Thursday, February 5, 2015

Redskins, a racial slur?

Redskins Helmet
Credited to Keith Allison  and Creative Commons Reserved Rights
The National Football League teams have moved cities and changed team names, but there has never been such a controversy over a team name as the Washington Redskins. The Washington Redskins are being pressured to change their team name because most Native Americans believe that the term “Redskins” is a racial slur towards them. I personally believe that having a team named after you would be an honor and that the Redskins franchise is not trying to offend Native American people. The media has made this problem a bigger issue than it needs to be. The “Change the Mascot” Super Bowl commercial caused people to become more aware of the Redskins franchise and how Native Americans believe that this is a racial slur. The Super Bowl ad is just one example of how the media is attacking the Redskins franchise over a single word. Coverage is unfairly targeting the Redskins franchise and the media has created a huge uproar over the team name.

The Redskins franchise are opposed to changing their team name because they consider it as an honor to Native American people. They are not trying to offend anyone by have the term “Redskins” as their team name. Many former players of the Redskins franchise have traveled to Indian Reservations and helped out in the communities across the country. They have helped build schools and playgrounds. The idea that these former players are creating is that just because some Native American people disagree with the team name does not mean that the people of the franchise are rude or not good people. The franchise does not want to change their team name and many people around the country think that they are not good people.

In America, when people do not get what they want, people tend to go crazy and start fights to get what they want even if it is for a absurd reason or cause. Native American people who are fighting to change the name of the Redskins have not received what they want to happen to they are trying to turn many people against the Redskins to have their name changed. Also, the fact that the Native American people are comparing the term Redskins to a racial slur against African American is driving many of the former Redskins players crazy.

However, some Native American people are not opposed to the Redskins because they have adapted and do not have a problem with the name. These people think that the Redskins franchise is honoring them, not offending them. They are fine with the name unlike many other Native American people.

The Redskins franchise is countersuing Native Americans who are suing them. This controversy is causing a huge uproar in the sports world and the government. Some parts of the government are opposed to having the team name stay as “Redskins.” They are cutting of the Redskins funding and along with that, the Native American people who want to change the team name are suing them. They have many Twitter accounts and Facebook pages. The Super Bowl commercial/ad that started this major controversy has developed into what the Native American people wanted all along (National Congress of American Indians). This video has received three million views and it is giving the American Indians more of a voice than the Washington Redskins franchise. They received publicity from this video and now the Native American people are trying to persuade every other National Football League team. The Native American Association is going for the jugular of the Redskins franchise by attacking their supposed rivals, all of the other NFL teams, in the sports world.

There has been a poll from the Oneida Indian Nation, a group who has pushed for the team name to be changed, states that 59% of Native Americans would have the right to be offended if they were called “Redskin.” Also, 55% of people would not stop supporting the team if their name was changed. 25% of people said that they would support the team less. Imagine this: pretend you have all of the Redskins fans in the world. What would happen to the franchise if you took 25%, or ¼, of those fans away? How much money would they lose? By taking away ¼ of the fans, the Redskins would lose a lot of money. However, what these people are failing to realize is that it is not 100% of people who want the name changed from this poll in Washington D.C. It is not even ⅔ majority of the people. The media has caused the Redskins to possibly lose a lot of fans and a lot of money over a team name that is not meant to be offensive to anyone.

Overall, there are people who do not want the team name to be changed and vast numbers of people who want the name changed. Many Native Americans believe that “Redskins” is a racial slur and should not be used as a team name. However some former professional football players believe that the term “Redskins” should not be compared to a racial slur against black people. In my opinion, Native Americans should be proud and feel honored to have a team named after them. The Redskins franchise does not mean any harm towards the Native peoples, they just thought that it would be a good name for their team.


In conclusion, media coverage is unfairly targeting the Redskins franchise and the media has created a huge uproar over the team name. I appreciate everyone who has commented on my blog and each person has made valid points, especially the point about news outlets and how they some of them are not referring to the team as the Washington Redskins. This point really interested me and caused me to think more about the issue. Even though I do think that a lot of the news outlets will stop referring to the Washington Redskins as the “Redskins,” I do not think that the Redskins organization will change their team name because they would lose a lot of money and profit. Another point that stood out to me was about the economy of the Redskins organization and how they should consider changing their team because they may lose a lot of money. Personally, I believe that the Washington Redskins will lose more money by changing their team name because they will have to remake all of their merchandise and there will be only an estimated five percent difference of fans that will not cheer for the team anymore. Overall, creating this blog was an excellent experience and it caused me to think in a different way. Also, commenting and reading other peoples blogs helped me learn many different, interesting things that I did not know about the internet. Even though this was a great experience, I often found this process frustrating because I kept accidentally deleting all of my comments instead of publishing them, but it was also quite interesting learning about how to use this technology. I had an amazing time creating this blog and I think that more people should consider creating blogs.


