January 12, 2013

"Only RGIII can make the Redskins change their name. Here’s why he won’t."

Says WaPo sportswriter Mike Wise:
Pro players who take on controversial social debates are gone, replaced by athletes whose goal is to not offend... There is no Muhammad Ali, who lost his heavyweight boxing title as a conscientious objector to the Vietnam War. There is no Jim Brown, arguably the greatest running back in NFL history, who found more meaning in bringing rival L.A. gang members together than in playing on the gridiron, where, he realized, he was just “a highly paid, over-glamorized gladiator.”

There is no Arthur Ashe, the late tennis champion and civil rights activist, who in 1985 was arrested outside the South African Embassy in Washington during an anti-apartheid rally. There’s not even a Curt Flood, the St. Louis Cardinal who didn’t accept a trade to another team in 1969, appealing to the U.S. Supreme Court in a landmark case that paved the way for free agency.
Sports stars (and other pop culture stars) have clout, but what do they know about the political issues they could influence? Wouldn't the best, most ethical stance be to acknowledge their lack of qualification outside of their field of expertise?
“Have you thought about what it’s like to play for a team that’s named the Redskins?” I asked. “Because a lot of American Indians and others feel that’s a derogatory term.”

“I’m not qualified to speak on that,” Griffin said. “I didn’t even mean to stir up the other thing, so I’m not going to touch that one.”
Isn't that exactly right? Shouldn't more celebrities do that?

(By the way, "the other thing" refers to that "down with the cause... cornball brother" business.)

126 comments:

Big Mike said...

Isn't that exactly right? Shouldn't more celebrities do that?

Damn right!

Big Mike said...

BTW, didn't the guy who accused RGIII of being a "cornball brother" just get sacked? Now who's the cornball?

Ann Althouse said...

The cornballs control the hiring and firing. That's why there's a struggle... that RGIII might not be down with.

Richard Dolan said...

Well, what qualifications does one need to speak about a team's name? In declining to get drawn in, RGIII is showing admirable restraint, and lots of political savvy as well. Avoiding controversy is generally pretty good advice for sports figures. They're on a pedestal not of their making, and it's hard enough to stay up there without trying to do somersaults at the same time.

SGT Ted said...

Only RGIII can be the Speech Police and force people to do what they have no desire to do and elevate our pet peeve into a national cause, because dark skinned people have moral authority that white people don't in a PC society. Here's why he won't.

James said...

BTW, didn't the guy who accused RGIII of being a "cornball brother" just get sacked? Now who's the cornball?

Yes, but not for what he said on the ESPN show. The secret is that all those comments that feign spontaneity are screened beforehand in the production meeting. So ESPN's producers heard the "cornball brotha" comment and approved of it. That why after the public uproar he was only suspended for 30 days.

Rob Parker was fired after giving an interview to the Detroit media where he doubled down on his initial ESPN comments...and he also revealed ESPN's culpability in the matter.

Bender said...

“Have you thought about what it’s like to play for a team that’s named the Redskins?” I asked. “Because a lot of American Indians and others feel that’s a derogatory term.”

A lot of people of indigenous origin feel that American "Indian" is a derogatory term, you hateful bigot. They're not from India!

Michael said...

Couldnt we just have a conversation and then a compromise and call them the Rednecks?

Michael said...

Couldnt we just have a conversation and then a compromise and call them the Rednecks?

James said...

Here's a snippet of the interview he did in Detroit: http://www.awfulannouncing.com/2013/january/video-rob-parker-digs-a-deeper-hole-with-first-interview-since-rgiii-controversy.html

" [The show's producers] knew which way we were going and it was not off the cuff," Parker admitted on Flashpoint. "I don't know if [ESPN] enjoyed it. I think they were really hurt by the backlash that came from it. It wasn't meant in that vain at all. The people and the producers and everybody on the show, we just didn't think of it that way. We weren't trying to slam the kid; we were trying to tackle these issues."

Considering that ESPN apologized for Brent Musberger describing a beauty contestant as "beautiful" you could see why they fired Parker since he revealed something that was supposed to remain a secret.

cubanbob said...

The total compensation package for a sports writer is a rounding error for a top level player. The sports writer risks nothing in comparison.

Sorun said...

RGIII isn't the first black quarterback in DC, but it seems they want to pretend he is -- sportswriters looking for something "edgy" to write about.

The first was Doug Williams, who then wrote a book titled, "Quarterblack." Too funny.

Sorun said...

"...to take on a problem that’s been plaguing Washington for decades..."

I lived in the DC area for 25 years. No one ever talks about this except a hand-wringing sportswriter maybe once every few years. Hardly "plaguing."

AllenS said...

Change the name of the team to the Cornballs.

Elliott A said...

If he can stay healthy long enough, he has a future in politics. (Jack Kemp, JC Watts)

jd said...

