    Recently, Riley Cooper of The Philadelphia Eagles was recorded on camera saying the N-word. He has since apologized and it doesn't seem there will be an extra discipline. However, this incident has brought up another issue that NFL has with using the term "Redskin" for one of its team names. There has been a movement to get the name changed, but the NFL seems stubborn in its position of keeping it the same. I think "Redskin" is offensive for reasons that have been made clear by many groups, but the I don't think the NFL will be changing any time soon. I just wonder how others feel about whether Cooper's punishment was enough and whether or not the team mascot of "Redskins" should be changed.

    http://www.nbcwashington.com/blogs/...-Riley-Cooper-N-Word-Eagles-Redskins-NFL.html
     
  2. Buzz

    Buzz Well-Known Member

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    I think the name should be changed.
     
  3. Cloudy_Gumdrops

    Cloudy_Gumdrops New Member

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    I don't see what the big deal about the name is. I'm half Chippewa myself and, at least where I'm from, the people just don't get up in arms about sports mascot invoking native themes.
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2013
  4. Rob

    Rob Beach Bum

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    Being a Redskins fan, I have mixed feelings. The name was meant to invoke strength and power. But we wouldn't have teams named the Blackies, or the Whiteys, or the Yellowmen. I would not, in conversation, refer to Native Americans as redskins or redskinned. So I would lean in favor of a name adjustment. That said, the logo is not a parody or cartoonish like Chief Wahoo or even like the Atlanta Braves signature tomahawk chop. And I thought it silly when the NCAA made FSU get rid of its Seminole mascot that was designed by the Seminole tribe. Still, I keep coming back to the fact that we wouldn't name a team the Blackskins, Whiteskins, or Yellowskins.
     
  5. Theatregirl1122

    Theatregirl1122 Well-Known Member

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    Redskins is also a racial slur in a way that "whiteskins" would not be. It's significantly more like calling your team "the Washington n-words" (without the abbreviation, of course)

    In the end, whether or not everyone is uncomfortable, it's not really okay to use a race as your team mascot, especially not a racial slur for that race, and especially not when a significant number of people of that race have expressed anger over it. This should not be a conversation. When someone tells you something is offensive to them, the appropriate response is "oh really? I didn't realize. We'll stop." Not I HAVE THE RIGHT TO CALL MY TEAM WHATEVER I WANT! TRADITION!

    The question for me always comes down to why people are so dead set on holding on to this name.
     
  6. BlueRidge

    BlueRidge AYS's snark-sponge

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    There has been more movement on this recently than there has been in a long time. I think that people are starting to accept that the name should be changed. Another 20 years and perhaps it even will be.

    I have lived in DC more than 50 years and I've always hated the name. I hope I do live to see it changed.
     
  7. snoopy

    snoopy Team St. Petersburg

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    I used to be “whatever” to these arguments. But agal posted (a long time ago),why this was important. It was less about using an offensive term and more about native American communities having the ability to control their own image, rather than having it be controlled by a people that almost annihilated them. I liken it to, say, some movie star or athlete wanting to control the use of her name and image, and not wanting someone commercializing / profiting off of it with her consent. Her argument went deeper than that but "owning my own name" was a big part of what I got out of it. I found it a very valid argument.
     
  8. Coco

    Coco Well-Known Member

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    What's the history of the Washington NFL team's logo? Can't they just be known as the ___________ (whatever the tribe of the man depicted in their logo is)?
     
  9. Dr.Siouxs

    Dr.Siouxs Well-Known Member

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    According to my research, :COP: Washington is home to over twenty (current and historical) tribes.

    The Washington Kwalhioqua :encore::inavoid:
     
  10. jenny12

    jenny12 Well-Known Member

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    There have been precedents for a pro sports team changing its name as well with the NBA's Washington Bullets changing to the Washington Wizards. The name change I think was because of gun violence in the DC area and while I think there were probably grounds for that change, changing the name of a team that seems to be considered a slur for some seems like an even more convincing reason.
     
