Redskins Argument Bingo! (Or, 24 Inane Arguments Shot Down)
Discussing the necessity of changing the team name of the Washington Redskins gets tiresome -- whether it's comments posted to the Washington Post website or Facebook exchanges or Twitter bickering, the same arguments for keeping the name crop up again and again. And again. You know these ideas are coming, it's only a matter of time before each is trotted out. If anyone is more sick of hearing these lame objections than we are, it's got to be the sportswriters who are barraged with them every time they post a story.
Two of these, Sean Gentille (@seangentille) and Robert Wheel (@bobbybigwheel) put out a call for a Redskins Name Defender Bingo card, and Aaron Montgomery (@ProbablyMonty) responded. Here's what he came up with:
These arguments aren't just tiresome, they're also completely defeatable. In fact, a few of them are self-defeating, and others are just nonsense that needs no response. For a bit of Friday fun, we've run through all 24 (skipping "SMH" -- shake my head -- as it is not an argument). This should be very useful -- if everyone would just read this article, we'd never, ever have to debate any of this again.
1. What about the new foundation?
2. It's Snyder's team, he can do what he wants.
True. He can have a racist slur for a team name. He may lose the trademark (if recent actions by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office indicate a trend, he will), which would allow anyone to profit off the name however they can, but he can keep the name. Newspapers and websites can refuse to print it, but he can keep the name. TV networks might someday follow suit, but he can keep the name. The team can get used to being picketed in every town they travel to, but he can keep the name. And we can all continue to post thousands of comments on every news story on the topic, but he can keep the name. Someday, though, he may realize that if he fights this fight to the bitter end, all public sentiment be damned, he will be securing a very questionable legacy for himself. Those who defend institutional racism well beyond its expiration date become symbols of wrongness -- does Dan Snyder want to be remembered as the George Wallace or P.W. Botha of the NFL? (Ok, those aren't totally fair comparisons, but they're not totally unfair either. They will be made.)
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