Washington Football Team Name Change

Hoya81

Member
SoSH Member
Feb 3, 2010
4,940

FedEx has indicated they have previously requested to Snyder to change the name of the team. It's not clear from the article whether this was done recently, but potentially a breaking point for Snyder given how lucrative the FedEx naming rights deal is.
 

Dogman

Yukon Cornelius
Dope
Mar 19, 2004
13,804
Missoula, MT
Synder could easily score some very much needed goodwill as well as show the world he has integrity. So of course, he won't. I'm guessing FedEx and those investment firms will not put up with Synder's bullshit any longer.

Synder is the Donald Sterling of Jerry Richardsons.
 

bigq

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
5,614

FedEx has indicated they have previously requested to Snyder to change the name of the team. It's not clear from the article whether this was done recently, but potentially a breaking point for Snyder given how lucrative the FedEx naming rights deal is.
Snyder is just enough of an asshole not to do anything but he really should change the name.
 

Ale Xander

Lacks black ink
SoSH Member
Oct 31, 2013
32,180

FedEx has indicated they have previously requested to Snyder to change the name of the team. It's not clear from the article whether this was done recently, but potentially a breaking point for Snyder given how lucrative the FedEx naming rights deal is.
If statehood passes in 2021, they could also change the city name . . .
Especially since they don't play in the District

My vote is DelMarVa Douglasses. And the cheerleaders could be renamed the Lasses
 

snowmanny

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 8, 2005
11,559
Synder could easily score some very much needed goodwill as well as show the world he has integrity. So of course, he won't. I'm guessing FedEx and those investment firms will not put up with Synder's bullshit any longer.

Synder is the Donald Sterling of Jerry Richardsons.
I’d say fans nationally should refuse to watch any Washington games until they change their name but as far as I can tell their only national game is @Cowboys on Thanksgiving. Actually that sounds like a particularly good one to boycott.
 

Average Game James

Well-Known Member
Gold Supporter
SoSH Member
Apr 28, 2016
1,953
Half serious question... could Goodell invoke “integrity of the game” or some other such broadly defined power to basically force Snyder to change the name. Argue the name hurts the value of the NFL and start docking them first rounders until Snyder caves? It’s such a unique circumstance that it’s not like other owners could be terribly worried about it setting a precedent on use of commissioner powers...
 

DJnVa

Dorito Dawg
SoSH Member
Dec 16, 2010
41,989
It’s such a unique circumstance that it’s not like other owners could be terribly worried about it setting a precedent on use of commissioner powers...
Speaking ONLY to this small point, I could definitely see other owners worried about giving Goodell broadly defined powers and setting a precedent.
 

SemperFidelisSox

suzyn
SoSH Member
May 25, 2008
21,060
Boston, MA
Is Snyder just stubborn or is there some kind of financial component to this that shows a new team name would result in loss of revenue and merchandising sales?
 
Last edited:

Awesome Fossum

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 20, 2005
1,969
Austin, TX
I think NFL teams split merchandise revenue, so that's not really hurting Snyder more than anyone else. And the FedEx lease runs through 2026, I think? I'm not holding my breath that change is imminent.

The big carrot/stick for the team is a new stadium/lack thereof. I bet Snyder would be willing to rebrand if it meant getting closer to downtown. And while I'm sure the NFL would love to be rid of the name, they're not going to undercut a team's stadium efforts by taking away a bargaining chip.

If the name change does come in conjunction with a new stadium, it would be a bit of history rhyming, as the team's lease with RFK was contingent on them integrating.
 

Montana Fan

Member
SoSH Member
Oct 18, 2000
8,405
Twin Bridges, Mt.
Always amuses me when the virtue signalers advocate on behalf of the Native Americans who apparently aren't smart enough (woke enough?) to know that they should be offended by the name of the football team from Washington DC.

90%
 

cleanturtle

lurker
Feb 2, 2007
25
Always amuses me when the virtue signalers advocate on behalf of the Native Americans who apparently aren't smart enough (woke enough?) to know that they should be offended by the name of the football team from Washington DC.