  11. skatingfan5

    skatingfan5 Well-Known Member

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    The former "Bullets" were originally a Baltimore team, so alliteration probably at least partially accounts for the name choice back when the franchise began. I agree that Washington's NFL team name is overdue for a change and I cringe whenever I see Cleveland's Chief Wahoo caricature.
     
  12. BlueRidge

    BlueRidge AYS's snark-sponge

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    Gun violence was the reason for the change, but IIRC, the impetus for the change came from the team owner Abe Pollan so it was a lot different than trying to push for a team to change its name when the ownership doesn't want to.

    No one likes the name Wizards. :shuffle:

    I've always advocated changing the logo for the Washington NFL team. I figure if you change it from the native American motif to a potato, then the name ceases to be offensive and becomes based on redskin potatos. I think this would make for a great logo for a football team. And fans could come dressed as potato heads!

    For some reason, I can't get this idea taken seriously.
     
    CantALoop, Jem X, gkelly and 2 others like this.
  13. NinjaTurtles

    NinjaTurtles Teenage Mutant

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    :lol: I noticed everyone was really excited when they changed the jerseys to resemble the old Bullets uniforms.

    Weren't the Redskins initially called the "Braves?" I wonder if that is a more palatable change for the team and fans?
     
  14. milanessa

    milanessa engaged to dupa

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    Here you go, BR.

    http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl...9N7SCyAHF_IGgBg&sqi=2&ved=0CEwQ9QEwBQ&dur=555

    I'm not so sure Washington state will be so thrilled, though.
     
  15. BigB08822

    BigB08822 Well-Known Member

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    The New Orleans Hornets just changed their name. I don't remember to what. :shuffle:
     
  16. BlueRidge

    BlueRidge AYS's snark-sponge

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  17. Coco

    Coco Well-Known Member

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    Someone I worked with in DC wanted the Bullets' name changed to the Justice. Think about it - they would play on the Supreme Court and when the ref blew the whistle, all the lawyers in the crowd could stand up and yell, "I object!"
     
  18. jenny12

    jenny12 Well-Known Member

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    I think that would've been a lot better than Wizards. :lol:

    Thanks BlueRidge for the background of the Bullets to Wizards change. Yeah, it does seem far different considering the owner of the Redskins seems very firm in his belief the name should be kept. I guess if there's a change, it will probably come internally.

    New Orleans Hornets changed their name to Pelicans to reflect Louisiana's state bird.
     
  19. Rob

    Rob Beach Bum

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    Lol I love the redskin potatoes! So many of the players are shaped like potatoes, it works! I was thinking they could be the Pigskins. That would probably send the PETA people into the streets.

    I wanted the Wizards to be the Power but some other team got that name later. Another suggested name that was funny was the Washington Monuments. The basketball players resemble the Washington Monument. But they let kids vote so we got the Wizards. Perhaps a little better than the runner up name which I think was the Seagulls.
     
  20. Vash01

    Vash01 Fan of Julia, Elena, Anna, Liza, and Vera

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    Pelicans
     
  21. Rob

    Rob Beach Bum

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    Way too Atlanta Braves, plus that name invokes the war chant and tomahawk chop I loathe. Not sure if it is any less offensive.
     
  22. BlueRidge

    BlueRidge AYS's snark-sponge

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  23. Skittl1321

    Skittl1321 Well-Known Member

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    It at least isn't as much of a slur. But the useage of the image, and the stereotypical chanting and tomahawking, doesn't help at all.

     
  24. Vash01

    Vash01 Fan of Julia, Elena, Anna, Liza, and Vera

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    I saw this earlier today. It certainly puts more pressure on the Redskins organization to change their name. However, I wonder what the repurcussions (sp?) might be? Will they ask the Chicago Blackhawks (NHL) to change their name too? If not, this may seem unfair. I am trying to think of other sports teams that have Native American names.
     
