October 14, 2013

"Redskins" approaching a tipping point?

Redskins nickname debate begins to overshadow team's play

By Eric Adelson"The whole thing is bigger than it needs to be," former Redskins tight end Chris Cooley told Yahoo Sports after the game. "And once that happens, it goes where it goes."

That's it exactly: the size of the issue, whether you hate the name or not, has become too large to tamp down or shrug off anymore. The tipping point of this debate will be measured by sociologists and football historians, but it certainly feels closer than ever. It almost feels like it's happening right now.

"You have to address it," Cooley said. "It's something that matters."

The polls don't matter as much anymore. Change happens in the polls after it happens in the hearts and minds of people, and that process feels like it's building. Even if a majority of fans don't want the name changed, a majority of fans are aware of the debate and have an opinion. Costas' soliloquy can be downplayed as part of a larger media agenda, but when a fan is given one opportunity to ask the commissioner anything in the world, and he asks about the nickname, that means this is more than just a "politically correct movement."
Redskins’ Owner Stubbornly Clings to Wrong Side of History

By William C. Rhoden[Segregationists] Marshall and Wallace were on the wrong side of history. Wallace created an atmosphere of fear, hatred and divisiveness. Marshall barred players who could have helped his franchise avoid mediocrity during the 1950s and 1960s.

Snyder might object to being placed alongside Wallace and Marshall. By his insistence on using a term that offends even one person, however, he contributes to an atmosphere of intolerance and bigotry. Snyder has an opportunity to get on the right side of history, though I don’t expect someone as vain as he appears to be to change his team’s nickname voluntarily.

His refusal to change an offensive name is emblematic of our society’s tendency to wrap ourselves in the armor of self-interest regardless of who might be wounded or offended.

Sports has historically been a vehicle to bring us together. Increasingly, the enterprise is becoming one more tool of divisiveness.

Those of us who are appealing to Snyder’s sense of ethics and morals are barking up the wrong tree. If this were about morality, Snyder would not need surveys and handpicked American Indians to validate his point. He would stand alone on principle.
Goodell confident Snyder weighing Redskins debate

By Associated PressNFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said he believes Washington owner Daniel Snyder is "way down the road" in consideration of whether the team should change its nickname.

Goodell got a question Sunday about the latest debate over the name during a question-and-answer session with Dallas season ticket-holders before the Cowboys' game against the Redskins.
Hall of Fame Coach Marv Levy: Redskins Name is 'Crude'

Columbus Raped the Redskins ... Time to Change the Name

Final answer

Face It, Washington Fans: Your Team's Name is Racist

By Lily Bolourian

The pressure led Snyder to pen his letter to the Post, which defended the team and its name by pointing to its history. Conveniently, he leaves out the racist roots of the franchise.

"I think it is a sign that you are doing something wrong if you have to spend so much time and effort defending the idea that you are honoring Native Americans rather than disrespecting them," said Indigenous activist Samantha White of the Haliwa-Saponi tribe. White found Snyder’s letter to be disingenuous.

White takes issue with the term because it "reinforces the stereotypical image of a Native American as being someone who has very dark (almost red) skin, as well as war paint and the ever present feathers in the hair." Plus, it takes away from Native Americans' freedom to define who they are. "This is an image that we have tried to escape, but with the continued use of [derogatory depictions of Natives] along with negative terms like redskin it makes it more difficult to redefine what it means to be Native American and what a Native American looks like," she said.

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