90%
Nothing says "virtue signaling" more than someone using the term "virtue signalers."

And yes, that's the favorite poll cited by people who for some reason are fighting to keep the stereotype and the slur. Bigger and better done surveys find different results: https://news.berkeley.edu/2020/02/04/native-mascots-survey/.

Or, if you prefer, there's the National Congress of American Indians. Are they allowed to speak on behalf of their constituents? https://www.washingtonian.com/2020/06/26/native-american-leader-challenges-players-on-washingtons-nfl-team-to-sit/
 

bigq

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
5,614
Always amuses me when the virtue signalers advocate on behalf of the Native Americans who apparently aren't smart enough (woke enough?) to know that they should be offended by the name of the football team from Washington DC.

90%
This is such a garbage post. Knock it off with the smart enough woke enough bs.
 
Last edited:

cromulence

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 25, 2009
4,956
Always amuses me when the virtue signalers advocate on behalf of the Native Americans who apparently aren't smart enough (woke enough?) to know that they should be offended by the name of the football team from Washington DC.

90%
I should be surprised that someone actually wants to take this side, but somehow I'm not. Pathetic.
 

bsj

Renegade Crazed Genius
SoSH Member
Dec 6, 2003
19,413
Central NJ SoSH Chapter
What do you think the reaction would be if the team came out and announced a name change AFTER the next scheduled season?

Only ask because, from a pragmatic level, its going to be ridiculously hard to get it done before it from a marketing, branding, and comms perspective.

NOTE- I am asking a hypothetical. I 100% think its time to change the name.
 
Last edited:

snowmanny

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 8, 2005
11,559
I understand that the name may have read a little differently in 1934. Charles Curtis left office in 1933 and I’ve seen newspaper articles from that general era about him as using “redskin” as an endearing term. And I get that it’s sort of baked into the culture and pretty much the only time we hear that word is in regard to football

But 86 years later if you worked for a company that was launching a new product and you suggested that they name it after a slang word based on the skin color of a particular race, or any race, I am pretty sure you’d be fired. The way I see it Washington is making the decision to keep the name every year.

It is really easy to change, it’s inevitable it will change, and you’re one of the most forgettable franchises right now and it would give you a little positive attention. I don’t get the resistance.
 

BaseballJones

goalpost mover
SoSH Member
Oct 1, 2015
9,839
This is such a garbage post. Knock it off with the smart enough woke enough bs.
I think the name should be changed for a lot of reasons. And I agree with you that the "not smart enough" line is really bad. It's not an issue of "smart enough" obviously.

But how much should the opinions of the very people at issue here matter?


2019, the Washington Post conducted a poll of Native Americans regarding the name of the Washington football team. This is the second time they've done this - the first being 2016.

Because it's behind a paywall, I'll cite a good-sized portion of it. Not the whole thing, but enough for you to get the idea.

- - -
"The majority of Native Americans still aren’t offended by the name of the Washington Redskins.

That finding is from a recent survey and — as you probably remember, even if you’ve tried to forget — falls in line with what a Washington Post poll found three years ago and an Annenberg Public Policy Center poll found 12 years before that.
I know, I know. We’ve all already given a lot of emotional energy to this issue, and three years ago, we agreed, whether or not we said it, to move on.

But I think you’ll want to hear about this recent survey because it differs from the previous polls in an important way.
It aimed to understand not only how Native Americans feel about the team’s name, but also why they feel that way.
The survey offered respondents more than 40 emotions to choose from to express how the team name makes them feel. Among their options: Proud, disappointed, empowered, embarrassed, appreciative and hopeless.

The distinction between the survey and the previous polls may seem subtle, but it is not. It’s the difference between these two questions:

When your co-worker steals your ideas and passes them off as his own, does that make you feel angry?
How do you feel when your co-worker steals your ideas and passes them off as his own? Angry, vulnerable, driven … ?


