It’s been nearly seven months since the Super Bowl finale of last year’s NFL season and countless things have changed around the league. Johnny Football is a pro, Josh Gordon is suspended for a year, Ray Rice will be missing a couple games, and the first openly gay player was temporarily on an NFL roster. Yet even with all the changes, two very important things have stayed the same. Tom Brady is still a beautiful man, and the Washington Redskins racist namesake remains.
For years now people have cried out to the organization, requesting they change their blatantly racist name. Yet, here we are in 2014 using a logo that depicts a Native American with a blood red face just staring into nothingness. Several newspapers around the country refuse to print the name and even president Barack Obama spoke out against it, saying he believes they should think about changing the name. Sure, there’s teams in other sports like the Atlanta Braves, Chicago Blackhawks, and Cleveland Indians, but none of those names are a dictionary-defined racial slur. If you look into it, the name is accepted by so many people due to the lack of interaction American citizens actually have with Native Americans. The Native American population makes up roughly one percent of the nation’s population. Think about the last time you interacted or even saw a Native American where you live.
Imagine an expansion NFL team entering the league with a name like the Los Angeles Black Faces that encompasses a logo depicting an African-American man’s face in place of the Redskins face. I’m just about a hundred percent sure this would be unpleasant to people all around the country, my reason being the 12.5 percent of our population who are African-American and the spotlight on civil rights that we all learned about in our middle school history classes. Racism is horrible and people fear it even when they display it accidentally. If you ever want to hear someone lie, ask them if they’ve ever had a racist thought about a black man, or vice versa.
As much as equality has grown in the past fifty years, racism still looms uncomfortably over a vast majority of people’s lives. Just look at the recent events still taking place in Ferguson, Missouri. Now there’s an opportunity to remove one of the last remaining racist images in sports, but owner Dan Snyder insists on putting his own dumb reasons over what could be a display of modern philanthropism. Dan Snyder places what he considers tradition above the concerns of an entire race. But it’s not something to worry about, as he states “We will never change the name of the team.” Until Snyder can give up on “tradition” and just pick a new one, the league will be stuck with the Redskins, which truthfully was never a good name in the first place. The Washington Insanely Cool Fighting Robots is an awful replacement name, but seeing as it isn’t a racial slur I would prefer to hear sports anchors say this name any day of the week. Will there be a name change in the future? It’s highly unlikely but we can only wait and see.