I’m an NFL fan. I’m not a fan of racism in any form. Those two positions are in direct conflict every time I hear the name Washington Redskins.
It was coined in 1932 and we all know what a period of racial harmony and sensitivity that was. In later, more benevolent times, some colleges with tribal nicknames and mascots did change. Others like the Florida State Seminoles received permission from the tribes to use their names respectfully.
But, Redskins? How can anyone defend the use of an ethnic slur like that? It’s bothered me for a long time, but it’s recently become a hot issue once again because the DC City Council majority seems to agree that the name Washington Redskins is, of itself, racially insensitive.
And just in case you think that it’s in the same category as referring to, for example, Howard University teams as “the black guys” — the original word “Redskin” is derived from its use in early America when turning in Indian body parts and scalps for payment. One would be given a reward for each redskin brought in.
Thank you. I’ll stick with a big red bird.
I’m Pat McMahon.