  25. BlueRidge

    BlueRidge AYS's snark-sponge

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    Many universities and high schools have dropped Native American names and logos in recent years. Native Americans are not mascots so any team using Native American images that way will be under pressure to drop the use of such images, names, and mascots.

    We will be happy here in D.C. if we lead the way for pro-sports teams to make the changes.
     
  26. Vash01

    Vash01 Fan of Julia, Elena, Anna, Liza, and Vera

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    Pelicans
     
  27. Vash01

    Vash01 Fan of Julia, Elena, Anna, Liza, and Vera

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    Why is there no uproar over the NHL's Chicago Blackhawks?
     
  28. Skittl1321

    Skittl1321 Well-Known Member

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    Because fewer people know about hockey teams?
    Because "Redskins" is disparaging to the entire race, being an ethnic slur, whereas the Blackhawks are named after a singular person: Black Hawk, not a nickname of Indians in general- so the face on the jersey could said to be a caricature of him, not a cartoon of all Indians? (They also use a hawk, not an Indian as their character mascot, which is at least a step in the right direction.)

    I think "Chiefs", "Braves", "Indians" are all names the teams might need to rethink, but Redskins is really the worst. The others are at least not derogatory (though the associated images the teams use often are). The complicated history of Native Americans makes the use of these names difficult, but if they'd drop the offensive drawings and actions of their mascots, I don't think a team being the Indians is really any different from them being the Spartans, Fightin' Irish, or the Vikings. These are all groups of people. (The Seminole tribe for instance has a formal relationship with Florida State; because the mascot is used with dignity.)

    I've also heard that the Blackhawks organization works cooperatively with Native American organizations. (See here: http://blackhawks.nhl.com/club/page.htm?id=74904)

    And there have been calls for them to change their name. Just not as many as Redskins.

    Really, they don't need to change the name- they just need to get rid of the Indian drawing and go with the bird for all their images.
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2014
  29. BlueRidge

    BlueRidge AYS's snark-sponge

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    There is a movement in opposition to all use of Native American names and logos. It has been going on for many years. The "Redskins" name is particularly obviously offensive so the opposition to it has been more successful.

    The Native Americans who have led this fight would like to see all use of Native Americans as mascots and nicknames dropped.

    I've been asked "why now? "why all of sudden is "Redskins" offensive"? Someone else suggested it was "manufactured" outrage.

    Let me tell you, more than 20 years ago, the group of Native Americans who first filed suit against the Washington NFL team name, visited the offices of the anti-racist organization I worked with at the time to talk to us about increasing the effectiveness of their campaign to change the names of all teams that have adopted Native American names as use as nicknames and images as mascots and the like for sports teams. At that time, few people outside of Native American communities had heard how Native Americans feel about this.

    It has taken more than twenty years to get to the point we are at today, where the president of the United States has spoken against one team's name. As I noted above many schools have dropped such usages.

    Rest assured that there is opposition to every single team name and image and mascot. It takes a long time for a movement like this to reach its goals. It still has a long way to go.

    Someone else suggested that changing team names wasn't going to do much to make the world a better place. What this is about is something concrete: in the context of the history of racism and genocide of Native Americans, these names are in and of themselves a painful insult, one that should be finally stopped, once and for all in all instances of it.
     
  30. Rob

    Rob Beach Bum

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    Unfortunately, it might not have the desired effect. First, it applies to the name and not the logo. Second, although the federal trademark is useful in stopping goods at the border, the team would still have the ability to enforce exclusivity under common law. Third, there was a similar ruling in 1999, which was struck down on appeal because the plaintiffs did not sue soon enough -- this one might survive because the plaintiffs are age 18 and just got access to the courts. Fourth, Dan Snyder is stubborn SOB. Still, it is a step in increasing the public demand for a name change.