Seeing Redskin


The word is not a slur. So said a bunch of people at the NFL.

NFL spokesperson Greg Aiello told ESPN: “The team and our office have always said the name is intended to be positive and respectful. Why would you name a sports team otherwise for 80 years?”

Nope, not a slur. It’s a tradition. And traditions, I think history has proven, should never be changed. Ever. That’s why my father is currently looking for men willing to accept a great number of goats and some pretty swell woven blankets in exchange for my hand in marriage. Takers can email and I’ll make sure he gets your info.

The quote came after a couple of incidents. One, group of senators sent NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell a request that the Washington Redskins Football Club change their name to something that reeked less of colonialism and something more indicative of a team spirit where everyone on the team is you know, part of the team.

After receiving the petition, the team’s social media folks started a campaign that backfired. After tweeting:


They discovered that #RedskinsPride means something very different to the tweeting public.

Who knows, maybe it’s a not a “slur” per se. I mean, I don’t know anyone who uses the term. But it is a not super nice term for people who we murdered–well, many of you, my ancestors had nothing to do with that–it’s a not super nice term for people who were murdered (yay, passive voice for making things OK!) so that other people could live where those now dead people did.

That would be like me going next door, stabbing my neighbors to death, moving into their home, and then starting a club soccer team called The Goddamned Thompsons.

(OT: The Goddamned Thompsons are having an excellent season. We’re 6-0. Go Ts!!!)

It’s is possible that this whole not nice name thing is just a misunderstanding. Maybe “Redskins” refers to something else entirely. Sure, there’s a picture of a Native American as the logo, but maybe they meant to have a strawberry, or an aorta, or a picture of the flag of Tunisia, but all that was available at the time was that nice Native American gentleman. Maybe this is all just an issues of bad graphic design.

I said "bad" graphic design. Not "nightmarish."

I said “bad” graphic design. Not “nightmarish.” (source: Photoshop Disasters)


What do you think? Should the Redskins be able to keep their name? Have Native Americans “taken back” terms the way that rappers insist people who look like myself have taken back that not nice word? Or should the team be pressured to make up a a new name?

If you were going to name an NFL team, what would you call them? (No fair picking Goddamned Thompsons, btw. That shiz is trademarked)


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One comment

  1. WOW!!!!!!! Two blog posts in less than a week. Looks like Christmas has come early this year. 🙂

    The Washington Redskins were originally the Boston Redskins. Which got their name from the Boston Tea Party. (The original Tea Party, not the recent political movement.) The participants dressed as Indians to disguise their identities. So the name wasn’t intended as an insult towards Native Americans. It was to remember the participants in the Boston Tea Party.

    I don’t know what will happen with the name. I don’t know what should happen. What worries me is our society becoming so PC that George Orwell’s “1984” becomes our reality.

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