Washington Football Team Name Change

BaseballJones

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Oct 1, 2015
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I know it's one thing at a time, and there's obviously some differences with respect to oppressed groups and all. But this raises the question of what other mascots/nicknames ought to be reconsidered. My alma-mater kept "Orangemen" for a long time, even though the mascot changed from a Native American (the "saltine warrior") to, uh, an orange - and believe me, there are no orange groves in central New York - and thanks to Nike, the school nickname is just a color now: Orange.

St. John's changed from "Redmen" to "Red Storm". What about these others though? And no, this isn't me being facetious.

Notre Dame "Fighting Irish".

New England Patriots
Patriots can be seen in the same vein as Washington and Jefferson - the men who founded this country presided over an era of slavery. July 4, for many African-Americans, doesn't represent "independence" day.

Minnesota Vikings
Another direct reference to a particular people group.

Florida State Seminoles
Reference to a Native American tribe.

Utah Utes
Prior to 1972, the Utah teams had informally been known as the Redskins as well as the Utes.

*Note: FSU and Utah have permission from those tribes to use the names. As a Seminole tribal leader said, "Anybody come here into Florida trying to tell us to change the name, they better go someplace else, because we’re not changing the name." So we get that for a lot of Native Americans, these names aren't offensive to them. But then again...we are discussing how a high percentage of Native Americans aren't offended by the nickname "Redskins" but they should change it anyway. I get that one is a direct name of a tribe and "Redskins" is a derogatory term, and maybe that's enough to make all the difference in the world.

Atlanta Braves, Cleveland Indians
References to Native Americans

Boston Celtics
Walter Brown (team founder) said the name had tradition and, "Boston is full of Irishmen. We'll put them in green uniforms and call them the Boston Celtics!" So it's a stereotype.

UNLV Running Rebels
Students see Hey Reb! as a "racist symbol of the Confederacy," the Las Vegas Sun reported. UNLV's mascot was originally named Beauregard and wore a Confederate uniform, but switched in the early '80s to Hey Reb!, a "more general symbol of rebellion," as the Sun puts it.

San Diego State Aztecs
Their mascot, the Aztec Warrior, "perpetuate(s) harmful stereotypes of Native Americans, including the notion that Native Americans are innately violent, dangerous, and 'savage,'" according to a resolution filed by the SDSU Queer People Of Color Collective.

Holy Cross Crusaders
Because....the Crusades?


I'm curious what you guys think of changing these names. This isn't meant to distract from the Redskins discussion, and this isn't me defending the nickname. I'm very much on record as saying it should be changed. It's simply that it opens us up for the larger conversation that's worth having. Where do we draw the line on ethnic-type nicknames or nicknames that remind us of terrible events (like Crusaders)?
 

Papelbon's Poutine

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Dec 4, 2005
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This might be nit-picking but Trump's football team was "The Generals" and for those who still recall ABC's Wide World of Sports, The Washington Generals were the comic foil to the Harlem Globetrotters and always lost.
Forgot about Trump, but you list the Generals being the Globetrotters joke opponents like its a bad thing.
 

cornwalls@6

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Apr 23, 2010
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Reboot the Senators name . Also, I’m of, I think, 100% Irish descent , and I’ve never met or encountered any other Irish Americans who are even remotely offended by the fighting Irish nickname or the leprechaun. Other than those making a bullshit, whataboutism argument. It is not, IMO, close to the same thing as Redskins or chief Wahoo.
 
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djbayko

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Washington Monuments would be a self own any time they have a terrible defense or a weak offensive line / QB who stands in the pocket like a statue and gets sacked all the time.
 
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Oppo

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Could bring in Native American leaders and come up with a name to respect their culture and history. I wouldn’t even begin to guess what that would be tho.
 

luckiestman

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Jul 15, 2005
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I know it's one thing at a time, and there's obviously some differences with respect to oppressed groups and all. But this raises the question of what other mascots/nicknames ought to be reconsidered. My alma-mater kept "Orangemen" for a long time, even though the mascot changed from a Native American (the "saltine warrior") to, uh, an orange - and believe me, there are no orange groves in central New York - and thanks to Nike, the school nickname is just a color now: Orange.

St. John's changed from "Redmen" to "Red Storm". What about these others though? And no, this isn't me being facetious.

