National Park Service
Hail to the Redtails?

D.C. Council May Push Redskins to Change Name to Redtails

April 30, 2013

If a D.C. Council member gets his way, the NFL's Washington Redskins may soon be the Washington Redtails.

Councilman David Grosso, elected last year, is preparing a resolution, albeit a non-binding one, that would call on owner Daniel Snyder and his Washington NFL team to change its name to the Redtails. If the name Redtails sounds familiar--and hopefully it does--its because the Tuskegee Airmen used that nickname. The Tuskegee Airmen were the pioneering airmen who broke the color barrier for U.S. pilots during World War II. A plane used by the Tuskegees was recently put in a place of honor in the Smithsonian.

Grosso is intent on getting his resolution introduced, formally so within a few weeks, calling the football team's currrent name "a derogatory, racist name."

“It’s been a long time that we’ve had this name associated with Washington, and I think its time we take a stand and change it,” Grosso told The Washington Post.

Pressure has risen on the club to change the name recently, in the court of public opinion, the U.S. legal system and the U.S. Congress. D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray said earlier this year that the team should change its name. Grosso's resolution states:

“District residents and their elected representatives should not tolerate commercial or other use of derogatory terminology relating to any people’s racial identity, or which dishonors any person’s race, or which dishonors the name Washington.”

“Washington’s name has been dishonored by association with the word ‘Redskins,’ because it is well known in America and in nations afar that American Indians have experienced utmost suffering and disrespect over the years.”

Grosso told the Post that a change to the Redtails would be a relatively seamless.

“You can still sing the song and everything,” said Grosso, before singing, “Hail . . . to the . . . Redtails.”

Just as importantly, Grosso said, “you can still keep the feather."




Red Runner's picture
Red Runner
Submitted by Red Runner on

REDTAILS would be a very good name. There is also a red tailed hawk that is predatory and indigenous to Washington, DC. (and much of the country) Seems to be the perfect name. Not a dramatic change. Just enough to

rejuvenate the name and image. Colors would remain the same. Also, of course the deference goes to the Tuskegee Airmen this name as well. Name holds some political correctness along with a the fierce competitive image. Perfect name.



Nikki 's picture
Submitted by Nikki on

Ok if you look at everyone in america today most of us have indan in us. Why change something that has been this way for as long as i can remember in this day in time everyone gets offended over stupid thing. when schools made it to where you could wear a solid color over what people being stupid did over something stupid people did so you band it from everyone...My Point is why chage it when its the name we all know it by...I got ofended when you took god out of schools but yet no one care then so something this little a NFL football team names your going to make change to where they have to work to get there Fans back...

Beth F. 's picture
Beth F.
Submitted by Beth F. on

This is a brilliant move -- the Redtails works on many different levels and is not a huge change for the NFL or the club to adapt to. As Duane says below, they can even keep the feather! :) As an American Indian, I have long been dismayed that this very derogatory epithet has been allowed to remain the name of this NFL team all these years! I do not mean any offense to our African American brothers and sisters when I point out that the name Washington Redskins is exactly the equivalent of calling a Georgia team the Savannah N------ ... that would be horrible, and racist, and would be immediately called what it is -- there is no way that THAT would have been allowed to happen even for a week, much less for years!! I hope that this resolution passes...and that the owners of the Washington Redskins IMMEDIATELY recognize that the time has come to change their name voluntarily.


Around The Web

Jodi Arias Jury Deliberates Defendant's Fate (LIVE UPDATES)
Newspaper: N.J. gov. Chris Christie had secret weight loss surgery