The recent survey, while not connected to the previous polls, also raises an interesting question about them, or rather our reaction to them.

Identity and racism are two of the most complicated issues in our country. Why then did we let a long-standing debate that centered on both die with a simple question?

The Post and the Annenberg poll both asked: “The professional football team in Washington calls itself the Washington Redskins. As a Native American, do you find that name offensive, or doesn’t it bother you?”

When The Post set out to ask that question, no one had any idea what the results would show. The paper’s staff knew only that for years, Washington Redskins owner Daniel Snyder and people who spoke for him had held up the Annenberg finding as a defense of the name. They had done this even as public protests, alarming studies and condemnation from one prominent figure after another portrayed the name as a racist slur that was harmful to an already mistreated population.

As a reporter, I spent a lot of time writing about the name debate, and I can tell you that I was as surprised as anyone by the poll’s results. I would have bet my car that over the years attitudes had changed, at least a little.

But no, both polls found 9 out of 10 Native Americans were not offended by the team’s name.

I don’t have to tell you what happened next if you lived then in the Washington region, where the fight to change the name was the fiercest:

Daniel Snyder danced. Not really. But he did laud the poll’s findings, saying at the time, “We are gratified by this overwhelming support from the Native American community, and the team will proudly carry the Redskins name.”

Public figures who had taken stances against the name reanalyzed their positions. The Washington Post’s Robert McCartney, who as a columnist repeatedly urged the team to change its name, declared in a headline, “I’m dropping my protest of Washington’s football team name.”

And organizations that had been shouting for the name to change argued that the poll should have never been conducted, and then grew increasingly quieter. Their once-frequent news releases arrived more sporadically.

The Post’s poll has been blamed for killing the debate. The truth is, our collective response did.

And that never should have happened. The name is a dictionary-defined slur, whether or not 10 percent of Native Americans or 50 percent of your co-workers or your favorite aunt acknowledge it.

Numbers are neat and easy to understand. Identity and racism are messy and complicated. That disconnect comes through when you look closer at some of the participants of The Post’s poll. I spoke to many at the time. One woman who said she wouldn’t be offended if someone called her a “Redskin” had already been called “Pocahontas,” “Tonto” and “Kemosahbee.”

A man who had a sixth-grade education and had survived liver disease and lung cancer said he knew better than to feel offended by something that couldn’t be changed. “We can’t change it because we ain’t strong enough to change it,” he said.

I know, I know. That’s the past. We’ve moved on.

Except, the recent survey acknowledges the nuanced reality of the issue. It was led by marketing research firm Wolvereye, with help from Gazelle Global Research Services, and was conducted through a Web-based survey of 500 people who self-identified as Native American. Ryan Baum, the CEO of Wolvereye, noticed my previous coverage of the issue and offered me a first look at the results.

The Post’s poll, which involved 504 people who self-identified as Native American, was conducted by phone, so the numbers can’t be compared. But one major takeaway from the Wolvereye survey is that 68 percent of the respondents were not offended by the team’s name.

The reasons they gave for feeling that way include: it is just a name, it honors or represents their heritage, and people are overly sensitive."
- - -

It goes on, but this is the gist. So twice now, Native Americans have been asked *their* view on this, and the overwhelming majority have said - in two different polls conducted several years apart - that they're not offended.

This doesn't mean it should stay. Like I said, I think it should be changed. But if you ask the very people the name "Redskins" refers to, the vast majority simply aren't offended at all, never mind calling for it to be changed.

It's not, obviously, an issue with people being "not smart enough" to be offended. It's just that some people are offended at different levels - what offends me might not offend you; what offends you might not offend me. And sometimes a term that we think should be offensive to someone, just isn't to them. It's how the world is. So how much consideration should be given to the people who are referenced by the team name?


Note: I understand the polls cited by @cleanturtle have different results.
 