This coming from the lady who admitted that she tried to influence the hillary illness story by "stirring the pot." Such arrogance. RGIII is as qualified as you to speak on an issue.

Sorry Althouse, but if some idiot athlete, as you're intimating they are, isn't qualified, than neither are you.

Mitchell the Bat said...

There should be a team called the New York Jews.

Sorun said...

Of course, DC's NBA team was once ironically called the Bullets. That got changed, so I guess it's possible.

purplepenquin said...

Interesting double standard...the professor can blog on a daily basis about all kinds of different social issues and situations outside her field of expertise, but the football player is supposed to keep quiet and stand in the corner until we want him to play a game.

That aside, will someone please tell me why it is a huge part of "right wing" values for this football team to continue to be called "Redskins"? I truly don't understand how this is connected to politics.

Tank said...

Why not the Washington Whiteys.

Sounds good.

Got that W W thing.

Whiteys won't complain - we love that shit.

RGIII won't have to deal with it. They can ask some of the white players on the team.

Sorun said...

That aside, will someone please tell me why it is a huge part of "right wing" values for this football team to continue to be called "Redskins"?

DC is hugely Democratic. Hardly "right wing."

Tank said...

rplepenquin said...
Interesting double standard...the professor can blog on a daily basis about all kinds of different social issues and situations outside her field of expertise, but the football player is supposed to keep quiet and stand in the corner until we want him to play a game.

That aside, will someone please tell me why it is a huge part of "right wing" values for this football team to continue to be called "Redskins"? I truly don't understand how this is connected to politics.


This is correct, you do not understand.

Sorun said...

There is an Indian school somewhere whose mascot is "Whiteys." I mail-ordered a jersey from them once. The profile of an old white guy is their logo, and the battle cry is "Everything is going to be all white."

AllenS said...

purplepenquin said...
That aside, will someone please tell me why it is a huge part of "right wing" values for this football team to continue to be called "Redskins"?

I guess that I can try. I know plenty of liberals that aren't upset over sports teams named using Native American names. Most adults understand that naming sports teams after Indians is done solely for the image of honorable Warriors, Chiefs... and the accompanying esprit de corps.

Shouting Thomas said...

Pro players who take on controversial social debates are gone...

There are no real "controversial social debates" to carry on.

Only manufactured ones, like this one... and Althouse's gay marriage wackiness.

Shouting Thomas said...

So, the argument is that we should continue to manufacture civil rights crusades... for what reason?

Nostalgia for the 60s?

So that Dylan fans can continue to revel in the zeitgeist of his protect songs?

Bill Harshaw said...

If knowledge is the prerequisite for voicing opinions on public issues, most bloggers and their commenters would be out of business.

edutcher said...

If we're going to be ethnographically and racially correct, how 'bout the Washington Siberians?

And RG is showing good sense(see Chan, Jackie).

SGT Ted said...

PP the value being defended here in regards to the name "Redskins" is free speech.

Shouting Thomas said...

Is there any possible way that this nostalgia for 60s civil rights tantrums can be laid to rest?

We all like Star Trek movies, too, but is it really a good idea to keep making dumb sequels?

Will anybody ever have a new idea again, or are we doomed to keep rerunning the 60s forever? Granted, it was a good decade for fun, sex and drama, but isn't it about time for another decade of fun, sex and drama to take it's place?

dreams said...

Liberals want to change the world and ignorant athletes can be useful pawns in their do good endeavor. RG3 is obviously more intelligent than your average black athlete which is why he has become controversial due to his being a Republican along with other reasons thus making him a cornball black in the eyes of the black community and liberals everywhere.

mtrobertsattorney said...

I live in a town that has a large population of Native Americans.

These folks enjoy sports a lot and whenever I'm at high school basketball or football game, I see that a whole lot of them are wearing Redskin hats with the Indian logo. And a fair number are even wearing those expensive Redskin team jackets.

I guess they haven't heard yet that white sports writers have decreed that they are supposed to be offended by that name.

SGT Ted said...

What the perpetually offended like to ignore is that teams have their names because they admire what they represent in the way of toughness and fighting spirit.

But, its easier to ignore that and simply call it "racism" to use that false characterization like a thetorical club to stifle opposition.

dreams said...

"These folks enjoy sports a lot and whenever I'm at high school basketball or football game, I see that a whole lot of them are wearing Redskin hats with the Indian logo. And a fair number are even wearing those expensive Redskin team jackets.

I guess they haven't heard yet that white sports writers have decreed that they are supposed to be offended by that name."


I've followed sports all my life and came to have an early dislike for sportswriters, there isn't any group of people more liberal than sportswriters.

dreams said...

"What the perpetually offended like to ignore is that teams have their names because they admire what they represent in the way of toughness and fighting spirit.

