In recent years, the Washington Redskins’ name has drawn incredible outrage and defense from sports fans across the United States.
It is hard to deny that our country’s treatment of native Americans has been subpar over our history, with such events as the trail of tears, or the constant violation of tribal treaties.
Our society sits on the land once owned by the natives that inspired the Redskins name, yet their culture is hardly recognized by our society.
“Redskins” was a common slang term for native Indians used by settlers on the frontier. Simply an all-encompassing expression for the variety of tribes that no one could keep track of. It was not meant as an insult, even if it lacks recognition of the tribal origins, it’s simply a recognition of color and therefore race. No more derogatory than calling someone black or white.
I think it’s good to recognize the Redskins as a team and a symbol of power. Recognize the culture instead of purge history and ideas like most would like to have in our society.
Having a Native American football team honors their culture. Football is one of the most celebrated and loved pass times by Americans today. Even the president of the Navajo nation attends games.
Obviously, there’s an offensive way to represent their culture and that is easy to identify. Having been to multiple Redskins games, I have seen nothing that represents cultural appropriation or anything that’s offensive to the culture the name represents. All teams have to keep up an image and the Redskins are no different in their duty to keep up the image. Their business depends on respecting the name and the culture behind it.
In conclusion, I understand some people may feel it’s their “duty” to stand up for ideas like changing an “offensive” name. Most of these people fight for people they’ve never met. The leader of the Navajo nation loves the Redskins and polls show most natives (90% by some polls) don’t care about the name. Time would be better spent worrying about real problems instead of making them out of nowhere. We can’t change the past but we can remember our mistakes and learn from them.
People: just mind your own business.
It’s time for social-justice warriors to quit acting as spokespeople for those they have never met and cultures they do not understand.