Last edited:

Montana Fan

Member
SoSH Member
Oct 18, 2000
8,405
Twin Bridges, Mt.
It likely will change and a decade ago when the SoSH VS'ers were admonishing anyone who didn't want to march on Daniel Snyder's home demanding he change the name, I talked with some NA's I know and they told me they didn't mind the name. However, I posted the poll above because I didn't want to just offer anecdotal evidence. I fish on the Blackfeet Rez and used to call on the IHS in Browning, know what the most common sports jersey you'll see there is? The Lakers, followed by the Redskins jersey. Might be because a Blackfeet designed the logo or it might be because NA's don't take quite as much offense to the name as bubble dwelling New Englanders.
 

mauf

Anderson Cooper × Mr. Rogers
Staff member
Dope
Always amuses me when the virtue signalers advocate on behalf of the Native Americans who apparently aren't smart enough (woke enough?) to know that they should be offended by the name of the football team from Washington DC.

90%
There’s no doubt that the Washington Redskins don’t occupy a place in the minds of most indigenous people analogous to what the Confederate flag or traditional racist tropes do in the minds of most African-Americans. But I hope that prompts us to consider what the real, expressed concerns of indigenous people are, rather than dropping the matter and reverting back to not thinking much about the legacy of our nation’s campaigns of genocide against indigenous people.

Also, we shouldn’t assume that the use of a racist nickname by a professional sports franchise only affects the minority group that’s the butt of the joke. It’s not a coincidence that African-American politicians in D.C. are among those leading the charge this time around.
 

SumnerH

Malt Liquor Picker
Dope
Jul 18, 2005
27,103
Alexandria, VA
I understand that the name may have read a little differently in 1934. Charles Curtis left office in 1933 and I’ve seen newspaper articles from that general era about him as using “redskin” as an endearing term. And I get that it’s sort of baked into the culture and pretty much the only time we hear that word is in regard to football

But 86 years later if you worked for a company that was launching a new product and you suggested that they name it after a slang word based on the skin color of a particular race, or any race, I am pretty sure you’d be fired. The way I see it Washington is making the decision to keep the name every year.

It is really easy to change, it’s inevitable it will change, and you’re one of the most forgettable franchises right now and it would give you a little positive attention. I don’t get the resistance.
The team also doubles down on 1933 Coach William “Lone Star” Dietz's story of being a Sioux. It turns out he was almost certainly a white man who'd assumed the identity of a missing (non-citizen) Native American in order to dodge the draft during WWI.

The team—and Dan Snyder—continue to portray him as an actual Native American. While the Redskins name wasn't specifically given to the team to honor Dietz, he and a handful of early players with Native heritage are often used to defend the moniker.

records “indicated” [the real One Star] died in Cuba.
...
Leavey produced a certified copy of his birth certificate, showing [Dietz's] parents were W.W. and Lewis [both white Americans]. He also entered sworn 1915 affidavits from W.W.’s probate records that affirmed Dietz Jr. was indeed his son, “a voter in the City of Rice Lake,” and “an American born citizen.”
...
[The FBI] interviewed various relatives, neighbors, and friends of the family, including Dietz’s childhood school chum Charles A. Taylor, chairman of the Barron County Council of Defense. Taylor claimed “there is absolutely no Indian blood in either of subject’s parents.” It was only after his friend went to Carlisle and “married a half-breed Indian girl, who was an artist,” Taylor stated, that Dietz “sent a picture . . . of himself dressed in football uniform,” signing his name “Lone Star.”
...
White Bear agreed Dietz was not the “missing Indian One Star,” identifying the latter from a picture he was shown. “The original One Star, which in the Indian tongue is synonymous with Lone Star had he lived would now have been 49 years old,” remarked White Bear, “while Lone Star Dietz is but 35.”
...
[The woman he claimed was his sister] Sallie Eaglehorse was called to testify, accompanied by an interpreter...Her “brother had a scar on his forehead from an ax wound, a scar on his nose, and pierced ears.” Lone Star’s features were different, she said, and he was definitely not her brother.
...
More at: https://americanindian.si.edu/sites/1/files/pdf/seminars-symposia/WaggonerWEBSpr2013.pdf
 