But, its easier to ignore that and simply call it "racism" to use that false characterization like a thetorical club to stifle opposition"

Its actually a compliment and probably regarded as one by everyone but the trouble making liberals who want to change the world.

Elliott A said...

I have patients who are Mohegans, (the ones that own the Connecticut casino) and are all avid Redskin fans.

edutcher said...

Shouting Thomas said...

Is there any possible way that this nostalgia for 60s civil rights tantrums can be laid to rest?

We all like Star Trek movies, too, but is it really a good idea to keep making dumb sequels?


Nah, the only good Trek movie was the one with Ricardo Montalban from the planet of Rich Corinthian Leather.

PS Elliott, is it Mohegan or Mohican, or are they different tribes?

Baron Zemo said...

Most athletes should follow the example of one of the smartest players who has been around for many a year: Derek Jeter.

Be classy, play hard, hustle, talk in platitudes and get all the pussy you can handle but keep them happy so they don't go to the tabloids.

Baron Zemo said...

RG3 is smart and if he is not careful he can manipulate this into a gig as a Senator from Virginia in about twenty years.

Baron Zemo said...

And I don't know but the rebooted Star Trek with the new Kirk and Spock and McCoy was a lot of fun. Just sayn'

William said...

I think that, by and large, jocks are more conservative than social workers. If they started speaking out, they would soon be given the Lindsay Lohan treatment. They would hear many jokes about concussive injuries that will never be directed at Hillary Clinton. In public life, if you can't say something liberal, it's best to say nothing at all.

betamax3000 said...

Like a lot of manufactured social issues the name of the Redskins is heap-big hokum.

lemondog said...

Why no controversy over the Cleveland Browns, KC Chiefs with its arrowhead icon. Atlanta Braves with its tomahawk?

What else can we go after....

Darcy said...

I'd like to know why "Only RGII can make the Redskins change their name."

Because he's black?

I'm so sick of this racism.

betamax3000 said...

Atheists hate the California Angels.

bagoh20 said...

In the city of Compton CA, until just recently a predominantly Black population, the name of the high school sports teams is the "Tarbabies". They never changed it. Look it up on Wiki.

How many people need to be offended before something should be done. Many Native Americans are proud when teams are named after them, which I think is the natural reaction for most ethnicities, even when the name is a little derogatory toward them. The people who like something in our culture are almost invisible behind the glare of the perpetually aggrieved. We live in a whinocracy, and it's soul sucking.

betamax3000 said...

Thailand hookers hate the Yankees. All day long, Yankee Yankee this, Yankee Yankee that: it gets old.

Baron Zemo said...

The best school cheer ever invented was from Austin Peay University when Fly Williams of Brooklyn was starring for their basketball team.

The Cheer:
"Fly is Open...Let's Go Peay!"

betamax3000 said...

Ans what about the Los Angeles Clippers? Everyone knows Clippers is derogatory. Obvious.

Darcy said...

An Illinois high school's team name was the Pekin Chinks. Until 1981!

bagoh20 said...

It'a also pretty dysfunctional the way we decide that something is offensive these days. It often doesn't even have to have any negative history or connotation. The fact that it is associated with a particular group seems to be enough. What does it say that we take a neutral word and make it a slur by choice? It says that victimhood has benefits - you get the power to victimize others even if they have done nothing to you. Woohoo - progress!

lemondog said...

Cincinnati Reds......why not Cincinnati Capitalists?

Darcy said...

The Washington Colorblinds.

Elliott A said...

@edutcher...Mohegans, Mohegan Sun casino, Uncasville, CT. They are related to the chief.

@lemondog...the Reds are really the Red Legs

Elliott A said...

pantaloons a opposed to sox

lemondog said...

White Sox?

virgil xenophon said...

@Darcy

I'm originally a Prarie Stater vand dated a girl from Pekin in the late 50s/early 60s. They used to wear Chinese Coolie Hats to the football games, lol.There is still a Chinese conection, tho, as they are now known as the "Dragons." (FWIW The city of Pekin got its name because it was supposedly on the oppo side of the Earth from Peking, China.)

Shouting Thomas said...

The Washington Nothings!

virgil xenophon said...

@Baron Zemo/

How about those early 70s cheers: "Elevator, elevator, we got the shaft!" and "Nuts and Bolts, we got screwed!" LOL.

edutcher said...

Good one, Shout!

Baron Zemo said...

And I don't know but the rebooted Star Trek with the new Kirk and Spock and McCoy was a lot of fun. Just sayn'

No Gene Roddenberry.

Elliott A said...

@edutcher...Mohegans, Mohegan Sun casino, Uncasville, CT. They are related to the chief.

Thanks, good to know.

Darcy said...

@virgil

Interesting! I only knew this because I have a friend from Cobden - home of the Appleknockers, and he remembers them playing the Pekin Chinks. :)

mccullough said...

