Will the Redskins Change Their Racist Name Soon? They'd Better.
|the logo (source)|
I really appreciate Mayor Gray saying what he did. As I've written before—here and here—"Redskins" truly is a racist name. The team and its moniker were created by George Preston Marshall, a racist who kept his team from accepting black players until he was forced to in 1962—the very last pro football team to integrate. (See this article for more on that story.) So, why has the name "Redskins" stuck around for all this time, and is there a chance it could finally be changed? Let's look.
The reasons that the name "Redskins" still exists are pretty simple: 1. When the case against the name was brought to the D.C. Court of Appeals in 2005, the judges ruled in favor of racism. 2. The Redskins are (amazingly) the highest-grossing and second most valuable team in the NFL, so there's huge money in perpetuating the franchise's racism. And 3. there hasn't been enough pressure placed on the team by either governmental organizations or the general public. Maybe that can change.
|the location of the Redskins' stadium|
in Landover, MD, east of the District
Again, as I mentioned last October, the saddest irony about the Redskins is that the majority of their many die-hard fans are African Americans. These are two of the big themes in American history—whites turning different minorities against each other, and common people accepting racism into their everyday lives so wholeheartedly that they will fight tooth and nail to defend it.
Regardless of what happens, I do know this: Future Americans will look back with embarrassment on how long it took for this NFL team to change its name and mascot. It may not seem like an important issue to most people, but that's all the more reason it should have been taken care of long ago, and as long as I live in D.C., I will remain especially infuriated by the incredibly offensive moniker borne by a sports team many Washingtonians love.