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05/13/2014

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Andrew McElhinny

As a registered member of a tribe I personally think that the team should not have to change its name. A very large number of the people who are calling this name offensive are actually not native american at all. The people who are pushing the team to change its name and calling them the Washington "Slurs" are out of hand. In my opinion the name of a professional football team does not hurt anyone. The Redskins and Seminoles are both backed by native tribes and have even been given permission by the Seminole tribe to use their name and mascot.

Greg Nelson

I think that its fine having the name "Washington Redskins" because yes many people would look at the name bad but Snyder wasn't trying to offend anyone thats part or full Cherokee. Anyone can take any name offensive. For example look at Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Many people wouldn't want to be a Buccaneer who lives in Tampa and some do. It just matters on who the person is.

Will Hopkins

Andrew makes a great point in his article when he writes that many tribes support the team name. The majority of people that are attacking the name are not Native Americans. I believe that Native American tribes should be the ones who determine if the term "Redskin" is racist or not, since they are the people the name refers to. I disagree with Andrew when he notes that the name of a football team does not hurt anyone. Even though a name might not be offensive to some people, it could hurt members of a particular group. Like Gregg mentions, I do not think that the name "Redskins" was designed to hurt the feelings of others; however, I believe that if enough Native Americans are feeling like the name is a racial term, actions should be taken to change the name.

Colin Bunker

Andrew makes a great point about the article “The Washington Racial Slurs” written by Leonard Pitts and his point is that most Native Americans actually do not find the “Redskins” name offensive. This is a great stance on this situation because the name of the Washington organization has been in place for years. There has never been such a problem until recent years. Andrew points out that most of the recent uprisings against the nickname have actually come from people who are not even Native American. Most of the people arguing that the term “Redskin” is offensive are Caucasian. Whites could be arguing this because they feel guilty for past events and they are trying to make up for being racist in the past. Despite this Native Americans do not seem to have an issue with the term, therefore, the Washington football team should not have to change their name.

Hannah Butler

Leanord Pitts Jr. argues that the team name Washington Redskins is discriminatory and should be changed. I am of two minds about this claim. On the one hand, I agree that this could be perceived as an offensive term and would understand why one would want it changed. On the other hand, I’m not sure if it’s an action that needs to be taken if Native Americans don’t feel the need to do so. They are, in fact, the ones that Pitt claims are being victimized. This being said, it may be a good decision to change the name of the team regardless of whether or not the Native Americans feel offended. According to Pitts there have been recent incidences due to association with the Washington Redskins, and if these incidences become more common a change should be made regardless of who feels it is an offensive name. Additionally, if the name is tied to unethical events then it can cause a bad reputation for the team. In order to avoid turmoil the Washington Redskins should consider making a switch sometime in the future, but as for now they seem to be doing just fine.

Kaitlin Fulmer

In "Let's hear it for the Washington Slurs", Pitts argues that the name Washington Redskins should be changed because it is an offensive term to Native Americans. I agree with Pitts to a certain aspect, as it should be changed if it is offending the Natives. On the other hand, if none of them are complaining about it being a problem then the name should be left alone. Maybe sometime in the future they can change it but I personally don not see it as a pressing issue right this second.

Karli Wilson

“Let’s Hear it for the Washington Slurs” covers the issue of the professional football team, the Redskins. It’s stated that the “Oneida Indian Nation has been pushing the Slurs to change their name,” as it is an anti-Indian slur, and therefore offensive to them. The owner of the team, Dan Snyder, is obviously very insensitive on the matter, as he’s basically refusing to even consider changing the team’s name. On top of that, he’s now trying to help these native tribes by providing financial help and even scholarship money. What he doesn’t understand is that by refusing to change his team’s name to something that isn’t so offensive, he’s lost the respect of all these native people; they don’t want any of his help. And can you blame them? You would never, ever see a sports team named after some of the racial slurs pointed at African Americans, Hispanic people, or Asian people. Why are Native Americans any different?

