Anti-Redskins Momentum Keeps Building, Provokes Spectacular Backlash


To keep or drop the name of the NFL franchise based in Washington, DC? That is the question.

The name -- "Redskins," considered the worst racial slur directed at American Indians -- is becoming a regular subject for Washington Post sportswriters and columnists, and raw meat for commenters at The writers are in favor of scrapping the name; readers who take the time to comment on the story tend to be violently opposed to a change, bemoaning "political correctness" and liberal media bias.

It's sports. Fans -- short for fanatics -- are passionate by definition. And since it's sports, perhaps a few stats are in order:

Courtland Milloy, "Gridiron glory will never be ours again with a team named the 'Redskins'" (2/7): 875 comments

Robert McCartney, "Drop ‘Redskins’ name? Time to take a stand." (2/6): 3,387 comments

Courtland Milloy,  "Washington Redskins and Negro Mountain: Two offensive names that need to be changed" (1/29): 516 comments

Mike Wise, "Only RGIII can make the Redskins change their name. Here’s why he won’t." (1/11): 2,452 comments

Courtland Milloy, "What’s in a name? The Redskins’ bad karma" (1/8): 1,266 comments

That's a lot of reader comments. Suffice it to say, this is a debate that isn't going away any time soon. History and popular sentiment among non-Redskins fans -- hey, it's easy to advocate the change as long as it's not your team -- seem to be on the side of the columnists. Kevin Gover, director of the National Museum of the American Indian, said as much prior to a recent symposium on racist stereotypes in sports. "I have no doubt that in a decade or two, these mascots will all be gone," Gover told the Smithsonian Institute's blog. Several of the panelists at the February 7 event voiced a similar sentiment.

A recent story in the Washington Post is slightly discouraging to those advocating a name change: D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray, who helped kick off this round of the debate with comments supporting a name change, is now "backing off" that stance. “The point I was trying to make at the time was . . . it’s sitting on federal land,” Gray said. “You know that issue will come up if that’s the proposal, to build the stadium there. That was the point I was making.”


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Anonymous's picture
Submitted by Anonymous on
The original owners of this land deserve a lot more respect from us. Just associating them with Washington is an insult since it was the government in Washington that destroyed them. Pinning the words Washington and Redskins, is the greatest insult of all time. It would be more accurate to call them the Washington Victims.

cherlyn ortiz's picture
cherlyn ortiz
Submitted by cherlyn ortiz on
I often use the word ''SKINS' in reference to Native American people. I am a Native, so for me it is not obscene, in any way. Would I want non natives referring to us as Redskins? No, I dont think so,..

Hoppie's picture
Submitted by Hoppie on
Being associated with the Washington Redskins I would agree it's time to change it's name. Call us the "the Washington Braves"

Hoppie's picture
Submitted by Hoppie on
Being associated with the Washington Redskins I would agree it's time to change it's name. Call us the "the Washington Braves"

evelyn goodshot-segovia's picture
evelyn goodshot...
Submitted by evelyn goodshot... on
I don't appreciate the name Redskins. It is derogitory! Why do Whites seem to think it is okay to hurt everyone else's feelings but no one can hurt theirs?