cleanturtle

lurker
Feb 2, 2007
25
It likely will change and a decade ago when the SoSH VS'ers were admonishing anyone who didn't want to march on Daniel Snyder's home demanding he change the name, I talked with some NA's I know and they told me they didn't mind the name. However, I posted the poll above because I didn't want to just offer anecdotal evidence. I fish on the Blackfeet Rez and used to call on the IHS in Browning, know what the most common sports jersey you'll see there is? The Lakers, followed by the Redskins jersey. Might be because a Blackfeet designed the logo or it might be because NA's don't take quite as much offense to the name as bubble dwelling New Englanders.
I put more weight into the study I posted, in part because it's an actual study published in a peer-reviewed journal, and not just a Pew or newspaper poll.

Either way, of course there are American Indians who aren't offended, because they simply don't care, or because it's simply too exhausting to deal with the overwhelming amount of stereotyped representation from Westerns to the tomahawk chop, or for other reasons. I know American Indians like that but I also have American Indian friends and colleagues who are deeply wounded by such representation. Do you think Fawn Sharp, as president of the National Congress of American Indians, is completely out-of-line with her constituency?

Even if you don't care about those who are offended and/or wounded by the name and the logo, why fight to maintain it?
 

Trlicek's Whip

Member
SoSH Member
Feb 8, 2009
4,420
New York City
Always amuses me when the virtue signalers advocate on behalf of the Native Americans who apparently aren't smart enough (woke enough?) to know that they should be offended by the name of the football team from Washington DC.

90%
something something "libural" "murrica" "sports and politics" "I like to fish." Is there a Montana Fan Mad Libs post generator?
 

Trlicek's Whip

Member
SoSH Member
Feb 8, 2009
4,420
New York City
If Dan Snyder wasn't so stubborn and quintupling down on how much of a Make America Great and terrible businessman he is, he would realize that there's truckloads of goodwill, new fans, and money to be made by embracing the name change. Even now when he's at his whitest knuckles.

You craft a solidarity statement that meets the moment. Even if you whinge and don't explicitly state that Black Lives Matter, you tip your cap to Kaepernick (since the NFL already did) and acknowledge that the protests illustrate a need for structural change and more equality in the NFL. "We need to do better" etc etc.

Then with ridiculous fanfare, declare that 1) you're committed to changing the racist logo and 2) you want the fans to be a part of that change. You make it a crowdsourced call for suggestions for the new logo/mascot. You hold open tryouts with designers and fans to propose alternatives via video posts, powerpoints, and social media. You promote the best ones all over your sites. You try out proposed logos on the merch and blast them out there. You narrow it down and make it a "tourney" of weekly fan votes to Thunderdome your top choices. You stretch it out over the rest of 2020-2021 to give the fans something to do in case there's no football this year, and announce the official new team name over Super Bowl weekend (game or no game).

Fed Ex can help sponsor and promote it. The build-up will bring the change and the viral excitement over the change to a roiling boil and likely get more than just Washington fans invested and interested. That will be a seismic shift in perception of Snyder - even and when he continues to be a bastard. They'll make a lot of money and have the merch ready to pre-order for the 2021 season.

And if NFL fans or Washington fans don't like it, fuck 'em.

It's such a perfect time to do this when we aren't looking at a traditional 2020 NFL season amid all this uncertainty and need for good news and safe distractions. Of course, it's such a slam dunk idea that Snyder would never go for it. Instead he'll treat this like getting all his teeth yanked out of his mouth and kick and scream his way to change and it won't be as positive a memory for anyone involved.
 

BaseballJones

goalpost mover
SoSH Member
Oct 1, 2015
9,839
That's a fantastic idea, @Trlicek's Whip.

