Native Americans Give Redskins Name Collective Yawn
When it comes to on-field performance, the once-proud Washington Redskins have been mired in mediocrity for the last couple of decades: The team hasn’t made the Super Bowl for a quarter-century and has just eight winning seasons to show for that time period. Fans of “old DC” haven’t had a whole lot to hail.
Yet unlike any other franchise enduring a run of bad seasons, the Redskins have found far more controversy off the field than they ever did determining whether Robert Griffin III was going to be their franchise savior, or whether the return of Joe Gibbs as coach would make Washington great again. While a number of high school and college programs have been shamed into replacingtheir “Redskins,” “Indians” or other tribal mascots with more politically correct nicknames like Redhawks, Red Storm or Eagles, the ‘Skins franchise has refused to consider a name change despite the protestations of even “progressive” members of Congress and a punitive trademark decision upheld by a federal judge last year. In the face of all of that, owner Dan Snyder has vowed to keep the Redskins name.
So imagine the surprise when The Washington Post, the editorial board of which has made it a mission to browbeat the Redskins into calling themselves something less offensive to their left-wing sensitivities, conducted a poll that found the vast majority of Native Americans still couldn’t care less about the issue. This despite a dozen years of drummed up controversy since a similar poll was conducted. Even more disconcerting for the editors, some Native Americans who didcare thought the Redskins name was something to be proud of.
Needless to say, those delicate flowers at the Post attempted to justify the paper’s stance, as reporter Dan Steinberg fretted, “[C]ombine the new poll’s results with U.S. Census data and you’ll find that something like 1.1 million Native Americans think the word ‘Redskin’ is disrespectful to them, even if some of them don’t mind it in a sports context. Put aside all those hypotheticals about bird lovers aghast at the Orioles and small people outraged by the Giants; I find it hard to believe there’s another U.S. sports franchise whose name offends so many of the people it’s supposedly meant to honor.”