Zach R

I think that "Washington Redskins" is a slur, but it is the teams name and they should not change it. I do not know how many people are offended by the name "redskins", but if it gets to thousands and thousands of people not okay with then name, maybe the NFL should do something about it. Its November 2014 right now and lately i have not heard much or any talks about them changing the name, so i think the issue has died down quit a bit since earlier this year.

Daniel Gatta

Andrew and Will make great points as to why the name "Redskins" is not offensive and that the Washington organization should not be forced to change their team name. Andrew brings up the point that certain tribes have publicly said they support teams like the Redskins and the Seminoles. I agree strongly with these points and believe that when people are using these names they are referring to sports teams and never have the intent of insulting someone of Native American culture. This has just become a big issue over the course of the past couple years which begs the question why now? For decades names like the Washington Redskins and the Florida State Seminoles have existed with almost no backlash. I agree with Will on the idea that they should not have to change their names although I strongly disagree with this idea that these words in the context of football team names are offensive. These have been the names of these teams for a long time and I do not believe they should be forced to change them.

Tyson McKercher

Calling the redskins a slur and refusing to state their likeness in any publications seems like a childish response to a relatively simple topic. The Redskins' name shouldn't be as big of an issue that it is. many of the people who isn't the name is an insulting racial profile, aren't actually from a Native American decent. They just feel the name is a slur because many news outlets have led them to believe that. The issue is not a large on and isn't going to change just because people think the name is offensive. Not many Native tribes even think the name is hurtful. It is just a gross over exaggeration of the topic.

Aaron C.

Andrew McElhinny makes a good point that the Washington Redskins and Florida State Seminoles shouldn’t have to change their name and are even backed by native tribes. In my opinion, asking the team to change their name is too much. The Redskins have had their name since the 30s and I don’t see it changing any time soon. Like Andrew said, a large number of people calling the name offensive aren’t even Native Americans. In my opinion, choosing a Native American Redskin as an American National Football League mascot is more honoring than offensive.

Ethan DeWaal

In response to Karil, I believe although some people find the name offensive, it is not a big enough deal to ask the team to change the name. The fact of the matter is that the amount of money involved in changing the team name is too large for Dan Snider to even seriously consider this option. The Redskins have had the same name since the 1930s and there is a lot of history that comes with that name. For a team to rebrand after 80 years, it would take a lot of time and money and for the owner of the Redskins, Dan Snider, it isn't worth it.

Tim Miles

in response to Karil, I personally believe that even though some people of native american decent find the name of the NFL football team the "Redskins" offensive, I think that the team name has so much history behind it now that it is to late to change the name. but if the issue continues to grow and more and more native american people continue to come out and claim that the name is offensive to them then i do think that the NFL should force the team to change its name.

Sam Williamson

This controversy has always been an issue. Not just with the Redskins, but with any team with some sort of name that relates to the Indians (take for example the FSU Seminoles). But it seems that now that the internet has spread, people have seem more vocal about it. Some say keep it, other say change it. Some argue that there's a lot of history behind the name, some retort with that being no excuse. In my mind, it's just for the better to rename the team, out of respect to the Native Americans.

Some could argue that there's so much history and recognition behind the name for the Redskins to change their name. It is true that the Redskins have become an established team within the NFL, since they've won Superbowls and have an overall successful team. But success shouldn't allow the right to declare anything you want. The Americans weren't respectful towards the Native Americans and Pitts brings up facts that show that. He states how it was only $24 for the Americans to obtain Manhattan from the Indians and that the Natives didn't understand the concept of buying land, with Pitts concluding that: "The Indians got taken." Knowing that in mind, and seeing how the Redskins name themselves with that history behind their name, it just doesn't seem respectful. If Washington wants to regain that respect from a lot of people, I think that it's best to start with renaming their team.

