May 31, 2014

"Redskins" origin is a myth

Now The Redskins Have No Excuse for Not Changing Their Name

By Matt MurphyIn defending the name, both franchise owner Dan Snyder and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell have invoked William "Lone Star" Dietz, who coached the team when it took up the Redskins name in 1933. Then-owner George Preston Marshall chose "Redskins," the story goes, to honor Dietz and his claimed Sioux heritage.

Never mind that Dietz was in all likelihood a regular old white guy who posed as a Native American for some easy publicity and a chance to dodge the World War I draft—the team name was never about him in the first place.

Marshall himself debunked the idea in a 1933 interview with the AP:"The fact that we have in our head coach, Lone Star Dietz, an Indian, together with several Indian players, has not, as may be suspected, inspired me to select the name Redskins."The Redskins, who played in Boston at the time, simply made the change to avoid confusion with baseball's Boston Braves, with whom they originally shared a name.
McCartney: Origin myth of D.C. team’s name is not true

By Robert McCartneyWashington football team owner Dan Snyder urged the public a month ago to “focus on reality” rather than pester him for keeping a racial slur as his team’s name.

Here’s some reality for you, Dan. Since your patronizing comment, one-half the U.S. Senate has formally called on you to drop the name. It should have been a majority, but Virginia’s two senators shamefully refused to sign the letter. (Maryland’s two did the right thing.)

Then on Wednesday, 77 Native American tribes, Indian organizations and supporters wrote every National Football League player urging them to put their celebrity to good use by publicly supporting a name change.

The name’s critics also picked up a valuable assist from the National Basketball Association. It set a fine example by banning for life Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling after his racist views were made public in a leaked tape recording.

If the NBA can force an owner to sell a team, then surely the NFL can pressure Snyder to rename one.
Comment:  It's a little hard to believe Snyder and Goddell didn't know the team's history when they made their spurious claims. Presumably they had lawyers vet every word of their statements. It's more likely that they blatantly lied because they love profits over people.

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