Not that this has to do with justice but when Syracuse University went through a logo change decades ago, they spent gobs of money hiring out the design to a professional marketing company. Now there are, at any point in a school that size, literally hundreds and hundreds (maybe even thousands) of students who are incredibly gifted graphic designers. The school should have set some parameters and then held a competition - the winner receiving a full scholarship for the rest of their time in school. And of course, their name gets associated with the new design.

That, at most (back then), would have cost the school about $80,000 (for 3 years if the student chosen was a freshman). At most. Instead, they farmed it out and spent hundreds of thousands of dollars and ended up with a crappy logo that was unrelated to the students.

Think of how cool it would have been to have the entire school involved like that. But noooooooooo....

Love your idea here.
 

Awesome Fossum

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 20, 2005
1,969
Austin, TX
Then with ridiculous fanfare, declare that 1) you're committed to changing the racist logo
Did you mean to say logo? I personally think it would be a huge mistake to not drop all the imagery as well, but one of the most common suggestions is to change the name to Warriors and leave everything else more or less as is. Is that enough? How do we feel about the Chiefs' brand or even the Seahawks' logo?

I disagree that Snyder is missing some sort of golden marketing opportunity. Rebranding is hard. Everyone is going to fall in love with their own idea and then get bent out of shape when they pick something else.

That's not to say he shouldn't do it. Even if we accept that only around 10% of American Indians find it offensive -- isn't that still pretty high? What percentage offensive should a team name be?
 

Ralphwiggum

Well-Known Member
Gold Supporter
SoSH Member
Jun 27, 2012
6,380
Needham, MA
What‘s the threshold number of indigenous people who have to be offended by something for it to be ok for bubble dwelling New Englanders to push for a name change? Anyway, the name is a racist characterization of indigenous people and it should have been changed years ago. I don‘t understand putting even an ounce of energy into defending it.
 

B H Kim

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Oct 24, 2003
5,019
Washington, DC
If Dan Snyder wasn't so stubborn and quintupling down on how much of a Make America Great and terrible businessman he is, he would realize that there's truckloads of goodwill, new fans, and money to be made by embracing the name change. Even now when he's at his whitest knuckles.
This is my take on this as well. It’s astonishing how much goodwill Snyder has squandered since he bought the team. When I moved to the DC area 35 years ago, the team owned this town. It was like nothing I had ever seen. The area practically shut down every Sunday afternoon during football season. Now, the team is an afterthought. There are thousands of empty seats at every home game and the buzz around the team is nonexistent. I live right in the middle of Montgomery County, Maryland in suburban DC and I see far more kids with Ravens than Redskins jerseys. He needs to do something to reinvigorate the fan base, and short of actually building a winning team, changing the name and branding provides his best opportunity. They would almost certainly win a lot more new and returning fans than they could possibly lose.
 

pappymojo

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 28, 2010
5,323
I think the name should be changed for a lot of reasons. And I agree with you that the "not smart enough" line is really bad. It's not an issue of "smart enough" obviously.

But how much should the opinions of the very people at issue here matter?


2019, the Washington Post conducted a poll of Native Americans regarding the name of the Washington football team. This is the second time they've done this - the first being 2016.

Because it's behind a paywall, I'll cite a good-sized portion of it. Not the whole thing, but enough for you to get the idea.

- - -
"The majority of Native Americans still aren’t offended by the name of the Washington Redskins.

That finding is from a recent survey and — as you probably remember, even if you’ve tried to forget — falls in line with what a Washington Post poll found three years ago and an Annenberg Public Policy Center poll found 12 years before that.
I know, I know. We’ve all already given a lot of emotional energy to this issue, and three years ago, we agreed, whether or not we said it, to move on.

But I think you’ll want to hear about this recent survey because it differs from the previous polls in an important way.
It aimed to understand not only how Native Americans feel about the team’s name, but also why they feel that way.
The survey offered respondents more than 40 emotions to choose from to express how the team name makes them feel. Among their options: Proud, disappointed, empowered, embarrassed, appreciative and hopeless.