Since they play in Maryland, they should be called the Maryland Redskins. They have a big rivalry with the New Jersey Giants.

SGT Ted said...

As a Cirumsciso-American, I am offended by the name the "Clippers".

Traumatized too.

purplepenquin said...

DC is hugely Democratic. Hardly "right wing."

Didn't you just say that you lived there for 25 years and nobody really talks about it?

The reason I said it is a right-wing stance is 'cause Limbaugh is the most vocal opponent (that I've personally heard) against changing the name of the team. Plus the folks on this thread that are against a name-change are also on the right (NTTAWWT!) but this is a conservative blog so of course that sampling is skewed.

Could you please point me to some lefty pundits that also are strongly in support of keeping the name the same? I'm curious to see if their reasoning is akin as those on the right.

~~~~~~~~

PP the value being defended here in regards to the name "Redskins" is free speech

Some of my pals complain that the words cunt, nigger, fuck, asshole, shit, God-damn, and many others are bleeped-out on TV. Never sure how to respond to them when they say "It is free speech, dude!!"

*shrug*

I agree it is a sticky wicket, and I ain't very fond of laws that limit/restrict our First Amendment. Rather I wish that folks would have the common sense to not use hurtful/hateful words publicly.

Shouting Thomas said...

... this is a conservative blog ...

I would dispute this.

The tag "conservative" seems to have no meaning other than "all things which are not liberal or progressive."

So, it seems to be a grab bag for people who want to be left alone by government and social activists.

The absence of something is the presence of something?

I'm commonly labeled a conservative by people like you, penguin, but I just think of myself as somebody who mostly wants to be left alone by the world savers, and wishes they would go home.

virgil xenophon said...

@Darcy/

The Appleknockers! The last of the super-small schools to win the ISHAA Basketball State Championship when it was still an open all-comers event just before the ISHAA instituted the Class ranking system. (by HS size)

harrogate said...

"Isn't that exactly right? Shouldn't more celebrities do that?"

Yeah, but not law professors. Or most bloggers actually, amateurs and pros alike.

I know, I know. It's the performing artists and the athletes who should shut up and sing/play. But hmmmm. Maybe everyone else should shut up too, and just go to work.

That fun little exercise complete, I see no reason why Griffin should feel compelled one way or the other

Shouting Thomas said...

I agree it is a sticky wicket, and I ain't very fond of laws that limit/restrict our First Amendment. Rather I wish that folks would have the common sense to not use hurtful/hateful words publicly.

Eh, highly overrated.

I prefer for people to speak their mind, no matter how crazy or hurtful or hateful it might seem to somebody. Better solution is for people to develop a thick hide.

People speaking their minds is more entertaining. Who the fuck wants to live in the colorless, sensitive world of PC? Even the lame PC kids fresh out of college I used to work with in the offices would flee the world of PC for sex clubs and comedy clubs as soon as they got out of work.

The only thing that holds together all this bullshit of shushing people is an army of lawyers looking for swag.

Astro said...

The worst offender is Notre Dame with that idiotic caricature of a Leprechaun and that derogatory nickname 'Fighting Irish'.
I so enjoyed the beat-down they got from Alabama.

Imagine if some school had a cartoon spear-carrying pigmy as it's logo and the nickname the Fighting Africans.

SteveOrr said...

"Yankees" was allegedly a slur for the Dutch settlers of New York. It's still used derisively by some to describe Americans.

It's probably a good thing that NYC didn't abandon the name & whine about the way Latin America disrespects them.

virgil xenophon said...

PS to Darcy:

Sorry--they were runners-up in 1964--the school only had 147 students! Some schools they beat had more students than did the town of Cobdon! A real "Rocky" -type story. Shows what time will do to this geezer's memory--I was soph at LSU that spring..

Elliott A said...

@lemondog..think BEANS

Sorun said...

"Didn't you just say that you lived there for 25 years and nobody really talks about it?"

The DC area has millions of people, most of whom vote for Democrats. I'm one guy. Are you trying to blame the lack of a name change on a political minority?

If the Dem-dominate fan base wanted a name change, there'd be one.

"Could you please point me to some lefty pundits...".

LOL! No.

Astro said...

As for the Redskins, numerous polls have been conducted over the years showing the vast majority of American Indians are OK with the name and logo. The 'controversy' is primarily in the minds of liberal 'do-gooders' who are clueless.

virgil xenophon said...

@Astro/

You would be wrong. The only reason we do not lionize blacks as athletic symbols is because we never fought them. The British have lionized the Zulus for their martial prowness by naming three destroyers at one time or another the HMS ZULU and there is an RAF Fighter Squadron that uses the nickname of "Zulus" w. the Zulu shield and crossed spears as its emblem/squadron patch that every pilot proudly wears. There are also two USAF fighter squadrons that were fiormed in the S. Pacific in WW II that used an emblem of a New Guinea Head-Hunter as their squadron patch in honor of their fierce fighting abilities. People do not wear patches with the likeness of such people that they may wear to their deaths unless they are honored to have them represent them. Same for naming of ships. It's ALL about respect and NOT derrogotypes..