Notre Dame "Fighting Irish".

New England Patriots
Patriots can be seen in the same vein as Washington and Jefferson - the men who founded this country presided over an era of slavery. July 4, for many African-Americans, doesn't represent "independence" day.

Minnesota Vikings
Another direct reference to a particular people group.

Florida State Seminoles
Reference to a Native American tribe.

Utah Utes
Prior to 1972, the Utah teams had informally been known as the Redskins as well as the Utes.

*Note: FSU and Utah have permission from those tribes to use the names. As a Seminole tribal leader said, "Anybody come here into Florida trying to tell us to change the name, they better go someplace else, because we’re not changing the name." So we get that for a lot of Native Americans, these names aren't offensive to them. But then again...we are discussing how a high percentage of Native Americans aren't offended by the nickname "Redskins" but they should change it anyway. I get that one is a direct name of a tribe and "Redskins" is a derogatory term, and maybe that's enough to make all the difference in the world.

Atlanta Braves, Cleveland Indians
References to Native Americans

Boston Celtics
Walter Brown (team founder) said the name had tradition and, "Boston is full of Irishmen. We'll put them in green uniforms and call them the Boston Celtics!" So it's a stereotype.

UNLV Running Rebels
Students see Hey Reb! as a "racist symbol of the Confederacy," the Las Vegas Sun reported. UNLV's mascot was originally named Beauregard and wore a Confederate uniform, but switched in the early '80s to Hey Reb!, a "more general symbol of rebellion," as the Sun puts it.

San Diego State Aztecs
Their mascot, the Aztec Warrior, "perpetuate(s) harmful stereotypes of Native Americans, including the notion that Native Americans are innately violent, dangerous, and 'savage,'" according to a resolution filed by the SDSU Queer People Of Color Collective.

Holy Cross Crusaders
Because....the Crusades?


I'm curious what you guys think of changing these names. This isn't meant to distract from the Redskins discussion, and this isn't me defending the nickname. I'm very much on record as saying it should be changed. It's simply that it opens us up for the larger conversation that's worth having. Where do we draw the line on ethnic-type nicknames or nicknames that remind us of terrible events (like Crusaders)?
This has come up before regarding the Noles wen other college squads were doing the name change.


"For almost 70 years, Florida State has worked closely, side by side, with the Seminole Tribe of Florida. The relationship, built on respect, is so mutually supportive that in 2005 the tribe — which rarely puts such things in writing — took an unprecedented, historic step with a public declaration of support. The Seminole Tribe invited the university president at that time, T.K. Wetherell, to Big Cypress Reservation to receive a written resolution from the Tribal Council affirming its enthusiastic support for the university's use of the Seminole name, logos and images. Subsequently, Chief Jerry Haney of the Seminole Tribe of Oklahoma also publicly stated his support..."
....

"FSU considers it a great privilege to represent a group of people whose courage and spirit we admire and respect. Through the years, the administration has made it clear the university will not engage in any activity that does not have the approval of the Seminole Tribe of Florida.

The Seminoles do not just give a stamp of approval from afar — they are full participants in the activities of the university. Their leaders have publicly stated that they feel the FSU family is part of their family."


edit: I believe the Seminole Tribe of Oklahoma objects to this relationship.

edit2: WaPo had a story a few years back on this:

 
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snowmanny

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Dec 8, 2005
11,184
Yeah, these all get the anti-Boogie Nights treatment. How can you call them Kings when the city is named after the dude who fought against having kings?
Because you are naming it after the monument.

ED: your objection is one part of what, to me, makes it clever.
 

snowmanny

Member
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Dec 8, 2005
11,184
I know it's one thing at a time, and there's obviously some differences with respect to oppressed groups and all. But this raises the question of what other mascots/nicknames ought to be reconsidered. My alma-mater kept "Orangemen" for a long time, even though the mascot changed from a Native American (the "saltine warrior") to, uh, an orange - and believe me, there are no orange groves in central New York - and thanks to Nike, the school nickname is just a color now: Orange.

St. John's changed from "Redmen" to "Red Storm". What about these others though? And no, this isn't me being facetious.

Notre Dame "Fighting Irish".