Jacob

I agree with Andrew that many tribes are fine with the teams name and take no offense to it and that many of the people who take offense to the name are not even Native American. I think the time should be able to keep its name and that people who are not Native American shouldn't determine if it is offensive to Native Americans. There are always going to be people who will find anything offensive and Greg makes a good point that people in Tampa may find buccaneers to be offensive but we aren't trying to change the team name. I think the country has become to obsessed with being politically correct and that the Redskins name was not meant to be offensive and hasn't been considered offensive in their entire history until now. While yes native Americans have been taken advantage of in the past the team name isn't considered offensive to a lot of Native Americans so we shouldn't be even having a discussion to change the name if it doesn't apply to you as non-Native Americans.

Anna S

Though I concede that some Native Americans may not find the Washington Redskins’ name offensive, I still insist that the name should be changed because it is a racial slur and while it may not offend some people, it does offend many Native Americans. In his comment, Will discusses the idea that not everyone is necessarily offended by the name, but it still impacts some members of the group, which is enough reason to change the name. Pitts mentions that Snyder’s resistance to change the name could be rooted in sentimentality, and while I do acknowledge that as a valid reason to keep something the same, I think in this situation his sentimentality should be overlooked for the good of the community. Yes, the Washington Redskins is a recognizable name and brand and changing the name could cause confusion, but if the name hurts and disrespects a large group of people I believe it is worth risking their brand recognition. Karli mentions that a team would never be named after a racial slur that targets other groups such as African Americans or Hispanic people, so why is it justifiable to name one after Native Americans? After all, Native Americans were forcibly removed from their land, raped, and murdered by the ancestors of some of the people who think Redskins is an acceptable name.

Michael Casey

In response to Anna S., I agree that the name Redskins is offensive to some, but the name should not be changed. The Washington Redskins have been around for decades and their history is one of the richest in the NFL. To change the name of the organization is to take away that history and make it something totally new. Think about when the Baltimore Colts moved to Indianapolis and were replaced by the Ravens. Many Baltimore fans were furious of the treasonous betrayal. Likewise, if the Redskins’ name was stripped from them because some people find the term offensive. This issue is one that lies in the tradition of the franchise, as it is one none of its fans want to abandon. Pitts even states that the Redskins’ owner Dan Snyder’s refusal to change the name is “rooted in sentiment” which I strongly agree with. Pitts claims that Snyder will not change the name because the Redskins are the team he grew up rooting for and he doesn’t want those memories to be altered. As a lifelong fan as well, it would be a great travesty to see the years of memories, both good and bad, be wiped away.

Broderick Green

I agree that the Redskins can be offensive, but the name shouldn't be changed. This NFL team has been around for far too long to just change the name. This is a super bowl winning franchise, and by changing the name you are taking away all of this history that they have. another thing that is being taken away is the memories that all the fans have. they have grown up rooting for this team and have loved this team with all their heart. Changing the name of the team would take all of that away. Yes this is wrong and very disrespectful, but I just feel like the name has been around for so long already why change it now. The team already has so much history behind it now it would be pointless to change it. The only way I would say change is if this problem keeps growing.

Casey Romano

There has been controversy over the Washington Redskins team name and logo. People have been finding it offensive to their culture and their lives. I personally do not believe that the team should have to change their name or logo. People had decided that they will not even call the team by their actual name and call them the “Washington Slurs”. I do not believe that this is right, it is a football team and it is just a name that has been around for a long time. The thing people might not know is that the Redskins have actually already gone to court many times about this situation. The Redskins received a major boost in court based off of another court case about a band name that was considered racist. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s Trademark Trial and Appeal Board invalidated the teams federal trademark protections on their name and logo. They found the name was “disparaging to Native Americans” and violated a clause in the federal trademark law. After all this came up, the Supreme Court shut down all these accusations because the trademark law violated the First Amendment’s free speech protections. The Supreme Court came to a decision that the Redskins can keep their name and logo. Once this decision was open to the public, many Native Americans quickly dropped their Lawsuits a few days later. When teams decide of the names of their teams they should think about how it would affect their fans. Team owners need to think about how it will look when they wear merchandise from the team. I believe that in the future, if people feel offended by a new team name they need to come out sooner before it is too late.

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