The distinction between the survey and the previous polls may seem subtle, but it is not. It’s the difference between these two questions:

When your co-worker steals your ideas and passes them off as his own, does that make you feel angry?
How do you feel when your co-worker steals your ideas and passes them off as his own? Angry, vulnerable, driven … ?


The recent survey, while not connected to the previous polls, also raises an interesting question about them, or rather our reaction to them.

Identity and racism are two of the most complicated issues in our country. Why then did we let a long-standing debate that centered on both die with a simple question?

The Post and the Annenberg poll both asked: “The professional football team in Washington calls itself the Washington Redskins. As a Native American, do you find that name offensive, or doesn’t it bother you?”

When The Post set out to ask that question, no one had any idea what the results would show. The paper’s staff knew only that for years, Washington Redskins owner Daniel Snyder and people who spoke for him had held up the Annenberg finding as a defense of the name. They had done this even as public protests, alarming studies and condemnation from one prominent figure after another portrayed the name as a racist slur that was harmful to an already mistreated population.

As a reporter, I spent a lot of time writing about the name debate, and I can tell you that I was as surprised as anyone by the poll’s results. I would have bet my car that over the years attitudes had changed, at least a little.

But no, both polls found 9 out of 10 Native Americans were not offended by the team’s name.

I don’t have to tell you what happened next if you lived then in the Washington region, where the fight to change the name was the fiercest:

Daniel Snyder danced. Not really. But he did laud the poll’s findings, saying at the time, “We are gratified by this overwhelming support from the Native American community, and the team will proudly carry the Redskins name.”

Public figures who had taken stances against the name reanalyzed their positions. The Washington Post’s Robert McCartney, who as a columnist repeatedly urged the team to change its name, declared in a headline, “I’m dropping my protest of Washington’s football team name.”

And organizations that had been shouting for the name to change argued that the poll should have never been conducted, and then grew increasingly quieter. Their once-frequent news releases arrived more sporadically.

The Post’s poll has been blamed for killing the debate. The truth is, our collective response did.

And that never should have happened. The name is a dictionary-defined slur, whether or not 10 percent of Native Americans or 50 percent of your co-workers or your favorite aunt acknowledge it.

Numbers are neat and easy to understand. Identity and racism are messy and complicated. That disconnect comes through when you look closer at some of the participants of The Post’s poll. I spoke to many at the time. One woman who said she wouldn’t be offended if someone called her a “Redskin” had already been called “Pocahontas,” “Tonto” and “Kemosahbee.”

A man who had a sixth-grade education and had survived liver disease and lung cancer said he knew better than to feel offended by something that couldn’t be changed. “We can’t change it because we ain’t strong enough to change it,” he said.

I know, I know. That’s the past. We’ve moved on.

Except, the recent survey acknowledges the nuanced reality of the issue. It was led by marketing research firm Wolvereye, with help from Gazelle Global Research Services, and was conducted through a Web-based survey of 500 people who self-identified as Native American. Ryan Baum, the CEO of Wolvereye, noticed my previous coverage of the issue and offered me a first look at the results.

The Post’s poll, which involved 504 people who self-identified as Native American, was conducted by phone, so the numbers can’t be compared. But one major takeaway from the Wolvereye survey is that 68 percent of the respondents were not offended by the team’s name.

The reasons they gave for feeling that way include: it is just a name, it honors or represents their heritage, and people are overly sensitive."
- - -

It goes on, but this is the gist. So twice now, Native Americans have been asked *their* view on this, and the overwhelming majority have said - in two different polls conducted several years apart - that they're not offended.

This doesn't mean it should stay. Like I said, I think it should be changed. But if you ask the very people the name "Redskins" refers to, the vast majority simply aren't offended at all, never mind calling for it to be changed.

It's not, obviously, an issue with people being "not smart enough" to be offended. It's just that some people are offended at different levels - what offends me might not offend you; what offends you might not offend me. And sometimes a term that we think should be offensive to someone, just isn't to them. It's how the world is. So how much consideration should be given to the people who are referenced by the team name?