New England Patriots
Patriots can be seen in the same vein as Washington and Jefferson - the men who founded this country presided over an era of slavery. July 4, for many African-Americans, doesn't represent "independence" day.

Minnesota Vikings
Another direct reference to a particular people group.

Florida State Seminoles
Reference to a Native American tribe.

Utah Utes
Prior to 1972, the Utah teams had informally been known as the Redskins as well as the Utes.

*Note: FSU and Utah have permission from those tribes to use the names. As a Seminole tribal leader said, "Anybody come here into Florida trying to tell us to change the name, they better go someplace else, because we’re not changing the name." So we get that for a lot of Native Americans, these names aren't offensive to them. But then again...we are discussing how a high percentage of Native Americans aren't offended by the nickname "Redskins" but they should change it anyway. I get that one is a direct name of a tribe and "Redskins" is a derogatory term, and maybe that's enough to make all the difference in the world.

Atlanta Braves, Cleveland Indians
References to Native Americans

Boston Celtics
Walter Brown (team founder) said the name had tradition and, "Boston is full of Irishmen. We'll put them in green uniforms and call them the Boston Celtics!" So it's a stereotype.

UNLV Running Rebels
Students see Hey Reb! as a "racist symbol of the Confederacy," the Las Vegas Sun reported. UNLV's mascot was originally named Beauregard and wore a Confederate uniform, but switched in the early '80s to Hey Reb!, a "more general symbol of rebellion," as the Sun puts it.

San Diego State Aztecs
Their mascot, the Aztec Warrior, "perpetuate(s) harmful stereotypes of Native Americans, including the notion that Native Americans are innately violent, dangerous, and 'savage,'" according to a resolution filed by the SDSU Queer People Of Color Collective.

Holy Cross Crusaders
Because....the Crusades?


I'm curious what you guys think of changing these names. This isn't meant to distract from the Redskins discussion, and this isn't me defending the nickname. I'm very much on record as saying it should be changed. It's simply that it opens us up for the larger conversation that's worth having. Where do we draw the line on ethnic-type nicknames or nicknames that remind us of terrible events (like Crusaders)?
I mean those are all food for thought but where do we draw the line? I’m pretty sure it’s somewhere on the other side of nicknames that reference stereotypes of skin color.
 

Awesome Fossum

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Jul 20, 2005
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Could bring in Native American leaders and come up with a name to respect their culture and history. I wouldn’t even begin to guess what that would be tho.
Could go with Potomacs, which comes from the Patawomeck. I wouldn't hate that, but I really think they're much better off completely moving away from the theme.
 

BaseballJones

goalpost mover
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Oct 1, 2015
8,770
I mean those are all food for thought but where do we draw the line? I’m pretty sure it’s somewhere on the other side of nicknames that reference stereotypes of skin color.
Well for sure it includes derogatory ethnic slurs. I think for most of us, that’s obvious.

I’m bringing up the larger question.
 

BigSoxFan

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Washington Monuments would be a self own any time they have a terrible defense or a weak offensive line / QB who stands in the pocket like a statue and gets sacked all the time.
So, basically, every year?
 

Montana Fan

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something something "libural" "murrica" "sports and politics" "I like to fish." Is there a Montana Fan Mad Libs post generator?
Had a beautiful day on the Beaverhead today. Definitely like to fish.

Agree to disagree on the name changing. You and other posters have every right to be offended on behalf of NA’s. When the decision was made to remove Squaw from all place names in Montana, that made sense as it was an indigenous people’s initiative and they found the descriptor offensive. This ain’t that.
 

Soxy

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Had a beautiful day on the Beaverhead today. Definitely like to fish.

Agree to disagree on the name changing. You and other posters have every right to be offended on behalf of NA’s. When the decision was made to remove Squaw from all place names in Montana, that made sense as it was an indigenous people’s initiative and they found the descriptor offensive. This ain’t that.
Just out of curiosity, what percentage of Native Americans have to find the name offensive for you to believe that requesting a name change is acceptable? Apparently 10% isn't enough. How many does it have to be? 20%? 30%? 50%?

Even if we take that one poll as the gospel truth and only 10% are offended and 90% are like "who cares about a dumb sports team" than why not just change the name anyways? Why do you care? What are you protecting, exactly?
 

