The Washington Redskins aren’t the only sports team that’s come under fire lately for continuing the use of racially offensive names or mascots. But under the leadership of owner Dan Snyder it is one of the few teams that refuses to even consider a name change. Some people defend Snyder and his team’s right to use any name they want no matter how offensive others think it is, but we have eight reasons that just might convince Snyder to come around.
1.) Because it might help the team’s stats
Maybe using a racially offensive name has something to do with 20 years of watching the Super Bowl on television instead of playing in it.
2.) Because it might increase merchandise sales
Between the limited fan base and a racially charged name we know there’s not a lot of “Redskins” merch flying out the door. The switch to a less offensive team name might at least increase the sale of giant foam fingers.
3.) Because why are they even called Redskins to begin with?
Who thinks of Native American history when they think of the nation’s capital? A name like “The Memorials” or “The Lobbyists” or “The Do-Nothings” would make a lot more sense.
4.) Because many leaders in their home city want them to
At least ten congressmen are urging the team’s owner to change the offensive name. In a letter sent to owner Dan Snyder, to FedEx, the team’s sponsor, to Roger Goodell the NFL commissioner and to 31 additional franchises, the congressmen state their disappointment with Snyder’s refusal to consider a name change and say that using the “R-word” is the equivalent of using the “N-word.”
5.) Because cultural appropriation is not a good example of sportsmanship
Efforts to degrade, overpower, disempower, humiliate and marginalize a culture by appropriating its customs, names and symbolism is nothing new; in fact, it’s a very old trick that has no place in modern society and certainly not in sports where things like race, creed and color aren’t supposed to matter.
6.) Because all their friends are doing it
There’s a strong precedence for changing a team’s names when the sensitivities of a society changes. For example, The Miami Redskins are now known as the RedHawks. Now, was that so hard?
7.) Because the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights says they should
In 2001 the USCCR released an official opinion on the topic of non-Native schools or organizations using Native American nicknames and images. It was stated that the use of stereotypical images is offensive, that it may create a hostile environment and perpetuate stereotypes. Several religious organizations, including the Central Conference of American Rabbis have also called for an end to the use of Native American sports mascots or team names.
8.) Because Dan Snyder needs to do better
There’s an old saying about “when you know better, do better” that Snyder needs to learn. Unfortunately there was a time in American history when no one thought twice about using a degrading slur for fun or profit. But now we do know better and we should expect better from our country as a whole than to support the use of offensive and harmful racial terms.