Change The Name: Dan Snyder Has Moral Obligation To Switch Redskins’ Mascot

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Washington Redskins v Oakland RaidersDan Synder, owner of the Washington Redskins, apparently will go to extreme measures to preserve the franchise’s name—even suing Native Americas, if you can believe that.

After a judge over the weekend ruled that the team could, indeed, continue a lawsuit against five Native Americans who are insulted by the term “Redskins,” it’s clear that there needs to be an end to this hot button issue.

Change the name.

It’s not that complicated an issue, actually. Many Native Americans are significantly insulted. That should be reason enough.

Black people overwhelmingly seem to get it, and with good reason. From Colored to Negro to Afro-American to African-American to Black, there was a movement to get the identifiable name right, to accurately depict who we are in America. Blacks would not stand for a team’s mascot carrying any of the derogatory monickers whites have used to insult us. Native Americans should not, either.

Baxter Holmes wrote in Esquire: “Non-Natives may never quite understand how deep the term ‘redskins’ cuts into ancient wounds that have never quite healed, and maybe it’s not reasonable to expect them to. But every time Dan Snyder refuses to change his NFL team’s name. . . (he)  plunges a long, twisted blade into our hearts.

“I feel that pain not only because I’m a proud Native American, of Cherokee and Choctaw lineage, but because my parents steeped me and my brothers in that culture so that it would live on within us.

“The mascot of the Washington Redskins, if the team desired accuracy, would be a gory, bloodied crown from the head of a butchered Native American.”

Not pretty.

Snyder, conversely, calls “Redskins” a “badge of honor,” adding, “We’ll never change the name. It’s that simple.”

Others, including many Native Americans, say there is no clear cut definition of the franchise’s nickname since 1933. They even point to an article in the Smithsonian that indicates the name was about the color of skin before scalpings occurred.

All that, and the call remains the same.

Change the name.

Why be so dogged about at nickname? Sure, there is rich history for a football team. But it’s just a football team.

In D.C., the NBA team changed from the Bullets to the Wizards because of the connotation that came with crime when the city was the so-called “murder capital.” No one forgot the legacy of what was accomplished as the “Bullets.”

St. John’s University switched from the Redmen to the Red Storm because Native Americans were offended by the nickname. Miami of Ohio went from Redskins to Redhawks. Marquette dropped Warriors and replaced it with Golden Eagles. So, there is precedence.

There is no moral reason to remain the Redskins. That the team is suing those opposing the name is more than silly; it’s arrogant. It’s wrong.

Change the name.

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