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I feel the Washington Redskins need to change their name because if anything can offend people, that should be stopped. In this case, Native Americans are the ones being targeted by the slur. In both the article by Christopher L. found in the Boston Globe and Chris Hoenig’s Diversity Inc article, it is mentioned how the name of the team is offensive to a copious amount of people. It is causing a great deal of controversy and negative attention toward Washington’s professional football team.
The name is causing various problems and is even affecting people who don’t even watch football. President Barack Obama said that the name should be changed and although the head coach of the Redskins Daniel Synder feels otherwise, in a way he is undermining his own nation’s president. Besides what the president said, isn’t the team’s own players’ as well as US General Attorney’s negative opinion on the team name enough to change it (Gasper)? In addition, the Oneida Indian Nation which is based in New York has also started a campaign to try to get Synder and the team to change the name from “Redskins” (Hoenig).
The team name makes Native Americans feel like their image is frowned upon. It is rather bothersome to know that a big part in the team name not being able to be changed is because of an NFL commissioner’s stance which included him growing up in Washington and being a fan of the team and never finding the “Redskins” name as derogatory (Hoenig). It is even more bothersome to learn about a prior owner of the team named George Preston Marshall and his decision to name the team the Redskins because he signed several Indian players. Even the very beginning of this being a team name wasn’t of good intentions.
It shouldn’t be a scapegoat that there are other major league sports teams with, what can be interpreted as racist, names. However, all these names should be changed though. A Washington high school was willing enough to go about this positive change. I cannot imagine why a team whose name wasn’t even the Redskins initially won’t save all this trouble and controversy.
The change of names will not even have an effect on how the team plays, wins, or loses. Because it is offending people and considered racist it should be changed. How do we expect to stop stereotypes and other forms of racism if a national football league team condones the name it has. The fact that game announcers sometimes won’t use the term because of its considerable severity should signify a problem as is.
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