MONTGOMERY VILLAGE, Md., March 7, 2014 – Football is by far the most popular sport in our country. While many of us follow other sports, when football season starts, we are there to rejoice or suffer with the results of the last game.
The football fans in the Washington, DC metropolitan area have always been loyal to their team. They have suffered with dismal seasons year after year with a few promising ones in between. While there have been some desertions to other teams, mainly to the great team in Baltimore, Washington fans still keep the faith and look forward to new seasons, despite the usual disappointment at the end.
Fielding a winning team is difficult. While some coaches appear to have only winning seasons, the cycle usually get them off the pedestal eventually.
A much easier thing to do is to change the name of a team. In the case of the Washington team fans, we will support the team no matter what the name is.
The current name of the team is R** S**** (to rhyme with dead skins). For a number of years now, there has been a clamor to have this name changed. So far, team owner Daniel Snyder has not even responded to these voices. Critics say the opposition is based purely on PC reasons.
Others say that the history of the team would be impacted with a name change. There are of course financial reasons. What is going to happen to all that merchandise?
It is not difficult to find people that have switched their alliance to other teams because of the reluctance of the team to change its name. That is likely a very small minority, but they do exist and they have a reason for their actions.
Whether the term originally had negative implications or not, the fact is that it does now. Those who have complained about the name indicate that they feel insulted if called that. These are mostly Native Americans.
- o red·skin
- o [ réd skìn ]
offensive term: an offensive term for a Native North American
somebody of European and African ancestry: a light-skinned person with African features, usually of mixed European and African origin
Logic tells us that if someone feels insulted when called a name, we should not use that language unless we actually want to put them down.
There are several efforts today to petition Snyder to change the name. Of course there are others that are petitioning to keep the name. This is Democracy.
One particularly efficient way to change the name is to pick one that has similarities so that logos and other fan objects can easily be transitioned or even can continue to be used. One that comes to mind is The Washington Warriors.
Remember that soon after the Baltimore Bullets moved to Washington they had a name change. This has not affected their fan pool.
While the name Warriors has a violent implication, it is not per se insulting. Other teams in the NFL have similar names like Raiders, Buccaneers and Chargers.
So Mr. Snyder, wake up and hear the voices of those offended by the name of your team. It is time to do the right thing and change it.