I was recently at a holiday event and, as is inevitable around DC, the conversation circled around to the local NFL team and the name debate. Normally, I engage in this discussion (since my thoughts on this are pretty well known here) with the intent to educate a lot of the misconceptions that have been floating around out there. (In large part, no thanks to the football team’s horrible attempts at PR.) But that night, before I could readily engage, the speaker launched into a more authoritative style and dominated the discussion with his ‘facts.’Read More A Response to a Misinformed Expert
The name change debate continues to rage in the area. Every day, it seems, someone else stands up and says the obvious – the name is racist, needs to go. And every day, the Washington football team’s PR generator tries to deflect the issue, spouting words of “honor” and “respect” without realizing what those actually mean. In the wings, however, are those who have already resolved the debate in their minds and are moving forward into the next step. People like Brian Thurber, founder of DskinDC.org.Read More De-skinning the Washington Football Team
Data and research now shows that the use of such racist and derogatory team names (and by association, ‘traditions’ and fan antics) have real and detrimental effects on Native youth today. With fifty percent of the Native population being of 25 years of age or younger, the danger of perpetuating this practice and continuing the cycle of defeatism, hostile learning environments, and poor self-esteem is all too real.Read More The Football Name Debate: Are We Missing the Point?
Hey, I get it. I understand why. Team fandom is a complicated, deep, personal thing that involves a lot of emotional investment and history. It’s difficult to hear that your beloved franchise is doing something wrong – simply by using a name (and by extension, mascot and other fan accoutrements).Read More What’s In a Football Name? Snyder Thinks He Knows – And He’s Wrong
The call to change the team’s moniker isn’t an isolated issue and it’s not, as many opponents callously bawl, “a bunch of PC bull.” It’s part of a broader issue in how we, as humans on this planet, relate and respect each person’s beliefs, culture, and ideals. How is it that this crude and racist epithet continues to exist on the fourth-most valuable sports franchise in the world? It’s an issue that goes beyond the misguided use of a word; it’s the taint of a past that many refuse – or ignore – exists.Read More A Conversation on Culture and Change Regarding the Washington Slurskins