SMGalbraith said...

I see a world of difference between a blogger blogging semi-anonymously on the internet and a professional athlete with a huge megaphone pushing an issue.

The latter certainly entails greater influence. It's why, for example, Wise wants them to lead the way while he sits on the sidelines. And he doesn't just want them to give an opinion; he wants them to, like Ali or Flood or Ashe, lead the demonstration.

This is clearly, to me, different than a law professor opining on various subjects.

Baron Zemo said...

I do think that the ESPN guy Rob Parker should not be fired because of his remarks. He is entitled to his opinion and I think his first amendment rights were violated.

In fact I don't know why he was fired? I thought black racism is not only tolerated but celebrated and this douchenozzle calling out RG3 as not being black enough was par for the course?

Seriously how could this happen in Barack Obama's America?

Birches said...

@mtrobertsattorney I've got Native cousins too and they are always wearing Braves and Redskin gear.

This idea that Athletes don't take a stand irks me. SI did a piece on this a few months ago, but declined to mention Manny Pacquiao and Tim Thomas (because they didn't like their POVs). Really, when the WAPO goes off on athletes it's that the athletes aren't on the right side.

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1201772/index.htm

purplepenquin said...

I would dispute this.

Of course you will. After all, I said it! :D

Seriously, this discussion has been had many many times but the facts are still the same. Althouse markets itself as not only a conservative blog, but one of the top ones in the nation. If it ain't really a conservative blog then quite a few advertisers are owed a refund.

I'm commonly labeled a conservative by people like you, penguin,

I don't think I've ever called you a conservative. You must have me confused with someone else.

I prefer for people to speak their mind, no matter how crazy or hurtful or hateful it might seem to somebody.

A wise man once said that manners are the lubrication of society. And that is what this is really about...proper manners.

I reckon some folks just want to see the world burn.

Chip S. said...

Could you please point me to some lefty pundits that also are strongly in support of keeping the name the same?

Never mind pundits, for whom talk is cheap. Why don't all the liberals who are DC football fans threaten a boycott to get the team to change its name?

Synova said...

"That aside, will someone please tell me why it is a huge part of "right wing" values for this football team to continue to be called "Redskins"? I truly don't understand how this is connected to politics."

It doesn't connect to politics really, other than in a very general sense where conservatives are likely to object to knee-jerk PC stupidity.

Logically, rationally, if "Redskins" was derogatory, no one would have to try to shame a sports team into picking something else. It was picked in the first place because the name embodied something that was viewed as admirable and strong. Because that's the point of a sports name.

But what PC means is that you can't make that fact-based argument. Simply arguing *at all* makes you a bad person.

virgil xenophon said...

@Synova/

Yes, when Paul Deitzel named his Defensive team on his LSU 1958 Nat Championship football team the "Chinese Bandits" he was doing it solely to destroy their morale and purposely insult Chinese the world over, right?

virgil xenophon said...

And let's not even get into the "Fighting Illini" and the Univ of Utah "Utes"--both of which names reflecting the name of the State the Univ is located in. Funny, I don't hear the PC/"native rights" crowd demanding that the States of Ill & Utah be each re-named because their names show such blatant "disrespect" for the American Indian....

furious_a said...

"And the issue is gaining new attention: This past week, Washington Post columnist Cortland Milloy excoriated the name in a column...

Journos making their own news so that they can follow up with "...some say..." and "...controversial issue gains new attenion..." stories. It's the New York Times/Augusta National all over again.

Rather than focusing on a ginned-up controversy to which the WaPo is trying to conscript him, Mr. Griffin III's attention ought to be on his recovery. Once he's rehabilitated his knee RGIII can set up the RGIII Foundation to address his pet cause(s). Or he can spend his money on Krystal and posses and bad investment advice.

As someone in the WaPo article's comments pointed out, Ali, Ashe, Brown and Flood were all established stars and the causes they championed affected them (or in Ashe's and Brown's cases their race) directly. In this case the WaPo is trying to intimidate RGIII into adopting their pet cause.

And the creepy racial authenticism of "cornball brother" 'cause RGIII is dating a white girl -- imagine the righteous (and rightly so) pushback if the criticism came from Redneck-H8r instead of Solidarity-Brother.

...but the football player is supposed to keep quiet and stand in the corner until we want him to play a game.

That's your inference, PP, and an instructive one. It's clear (apparently not to you) that the intent of the article is to force RGIII into advocacy for the WaPo's pet cause, and it's also clear (also apparently not to you) that the pushback here is that RGIII ought to be left alone.

Chip S. said...

Logically, rationally, if "Redskins" was derogatory, no one would have to try to shame a sports team into picking something else.