Montana Fan

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Soxy, why care = exactly my point. I’m embarrassed for SoSH’s noble VS’ers. They're the awesomest. And I’m done in this thread until the Pats sign Eli.
 

Soxy

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Soxy, why care = exactly my point. I’m embarrassed for SoSH’s noble VS’ers. They're the awesomest. And I’m done in this thread until the Pats sign Eli.
But why do you care? Clearly you do or you wouldn't be posting in this thread.

Clearly a number of Native Americans find it offensive, and the rest don't really seem to care one way or another, so why not just change it to something that nobody finds offensive?
 

InstaFace

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The Washington Whigs
The Washington Leaders
The Beltway Bandits
The Washington Gridlock
Union Washington FC

I'm with TW, let the fans propose and vote. We'll end up with the Washington McBoatfaces, but the process will be worth it.
 

54thMA

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and for those who still recall ABC's Wide World of Sports, The Washington Generals were the comic foil to the Harlem Globetrotters and always lost.
So you're saying Redskins fans would object to their team being named after a comic foil/perennial loser?

Sometimes the jokes write themselves.

The NFL should go after the Chiefs next, then the NHL should go after the Blackhawks, then the NBA should go after the Warriors to complete the circle.

Then every team named after any sort of animal, if the animals can speak for themselves, someone has to.

How about if we get rid of every team name, it will just be "And today the Bostons beat the New Yorks 5-1", then while we're at it, let's get rid of every logo, let's just make it real simple, every NFL helmet should be just plain white.

Oh wait................
 
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Papelbon's Poutine

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Just out of curiosity, what percentage of Native Americans have to find the name offensive for you to believe that requesting a name change is acceptable? Apparently 10% isn't enough. How many does it have to be? 20%? 30%? 50%?

Even if we take that one poll as the gospel truth and only 10% are offended and 90% are like "who cares about a dumb sports team" than why not just change the name anyways? Why do you care? What are you protecting, exactly?
Not to answer for him, but he's not defending the name or protecting anything, I don't think anyway - he's saying a bunch of white middle aged guys from NE - or further anyone not in the group in question - probably shouldn't be the ones that tell a minority group they *should* be offended. To flip the question you ask, why do you care? Are you NA? If the answer is no, then you're taking some kind of high ground or some battle that might not be yours and further might in fact be just as offensive to the group in question. It not being a civil rights issue and instead a nickname for a football team, he does have a point; without agreeing or disagreeing with it, I see where he's coming from. Perhaps vicarious offense isn't the answer and in possibility actually a continuance?
 

reggiecleveland

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I coached at a school in the 90s and the team name was Redmen. 2nd meeting I was ever at I suggested they change. I was of course slapped down by veteran teachers. At that time I played lots of basketball in Montana at "money tournaments". Lots of the best players were first nations or Indians. Once I had brawl with some guys that objected to the team logo. I told them I had already brought it up, and would do it again. Thiis time at least they stopped with the cheerleaders wearing fethers in their hair, and the head-dress for special guests, etc. The school had a lot of 1st nations kids, and lots of my players were first nations kids. 6- years later a person in the community made ahuman rights complaint. At this time the history of the team name was explored, it had once been simple Red, but in the 30s they finally beat the much bigger school the "Blues" and newspaper headline "RED MEN RULE!" was framed in the school. So atmaybe 20 years go by no logo, but redmen was the name, In the 50s a Blackhawks logo was adopted and it went downhill, all the native symbols, arrows, etc into the 80s. But this was the time to make a move, ST John's had changed, etc.

So in 97 they have the students vote, and the first nations community came out overwhelmingly in support of the logo and name. I didn't like it but, my players who were first nations did. Around ten years ago there was another complaint and the school board just changed the name. They know another vote, kids keep the name. They are now the Redhawks.

Where I live in Saskatchewan is flooded with these names, and there is always division within the 1st nations community who often like the names or don't care, while some are really angry. Just looking at the logs of local teams. The CHL team idea to use a throwback jersey Fr right) in 2014 still makes me cringe.

