When I say several, I actually mean fifty. 5-0.
According to the New York Times, that’s about half of the legislative body who is in favor of a name change. A letter was signed by all fifty Senators and sent to the NFL.
“The NFL can no longer ignore this and perpetuate the use of this name as anything but what it is: a racial slur,” the letter says. “We urge the NFL to formally support a name change for the Washington football team. . . . We urge you and the National Football League to send the same clear message as the NBA did: that racism and bigotry have no place in professional sports.”
Racism is obviously an extremely sensitive issue in professional sports and it seems that members of the senate want the NFL to send the right message. If the NBA is punishing Donald Sterling for racist comments, why should the NFL keep a racist team name? It only seems fair, right?
I’m not sure so that “fair” is the right term to use here. One thing is for sure, it’s pretty difficult to get fifty senate members to agree on something.
But, as Pro Football Talk points out, the NFL is facing a dilemma. They aren’t being racist. The name itself might offend some people, but the league insists that the name is a reflection of a strong and positive image.
Is the term “Redskins” a racial slur? What would they change their name to?
It’s so hard to please everyone these days because you never know when you are going to offend someone. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers aren’t exactly the same as a Patriot. After all, a buccaneer is a pirate who raided Spanish colonies and stole from ships.
I’m not saying a Buccaneer is the same as a Redskin. The point I’m making is that there will always be someone who takes offense to something. A team identity doesn’t always directly reflect thoughts and feelings of players and coaches. For most, it’s just a mascot.
However, this is 2014 and change is upon us, so fans should expect a name change for Washington sometime soon.
Updated: The NFL has responded to Congress’ request:
UPDATE: NFL responds to Congressional call to action letter that urges league to change Washington Redskins name. pic.twitter.com/o6T6U9UF3D
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) May 22, 2014