This only follows if the people buying tickets find the name offensive enough to stop buying tickets.

It was picked in the first place because the name embodied something that was viewed as admirable and strong.

Not exactly. The team was first called the "Braves", in an attempt to piggyback on the popularity of the Boston baseball team. After a year of low ticket sales, the team switched to the more, er, colorful name.

Does anyone think that an expansion team today would ever call itself "Redskins"? Isn't it obvious that the only reason this name endures is a desire for continuity?

Now, about Chief Wahoo...

purplepenquin said...

Many folks are saying that there is nothing derogatory at all about the term "redskin", and in fact it is actually a compliment and is meant to be uplifting.

I can't help but wonder: When ya'll greet a Native American in person, do you actually use that term of endearment towards 'em?

Chip S. said...

@virgil xenophon, please tell me you can distinguish b/w naming a team after a local tribe and naming a team "Redskins".

AllenS said...

rplepenquin said...
I can't help but wonder: When ya'll greet a Native American in person, do you actually use that term of endearment towards 'em?

Don't be dumb. Of course nobody does that. You hold up your hand, and say: "How."


purplepenquin said...

You hold up your hand, and say: "How."

Scrambled

virgil xenophon said...

@Chip S./ Yes, the name IS probably the most egregious of the various sports names if one views them that way, but it is but a short hop to the "noble Redman" that Chief Seattle spoke of in his farewell speach. I have always therefore thought it a mistake for St. Johns to dump the "Redmen" nomenclature for its sports teams as the term has/had a noble tradition. And while the name "Redskins" may be problematic at least their symbol is that of a noble brave. Contrast that with the Cleveland Indians baseball team which has a name ("Indians") that is more "noble"/less derrogatory, but an image which is highly PC problematic despite being a beloved image in general--just the obverse of Washington.

Look, nothing is perfect, but why, par example is it PC OK to have San Diego State's sports teams be allowed to carry the name--Aztecs--of a people who slaughtered people by the tens of thousands and cut out their hearts alive? Where's the PC movement to strip them of THAT name? Get back to me when they are massed by the PC tens of thousands on the SDSU campus demanding a name change...THEN we'll talk..

virgil xenophon said...

@purplepenguin/

LOL!

Chip S. said...

Well, for one thing, nobody's claiming that "Aztecs" derogates the Aztecs. Just as they're not criticizing "Redskins" b/c of the Indian Creek massacre.

Also, the argument that it's somehow wrong to criticize one egregious instance of a phenomenon unless you search out and criticize every possible instance of that phenomenon is silly.

At least we agree about Chief Wahoo.

bagoh20 said...

" that is what this is really about...proper manners."

And telling other people what they should and should not be offended about is rude.

virgil xenophon said...

Yes, but to show you how muddy the waters can get in this area wasn't Chief Wahoo named after one of the team's favorite trainers? So...undoubtedly good intentions, but perhaps nonetheless an unfortunate subconscious reflection of the racist/bigoted atitudes of that distant day..

virgil xenophon said...

PS to Chip:

I AM, however, uncomfortable in always attacking charactures. There are MANY--especially in the USAF and USN avation units of WW II--that used comic depictions of American Indians and other subjects (Police, Cowboys, etc) in their unit patches that were obviously intended as a matter of adoration or else they obviously would not have used them..

virgil xenophon said...

PPS to Chip S:

For example, one of the nicknames of Tulane Univ besides the official name of "Green-wave" is "Greenies" and there used to be a sticker showing little children dressed in green football uniforms carrying a football all lined up marching in a row as a humerous riff on the name. There were similiar humerous AF fighter squadron symbols of small Indian children dressed as "braves" (i.e., of the "10 little Indian" variety) complete w. tomahawks or bow & arrow hanging off clouds, etc. in comic threatening poses, etc. toward the enemy. Should these have been verbotten? Were they somehow more "disrespectful" than the Tulane "Greenie" sticker? Should IT be verbotten as disrespectful to the institution and it's student body?

Inquiring minds..

purplepenquin said...

And telling other people what they should and should not be offended about is rude.

Ain't sure if it is a lack of empathy or a lack of manners, but yeah...too many people have the attitude that since they don't find something offensive it means that nobody else should.

virgil xenophon said...

@betamax3000

Doubleplusungood for the New Orleans "Saints" then, right? lol.

virgil xenophon said...

But just because some "American Indians" take offense to soome symbols/names doesn't mean that the minority "tail" should wag the dog. Should Indian tribes be able to force via, say, the courts, the non-Indian majority of the citizens of Illinois and Utah to change the name of the State because they find it somehow "offensive?" I find it "offensive" that I see the Spanish language everywhere on food labels and that I have to "punch *1* for English" on the phone all the time, but have to grin and bear it--and we haven't even been conquored by Mexico--yet.

purplepenquin said...

I have to "punch *1* for English" on the phone all the time

You think THAT bothers ya? Just wait a few more years and you'll likely be told to choose *2* for English.

