For some reason, the pressure is building around this issue again (could be because the team again looks poised to suffer another lost season). Last week a rumor surfaced connecting Skins owner Daniel Snyder to the registration of a Washington Bravehearts name. That idea comes off as kind of lame at first until you realize how easily it would let you transition the imagery from Native American to William Wallace-Scottish. We all know how much the network censors would enjoy seeing hundreds of kilt-clad fans filling the stadium.
If you care to make up your mind about the Redskins name controversy issue ask yourself this:
If the NFL gave you a brand new franchise tomorrow (and the name had not been used), would you call your team the “Redskins”?
The only major argument in favor of the status quo is “tradition.” Clinging to tradition is always a bad sign for an argument. The community has enjoyed the Redskins tradition. Singing the fight song with the crowd was great. Nobody can take away your feelings and memories of that or ever blame or make you feel guilty for joining in.
However, it’s time to admit our culture has now evolved. The voice in our heads saying, “this feels a bit wrong,” has gotten louder and harder to ignore. Even right wing columnist Charles Krauthammer agrees with this, and we all know how far he is from being the PC police. (Yes, Krauthammer — I know, I know, broken clocks.)
Now, nobody should be able to force Daniel Snyder to change the name of his team. He owns it and, under league rules, is free to call it whatever he wants. (Although, apparently he has been called in to meet with NFL Commissioner Goodell this week over the issue.) Everyone else is also free to form opinions about Snyder’s character based on his actions of retaining a certain name for his property when he is also free to change it. If somebody buys a black racehorse and insists on calling him “Big N-word,” everyone else can call him out for being a bigot.
So, Mr. Snyder, you can keep the name, but we can no longer trust your word that you are not a bigot. Who is more likely to not be a racist: 1) a Dan Snyder who owns a team called the Redskins, or 2) a Dan Snyder who owns a team called something else? A different part of your legacy is at stake: choose to protect a ‘tradition’ that our culture has outgrown or protect your own reputation as a moral human being.
So long as you keep the name, there will always be doubt about the level of racism in your heart. Therefore, I hereby rename YOU. Until you change the name and prove otherwise, you should be referred to as “Dan ‘the Klan’ Snyder.”
This may seem like petty name-calling, but isn’t that what this whole issue is about?
Looking ahead, there are plenty of marketable name options out there for the Washington football club. I’ve heard “Bullets” is available.