 

Soxy

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Not to answer for him, but he's not defending the name or protecting anything, I don't think anyway - he's saying a bunch of white middle aged guys from NE - or further anyone not in the group in question - probably shouldn't be the ones that tell a minority group they *should* be offended. To flip the question you ask, why do you care? Are you NA? If the answer is no, then you're taking some kind of high ground or some battle that might not be yours and further might in fact be just as offensive to the group in question. It not being a civil rights issue and instead a nickname for a football team, he does have a point; without agreeing or disagreeing with it, I see where he's coming from. Perhaps vicarious offense isn't the answer and in possibility actually a continuance?
You're completely missing the point. Nobody is telling anybody that they should be offended. People are offended.

He posted this as if it were some kind of trump card:

Always amuses me when the virtue signalers advocate on behalf of the Native Americans who apparently aren't smart enough (woke enough?) to know that they should be offended by the name of the football team from Washington DC.

90%
Again, even if we pretend those numbers are the absolute gospel truth that truly represent the opinions of the entire Native American community (which I don't), that would still mean that 9% find it offensive. Why is that acceptable? Why shouldn't we want to change it to something that 0% find offensive?

His same link has a poll where 21% of Native Americans find the word 'Redskin' to be disrespectful. That's okay? We should just accept that? "Sorry you small minority find it disrespectful, but the majority don't seem to really care one way or another, so your feelings don't matter. Please come back to us when you can gather up a 50+% majority, thanks."

It's really not all that complicated and I don't understand why we should be concerned about the motivations of non-Native Americans speaking out against the name. If anything, we should be asking about the motivations of white people rushing to defend the name, a name that they even admit is offensive to a segment of the population.

How many people need to be offended in order for their voices to count more than the people who don't really care one way or another? We know that at least some people find the name to be injurious. Who is being injured by changing the name?
 

BaseballJones

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Soxy, you keep framing this (in terms of Native American feelings on the matter) as either they are offended or they don’t care one way or the other.

In the recent Washington Post story I cited, some of the reasons the vast majority of Native Americans weren’t offended included “it is just a name, it honors or represents their heritage, and people are overly sensitive."

Notice that some (don’t know the actual numbers; could be small or it could be a significant number) are proud because it honors or represents their heritage.

That’s quite a bit different than not caring one way or the other.

It’s entirely possible that the number of Native Americans who actually LIKE the name (and aren’t just indifferent) and feel honored by it is greater than the number who are offended by it.

In such a case, changing it would actually offend more Native Americans than keeping it.

I don’t know the actual data but it’s clear from that poll that it’s not just a case of either they’re offended or they’re indifferent. Some percentage of Native Americans aren’t indifferent; they’re pro “Washington Redskins”.
 

tims4wins

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Soxy, you keep framing this (in terms of Native American feelings on the matter) as either they are offended or they don’t care one way or the other.

In the recent Washington Post story I cited, some of the reasons the vast majority of Native Americans weren’t offended included “it is just a name, it honors or represents their heritage, and people are overly sensitive."

Notice that some (don’t know the actual numbers; could be small or it could be a significant number) are proud because it honors or represents their heritage.

That’s quite a bit different than not caring one way or the other.

It’s entirely possible that the number of Native Americans who actually LIKE the name (and aren’t just indifferent) and feel honored by it is greater than the number who are offended by it.

In such a case, changing it would actually offend more Native Americans than keeping it.

I don’t know the actual data but it’s clear from that poll that it’s not just a case of either they’re offended or they’re indifferent. Some percentage of Native Americans aren’t indifferent; they’re pro “Washington Redskins”.
I think this take is fair, and may apply to the Indians, Braves, Seminoles, etc. as well.
 

PC Drunken Friar

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So you're saying Redskins fans would object to their team being named after a comic foil/perennial loser?

Sometimes the jokes write themselves.

The NFL should go after the Chiefs next, then the NHL should go after the Blackhawks, then the NBA should go after the Warriors to complete the circle.

Then every team named after any sort of animal, if the animals can speak for themselves, someone has to.

How about if we get rid of every team name, it will just be "And today the Bostons beat the New Yorks 5-1", then while we're at it, let's get rid of every logo, let's just make it real simple, every NFL helmet should be just plain white.

Oh wait................
Of all the hot takez, this is perhaps the shittiest. Do you also think that allowing for gay marriage will eventually lead to the marriage between man and animals?

The team name is a fucking slur! Unfortunately, it has taken the murder of George Floyd for America to have a (somewhat) honest discussion about race in America. It's too bad that many of us are still woefully behind the curve.