(Seriously...why does offering a choice trouble you so much?)

AllenS said...

How come we don't have a 100 choices?

AllenS said...

That was a question for you, purple.

purplepenquin said...

How come we don't have a 100 choices?

If I had to guess, 'cause there isn't enough demand for that many?

Why do you think we have more than one choice?

Synova said...

"And telling other people what they should and should not be offended about is rude."

There's always someone going to be offended. It can't be helped. Be offended if you like. Some people will be. Some people will be offended because they don't like football because it's violent and because they think that the world would be a better place if no one played the game.

LOTS of people disapprove of competitive sports PERIOD. Do we all stop playing and watching because a few people are clutching pearls? Or do we use the discretion given us by our creator and use some judgement?

purplepenquin said...
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AllenS said...

Don't be a fucking idiot, purple, of course there are at least 100 different languages that people want and need. If two is good, more is better, right? Right now, in Minneapolis, MN, I'd be willing to bet that there are more people who needs a choice of Somaliian than Spanish.

Synova said...

" Ain't sure if it is a lack of empathy or a lack of manners, but yeah...too many people have the attitude that since they don't find something offensive it means that nobody else should."

Maybe it's because there's so much that is offensive and it's been rubbed in the noses of people who are offended that they have no right not to be offended. Public decency has no meaning. If someone blasphemes your God you've got to stand and just take it.

So sure, sauce for gooses and ganders. No one has a right not to be offended. If I don't, you don't. That's fair.

If the term was clearly meant in a derogatory way or viewed as derogatory as used by a vast majority of Native Americans, yeah, good manners might come into play. But it seems to be a handful of sour pusses and white people looking for moral superiority... like those who teach little white kids that more than a half dozen black people celebrate Kwaanza.

purplepenquin said...

The judgement I got from the creator says that if a word/phrase is that offensive to folks, then I try not to use it. Especially when by dropping the term has no/little effect on anything else.

Does your judgement really say to just keep on doing whatever ya wanna do, no matter how it makes other people feel?


And would you mind answering my previous question: When you greet a Native American, do you call 'em a "Redskin" to their face?

AllenS said...

I know quite a few Indians, and when greeting them, I use their first name. I treat them like other friends.

purplepenquin said...

Don't be a fucking idiot, purple

Well, that escalated quickly!!

Let me know when you're calm enough to talk about this as an adult, ok?

If you're really confused about why most businesses don't have a 100 choices of languages on their phone bank I'll be happy to try and shed some light on it for ya...but I ain't gonna even try when you're acting this hostile.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

If someone blasphemes your God you've got to stand and just take it.

I have no idea why you consider yourself so powerless and weak, but I don't think you should have to shut up when something offensive happens and/or is said to you.

BUT...if you really do feel that way, then why don't you just shut up about this too? Just stand there and take it, like you're supposed to.



Just kidding! Well, that last part, I mean. Ain't no joke that you should speak out when you feel wronged...and don't let anyone tell you otherwise!


And my judgement says that two wrongs don't make a right. Your judgement really says otherwise?

AllenS said...

How many businesses have two choices? Mostly likely, very few. The government on the other hand has two choices.

AllenS said...

I cannot think of one time that I've called a private business and had them give me an option between Spanish or English before I talked to someone. Not one fucking time.

purplepenquin said...

The government on the other hand has two choices.

Actually, I just looked up one gov't agency in MN and they offer four language choices when you call in: English, Spanish, Hmong, and Somali.

*shrug*


If you are still confused as to why there aren't 100 languages offered (instead of just four) perhaps you can list for us the 100 different languages that are commonly used in your area and thus there is a need for.

Seriously...try making that list, and it might help clear things up for ya a bit.

chrisnavin.com said...

How about the Washington Porkbarrelers?

Or the Diversitarians?

William said...

I'm reserving judgement until I hear Elizabeth Warren weigh in on this issue.....When I hear the word redskin, I'm more apt to think of potatoes than Indians. Racial slurs have an expiration date. Welsh people don't get all out of joint when they hear the phrase "welsh on a bet". I'm sure Custer had a pretty dim view of Indians, but I don't think there's anyone left around with strongly negative views of Indians. Redskins reinfores a stereotype that only exists in the heads of white liberals.

Synova said...

"I have no idea why you consider yourself so powerless and weak, but I don't think you should have to shut up when something offensive happens and/or is said to you."

And what do you think I should do, Purple, if someone offends my God?

Cut off a head? Blow something up?

Because saying, "That offends me, you are blaspheming my God," is something they already know.