  1. I enjoyed reading your article on the controversy surrounding the name for the Washington football team. I read an article dated from last summer regarding the Detroit Newsthat this particular newspaper and website has a new policy that states its staff cannot mention the Washington "Redskins" by that name. Do you think that this will become increasingly the case for news outlets? If this loss of coverage has an economic effect, do you think that ultimately the team should change its name just avoid losing fans and money? Thank you for posting on this topic, GraceGiraffe!--Ms. Riches

    1. Hi Ms. Riches! Thank you for commenting on my article. I appreciate you points that you made and I also found this article very interesting. However, I think that some of the news outlets will not refer to the team as the "Redskins." I think that the Redskins franchise will continue to lose money, but I do not think that they will be losing fans. As I said in my blog, there was a survey done and it states that the Redskins will at most lose 5% of their fans. They will lose money from that, but that is not the end of the world. Thanks again for reading my blog. It is much appreciated.

  2. Wow! Great article Gracegiraffe! I find this to be a very relevant and interesting topic. How does this situation affect the treatment of Native Americans as a whole? Why do some tribes not mind the name while other do? Great post!

    1. Hi MBenjaminDR! Thank you for reading my blog and thank you for your questions. This situation is creating an uproar on how Native Americans are being treated by non-Native American. I personally think that some Native Americans are feeling miss treated and they want to make that well known to the public. They decided to attack the Redskins now because they found then as a good target to attack and they felt that they could get a lot of people on their side. Some tribes do not care as much because I think that have just accepted the name. Thanks again for reading my post!

  3. Gracegiraffe, you raise some great points. I found it very interesting that only 5% more people would not stop supporting the team if they did change the name. I think that the Washington "Redskins" should at least consider changing the name, especially with how big the problem has become today. How do you think this is affecting investors in the team and in football in general? How do you think this is changing the way people view team mascots? Thanks for giving your side on the story!

    1. Hi PansexualPrincess! Thank you for reading my blog and thank you also for giving your opinion. Also, the questions you asked were very insightful. I think that some of the investors are affected by this fight because the Redskins are losing a lot of money and the government is not funding them as much. This may cause some of the investors to jump ship so that they do not lose money. Also, this mascot is causing an uproar of appropriateness or offensiveness of team names throughout all of sports. People are taking a closer look at offensive team names now more than ever. Thank you again for your insightful comments!

  4. Hello Gracegiraffe, I really enjoy how you told your opinion but were also very respectful in recognizing the fact that others may think different than you. I would like to begin by asking what do you personally think a solution to this issue maybe? As a minority myself I can definitely understand how this name could be considered offensive by the Native Americans, however I understand your standpoint and you make many valid points.

    1. Hi Naomi! Thank you for taking the time to read and comment on my blog. I really liked the question that you asked me. It was very insightful. Personally, I think that the Redskins will not change their team name for a couple of reasons. Reason 1: the Redskins franchise has been around for a long time and has left many legacies throughout the National Football League. Reason 2: the Redskins franchise has all of their merchandise and have sponsored many things. By changing the team name, they would be losing vast amounts of money. Overall, I do not think that they will change their team name. Thanks again for reading my blog.

  5. Good job Gracegiraffe! I am glad that you highlighted the economic as well as social aspects of this debate. I have always been aware of the Redskins team and their emblem, but it has never crossed my mind the racial meaning behind it. A lot of people like me haven't even realized the correlation of the Redskins franchise and Native Americans, even though it is fairly obvious once pointed out. However, I highly doubt that the Redskins franchise will concede to the demands to change unless they get to the point where they are loosing more money than it will cost to change the team name, team colors, team emblem, and all Redskins merchandise.

    1. Hi Jim Raynor! Thank you for taking the time to read my blog. I really appreciate it. I completely agree with you that the Redskins will not change their team name because of all of the money that they would be losing. You are right. If they changed all of their merchandise they would have to buy all knew merchandise to match the knew logo. That would be a lot of money going down the drain. Thanks again for reading my blog. It is much appreciated.


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