Washington Should Drop Racist Mascot

Nick Johnson, Staff Writer

The National Football League (NFL) Washington Redskins franchise is under fire from numerous Native American groups as well as local Washington politicians because of the team’s mascot.

However, the Redskins have not given any indication that they will ever make a change. Team owner Daniel Snyder called the name a “badge of honor,” and the NFL continues to stand by them in keeping the name, according to an article in the New Jersey newspaper The Trentonian.

I believe that America is a country of change and progress. We have eradicated slavery, given women the right to vote, and participated in many peacekeeping operations in areas of conflict. But yet, this is also a country of terror.

By refusing to change the team’s name, the Redskins are not just hurting the NFL’s reputation, but the United States’ as well. It is impossible to fully eradicate all prejudice, but an NFL football team should have the decency to get rid of an offensive name.

Several Native American groups, such as the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe of Minnesota and the Cherokee Nation, have met with the NFL in New York at the league headquarters. The NFL listened to their arguments, but have not done anything in response. Native american groups such as the Oneida tribe  have asked teams like the Minnesota Vikings to refrain from using the name Redskins in reference to their potential opponent, according to the newspaper USA Today. The Oneida tribe has also paid for radio advertisements in cities where the Redskins are scheduled to play.

“I think they should probably change it,” said Junior Christian Bartolo.

Junior Karl Hou agrees that the team should change their name. “It’s very disrespectful,” he said.

Some argue that a name change would diminish the significance of Redskin rivalry games, especially against the Dallas Cowboys.

However, team names have little to do with athlete performance on the field. The term “redskin” is similar to other derogatory terms like the ‘N’ word, which has been used to distinguish African Americans, or the ‘C’ word used to refer to people of Asian descent.

There is no valid rationale for keeping the team’s current name intact, especially when it is hurtful and insensitive to so many.

Why is racism still an issue in America?

The Redskin organization could help the nation take another positive step toward a more perfect union, one in which its members can live together respectfully.

In the end, football is just a game, but if  the sport is willing to accept such a racist mascot, then perhaps it is a game to which the American public should not be so loyal.