Power is being able to shut someone up, to *make them* to what they wouldn't do. So when I say "just supposed to take it" that's not saying I can't say "I'm offended", there just isn't any point. My offense isn't magical like the offense of other, select, people.

That I agree that we do not have a right not to be offended, doesn't make that offense go away either. I'm still offended, I just don't think I have a right not to be.

So when someone elses feelings are presented as an unanswerable command... it doesn't get any traction with me. It's not a matter of my believing that their feelings are genuine or not. It's not that only *that person* is empowered to say if they are offended or not because only they know their minds.

It's that no one has a right to not be offended, to not have their sacred bulls gored or their sensibilities ruffled.

Synova said...

It's also that it's as damaging to the social structure and civil discourse to be hypersensitive to everything as it is to be habitually rude. The call to sensitivity is so often outright hostile, it's wrong not to stand up to it.

An interviewer who asks that sort of question is laying a trap. That person is attempting to force their particular agenda and engage social shaming. There is nothing *nice* about it.

Making it necessary to concede to those tactics in order to be a "good person" is nasty.

Lydia said...

A 2004 poll on how Indians view the name:

Most American Indians say that calling Washington’s professional football team the “Redskins” does not bother them, the University of Pennsylvania’s National Annenberg Election Survey shows.

Ninety percent of Indians took that position, while 9 percent said they found the name “offensive.” One percent had no answer. The margin of sampling error for those findings was plus or minus two percentage points.


Ninety percent.

And note that the proper term seems once again to be "American Indians" or "Indians" rather than "Native Americans". Oy.

purplepenquin said...

Cut off a head? Blow something up?

Is THAT is what people are doing about this Redskins issue?!?!

Holy crap. I truly had no idea. No wonder ya'll are so pissed off about 'em.

*rolls eyes*



Seriously, justify it however ya need to....but if your judgement says to meet every wrongdoing with even more wrongdoing then it is obvious that we're just two very different people.

Synova said...

PP, it's about coercion. People can talk and complain about stuff if they like, but if I don't have a right to *compel* you not to insult my God, then what I have to do is... take it.

Someone may, of course, complain all they like about "Redskins" but I do think that it goes beyond that to attempts to coerce.

The author up there is attempting to shame. That's more than just giving an alternate opinion. The whole article is about this moral trap laid where the interviewee must either agree that they're a racist ass "on the record" or merely deserving of shaming because they want to avoid the issue.

The interviewee doesn't have the opportunity to research the issue to find out that 90% of Indians don't care, but the person doing the interview does have that time and knows his agenda going in.

Quite aside of that is the curious juxtaposition of lamenting that sports stars aren't willing to offend and then attempting to shame someone for offending.

Synova said...

And what is the "wrongdoing" involved?

Is it "wrongdoing" to have a sports team name that bothers only less than 10% of the ethnic group involved far enough that they'll even answer in the negative?

Is it "wrongdoing" to oppose the "because... shut up" methods designed to disallow and demonize other opinions in order to "win" without having to present either data or empirical support for a proposition?

Nigel Declan said...

Would this be the same social crusader Jim Brown who has a history of beating women? Perhaps RGIII, especially being a rookie, is more focused on doing his job than trying to effect change to your liking. Amazingly, not every professional athlete may feel the same way about social issues (or evens cares about them) the way you do: case in point the Ravens' Matt Birk and Brendon Ayanbadejo.

Toby Considine said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Geoff Matthews said...

What do most NAs think?
I remember SI did a poll about 10 years ago and found most were not opposed to the name.

purplepenquin said...

Snovya, look at all the folks...yourself included...who brag that they will continue to be hurtful and mean, 'cause others have been mean and hurtful first. That is the biggest "wrongdoing" in this thread. It is obvious that you're one of those "eye for an eye" type of people who won't be happy until our entire country is blinded.

All that aside, for someone who claims that the only choice she has is to "shut up and take it", you sure ain't shutting up....


...not that I want you to, just pointing out that your lil' victimization act ain't foolin' nobody.

Well, nobody but yourself, that is.

Synova said...

Hurtful to whom, Purple?

See, that's the power play, isn't it? Power is in "good people don't hurt others" and any question that something is legitimately hurtful puts a person on the hurtful side.

Ta da, the argument is won and power is asserted.

Object to the tactic, or question the reasonableness of the charge, and the rules mean you're "hurtful".

Sometimes being offended isn't reasonable... like the "fear for your life" part of self-defense... it's what a reasonable person would find threatening. Sometimes it's UN-reasonable and the fact that someone somewhere FEELS something isn't proof.

People have figured it out and now they refuse to play.

Doesn't make them "hurtful".