Unless, of course I missed your sarcasm. I guess I can see your post in an Onion sort of way, because that is something that they may write.
 

Oppo

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I think this take is fair, and may apply to the Indians, Braves, Seminoles, etc. as well.
Indians said they’re considering a name change as of last night

 

Montana Fan

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Not to answer for him, but he's not defending the name or protecting anything, I don't think anyway - he's saying a bunch of white middle aged guys from NE - or further anyone not in the group in question - probably shouldn't be the ones that tell a minority group they *should* be offended. To flip the question you ask, why do you care? Are you NA? If the answer is no, then you're taking some kind of high ground or some battle that might not be yours and further might in fact be just as offensive to the group in question. It not being a civil rights issue and instead a nickname for a football team, he does have a point; without agreeing or disagreeing with it, I see where he's coming from. Perhaps vicarious offense isn't the answer and in possibility actually a continuance?
Correct, pretty much anyway.
 

richgedman'sghost

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I've always wondered how teams such as the Atlanta Braves , the Golden State Warriors Kansas City Chiefs get away with their names. To me they are just as racist as Redskins. At least the Cleveland baseball team singled that they might change their name.
 

pappymojo

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Is it okay if a bunch of white middle aged guys are the ones who decide that the name is acceptable?

I want the name changed because it will stop this conversation.
 

PC Drunken Friar

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Is it okay if a bunch of white middle aged guys are the ones who decide that the name is acceptable?

I want the name changed because it will stop this conversation.
It was posted before, but how about the National Congress of American Indians asking to change it?

 

Ralphwiggum

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Why do you have to be Native American to be offended by the name? Red skins. It’s a fucking slur for crying out loud. I’d be offended if the name was the Washington Blackies too.

Edit: and if it isn’t already obvious, until middle aged white guys (and their sponsorship dollars) care about shit like this nothing happens. Same with BLM, unfortunately.
 

InstaFace

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The NFL should go after the Chiefs next, then the NHL should go after the Blackhawks, then the NBA should go after the Warriors to complete the circle.

Then every team named after any sort of animal, if the animals can speak for themselves, someone has to.

How about if we get rid of every team name, it will just be "And today the Bostons beat the New Yorks 5-1", then while we're at it, let's get rid of every logo, let's just make it real simple, every NFL helmet should be just plain white.

Oh wait................
How about making a positive statement about what you think is appropriate in these cases, or where you'd draw the line, instead of this sarcasm aimed at nobody-and-everybody. If you have no respect for the rest of us, don't post here, if you do, maybe think about how this conversation would go in a room with a dozen of us, and try playing that out. You finish the above statement, everyone blinks, and someone says "...so what are you saying?". So what ARE you saying?
 

BaseballJones

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I did not know this...


Boston Braves became Washington Redskins
After just one year as the Braves, the franchise was renamed to the Redskins in 1933, four years before the team moved from Boston to Washington. The reason for the name change was simple: Boston's new coach, Lone Star Dietz, and several of his Native American players disliked the name Braves and lobbied for the team to change its name to the Redskins. The franchise has kept the Redskins as its name until now.
 

Papelbon's Poutine

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Why do you have to be Native American to be offended by the name? Red skins. It’s a fucking slur for crying out loud. I’d be offended if the name was the Washington Blackies too.
Because there is a valid line of argument that offense by proxy is narcissistic. Again, I'm not taking a side on that (without at least taking some time to think about it), but it is a valid philosophical concept. "If you're being offended for me, I assume you think I can't handle myself....and that offends me."
 

PC Drunken Friar

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South Boston
Because there is a valid line of argument that offense by proxy is narcissistic. Again, I'm not taking a side on that (without at least taking some time to think about it), but it is a valid philosophical concept. "If you're being offended for me, I assume you think I can't handle myself....and that offends me."
I understand that and in very many cases, it can be true. But, to me, that is sort of a much more one-on-one type thing. As RalphWiggum said, it is unfortunate, but societal changes happen when the majority of people (white people) call for it. The Civil Rights Movement takes longer if white America doesn't see children bitten by police dogs and thrown down the streets by firehouses. It isn't about me taking personal offense, its trying to use white privilege for good and to change the many wrongs done to minorities. It is not right, but they need allies to stand with them because many times they HAVE been fighting for themselves but we have a racism problem in our country and too many people in power gives zero shits about minorities.
 

