MILLINOCKET, Maine, August 24, 2014 — This past weekend The Washington Post editorial mavens published a decree:
The matter seems clearer to us now than ever, and while we wait for the National Football League to catch up with thoughtful opinion and common decency, we have decided that, except when it is essential for clarity or effect, we will no longer use the slur ourselves.
Aside from the fact that they just called the NFL thoughtless and indecent, The WaPo, as it is affectionately known, makes the assumption that a lot of people agree that “redskins” is some sort of slur. The problem is, recent polls don’t support that notion. Most people couldn’t care less, but those who object to the name are in the minority. Redskins’ fans, by-and-large support the team name.
It’s a time-honored tradition for a sports team to select a mascot that promotes the perception of being fierce, combative and intimidating, hence Wildcats, Eagles, Blue Devils, etc. Maybe the team could choose a name that more accurately reflects the actual color of its team members. Hmmm … Washington Pinkskins doesn’t allow for its Black players, while Washington Blackskins doesn’t allow for its Caucasian players; maybe Washington Black-n-pinks? Or the team could recruit only players who have not been circumcised and call them the Washington Foreskins.
What? Too sexist?
How about using an anagram of Redskins? Here are a few, courtesy of wordsmith.org:
- Nerdkiss (interesting visual image)
- Nerdskis (no, that sounds like a Polish slur)
- Redsinks (a fashion statement)
Let’s go back to fierce, combative and intimidating. Some possibilities we would suggest:
- Washington Ass-Kickers (self-explanatory)
- Washington Butt-Beaters (same as above)
- Washington Wangdoodles (wonderfully alliterative, “A Wangdoodle would eat ten Oompa Loompas for breakfast and think nothing of it.” – Willie Wonka)
- Washington Whippers (also alliterative, supply your own definition)
Let’s just hope the Redskins’ owners keep the Redskins moniker, if only to give WaPo editors a good case of apoplexy every time they see it displayed.
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