There is more to a team name than we actually think. Team’s like the Atlanta Braves, Florida State Seminoles, Cleveland Indians, Chicago Blackhawks and the Washington Redskins have rich and storied histories within their respective leagues. Each team name playing an important role in that regions culture and history as well. These team names were chosen to be as Dan Snyder says “a badge of honour”.
Currently the Washington Redskins are under fire from many political and human rights groups because of the name “Redskins”. If you didn’t know, a Redskin is known to be a derogatory term used against Native Americans.
CTV recently published two articles depicting the events surrounding the team and how people are starting to react to the term “Redskin”. It has even gone as far as Capitol Hill calling for a “name change”. Although this debate has been around for decades it has been seen recently within the media that the debate is far from over.
A Native American activist Suzan Shown Harjo was quoted saying that the Washington Redskins have a “time-dishonoured history of putting up pseudo-Indians as part of their promotion”. Even President Obama said he’d change the name if he was making the shots.
But there are Native American’s in the community who think the latter and agree with the Redskins and Mr. Snyder. Tommie Yazzie who is a superintendent of the Red Messa school district couldn’t care less. “We just don’t think that (name) is an issue”. “There are more important things like busing our kids to school, the water settlement, the land quality, the air that surrounds us. Those are issues we can take sides on”.
“Society, they think it’s more derogatory because of the recent discussions”.
Eunice Davidson also adds that the name “more or less shows that they approve of our history” and “I would say I stand with [Mr. Snyder]”.
Both sides do bring up great points for and against the name change. If the Redskins were to change their name where do you cross the line. Would Notre Dame be next because of their schools name the Fighting Irish (is it derogatory towards celtic and the Irish). Or how about the Miami Dolphins, due to the large amount of sea creatures being killed each year.
Personally I don’t think that Washington or any team should have to change their names because teams like the Blackhawks, or the Indians and yes even the Fighting Irish have had an outstanding impact on North American culture in sport.
What side of the argument do you take?
Washington, J. (2013, October 8). As debate over ‘Redskins’ name swirls, hard to tell how many natives think it’s a slur. CTV News. Retrieved from: http://www.ctvnews.ca/sports/as-debate-over-redskins-name-swirls-hard-to-tell-how-many-natives-think-it-s-a-slur-1.1488686
White, J. (2013, October 9).Opponents of ‘Redskins’ name should ‘try to respect’ what it means to team, fans: owner. CTV News. Retrieved from: http://www.ctvnews.ca/sports/opponents-of-redskins-name-should-try-to-respect-what-it-means-to-team-fans-owner-1.1490919