BaseballJones

goalpost mover
SoSH Member
Oct 1, 2015
8,770
So on the topic of offense, there’s two angles here. First, what is the intent? And second, how is it received, regardless of intent?

If the intent of the word is to be a racist slur, then even if it doesn’t offend anyone, it should be changed. If someone has really thick skin when someone insults them, that doesn’t make it ok to insult them. It’s just a credit to the person with thick skin. Obviously if the person IS offended then it’s doubly problematic.

If the intent isn’t a racist slur, then we need to ask whether a person is offended. If they are offended then a conversation should be had as to WHY they’re offended. I used this example in another thread but when people say “I don’t see color”, generally they mean that they try to treat people fairly, according to their actions, and not by their ethnicity. It’s meant to live up to the ideals of MLK as he laid out in his I Have A Dream speech. So it s meant to be positive and totally non-racist. The intent is good (usually). And if someone is offended by that it helps to understand why. And it turns out that it offends some people because it says to them that they’re not being seen, that their ethnicity is being dismissed, and that matters to them.

So then the question is whether the intent of the speaker or the offense of the hearer is more important. This is where mature, adult conversations need to take place.

And if the intent isn’t racist and the person the thing is “aimed at” isn’t offended, then nobody else should worry about it.

Where does the Redskins name fall here? The term sure seems like a racist slur to me and so even if many Native Americans aren’t offended, it seems like it should be changed. But if the term was - as I cited in the cbssports article I linked to - suggested by Native Americans themselves, then the intent clearly wasn’t to insult. So in some ways this is a little dicey.

I still land on the side of changing the name.
 

Awesome Fossum

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 20, 2005
1,940
Austin, TX
The reason for the name change was simple: Boston's new coach, Lone Star Dietz, and several of his Native American players disliked the name Braves and lobbied for the team to change its name to the Redskins.
I don't think that's true? My understanding has always been that the team played at Braves Field in 1932 and thus were the Boston Braves. The team then went to Fenway in 1933 and switched to Redskins for the sake of symmetry with Red Sox. (Not that that necessarily precludes Dietz from being involved, although it's important to remember he was not actually an American Indian.)

There's a lot of shaky stuff reported as fact on the history of the brand (including quite a bit by the team) so I'd take everything with a grain of salt unless you're reading it from a primary/really trusted source.
 

BaseballJones

goalpost mover
SoSH Member
Oct 1, 2015
8,770
I don't think that's true? My understanding has always been that the team played at Braves Field in 1932 and thus were the Boston Braves. The team then went to Fenway in 1933 and switched to Redskins for the sake of symmetry with Red Sox. (Not that that necessarily precludes Dietz from being involved, although it's important to remember he was not actually an American Indian.)

There's a lot of shaky stuff reported as fact on the history of the brand (including quite a bit by the team) so I'd take everything with a grain of salt unless you're reading it from a primary/really trusted source.
Could elements of both stories be true?

People know they want to sync with Red Sox. They don’t like “Braves” anyway. Dietz and Native American players suggest “Redskins”. Team likes it. Natives don’t see it as a slur or else they’d not have suggested it. And so, boom, it’s the new name. Everyone is happy.
 

Papelbon's Poutine

Homeland Security
SoSH Member
Dec 4, 2005
19,114
Portsmouth, NH
I understand that and in very many cases, it can be true. But, to me, that is sort of a much more one-on-one type thing. As RalphWiggum said, it is unfortunate, but societal changes happen when the majority of people (white people) call for it. The Civil Rights Movement takes longer if white America doesn't see children bitten by police dogs and thrown down the streets by firehouses. It isn't about me taking personal offense, its trying to use white privilege for good and to change the many wrongs done to minorities. It is not right, but they need allies to stand with them because many times they HAVE been fighting for themselves but we have a racism problem in our country and too many people in power gives zero shits about minorities.
I was responding to the post I quoted, which specifically said "why do you have to be NA to be offended?". The bolded is just rationalization for it in this regard.

I'm aware there is a racism problem in the country, but thank you for updating me on it and that changes in society need to be made.