Note: I understand the polls cited by @cleanturtle have different results.
This quote jumps out to me:

“We can’t change it because we ain’t strong enough to change it,” he said.

Who is strong enough to change it, I wonder?
 

Beomoose

Member
SoSH Member
May 28, 2006
17,842
Wherabouts Unknown
"Washington Warriors" seems to be the leading contender online. It's a decent enough name in isolation, though the notion of keeping much of the Native American imagery with the new name seems a bit.....

"Redtails" appeals to me, and it's a "military" connection which doesn't come with much in the way of negative baggage.
 

Papelbon's Poutine

Homeland Security
SoSH Member
Dec 4, 2005
19,514
Portsmouth, NH
...Then with ridiculous fanfare, declare that 1) you're committed to changing the racist logo and 2) you want the fans to be a part of that change. You make it a crowdsourced call for suggestions for the new logo/mascot. You hold open tryouts with designers and fans to propose alternatives via video posts, powerpoints, and social media. You promote the best ones all over your sites. You try out proposed logos on the merch and blast them out there. You narrow it down and make it a "tourney" of weekly fan votes to Thunderdome your top choices. You stretch it out over the rest of 2020-2021 to give the fans something to do in case there's no football this year, and announce the official new team name over Super Bowl weekend (game or no game).
-----

And if NFL fans or Washington fans don't like it, fuck 'em.
I'm not sure how these two sentiments work together? I absolutely think he should change it and don't understand why he hasn't - if for nothing else than selling new merchandise and getting people to leave him alone about it - but if you want to crowd source and try to create some kind of buzz about amongst the fanbase, you kinda can't say "if they don't like it changing, fuck em" and then expect them to be energized and full of goodwill about it. Poll your fans and season ticket holders - if they are on board with it, then sure, crowd source and let the fans decide. It's not like they'd name it something stupid like the Wizards...wait...

Anyway, let them be involved if they show they want to be. If it's "you don't like it? tough shit", then just change it on your own.

It's a nice sentiment to include them but if they don't want it, what are you gaining from it? I think you're just a bit too optimistic about the groundswell of creativity it would/will generate.
 

CarolinaBeerGuy

Don't know him from Adam
SoSH Member
Mar 14, 2006
5,772
Kernersville, NC
Did you mean to say logo? I personally think it would be a huge mistake to not drop all the imagery as well, but one of the most common suggestions is to change the name to Warriors and leave everything else more or less as is. Is that enough? How do we feel about the Chiefs' brand or even the Seahawks' logo?

I disagree that Snyder is missing some sort of golden marketing opportunity. Rebranding is hard. Everyone is going to fall in love with their own idea and then get bent out of shape when they pick something else.

That's not to say he shouldn't do it. Even if we accept that only around 10% of American Indians find it offensive -- isn't that still pretty high? What percentage offensive should a team name be?
What is the issue with the Seahawks’ logo?
 

bankshot1

Member
SoSH Member
Feb 12, 2003
19,249
where I was last at
Maybe to honor both an important Washington institution, Congress, and an important corporate sponsor, which seems to be the real driver to this exercise,
how about the The Washington ConFeds? .
 

Mystic Merlin

Member
SoSH Member
Sep 21, 2007
33,619
Hartford, CT
The Generals seem fine, but, then again, I may not be the best judge of proper team names since I live in a humble bubble in the Northeast where I can’t identify pejorative words or understand how real folks think.
 

Papelbon's Poutine

Homeland Security
SoSH Member
Dec 4, 2005
19,514
Portsmouth, NH
What is the issue with the Seahawks’ logo?
It's influenced by a NA tribal mask/headpiece from the PacNW (I'm not even going to try to spell it correctly). As it looks exactly like the original, I'm not sure why it would be offensive, but I could be being dense about it. It's no worse than the Chiefs or Braves nicknames/logos, minus the Tomahawk chop.
 

CarolinaBeerGuy

Don't know him from Adam
SoSH Member
Mar 14, 2006
5,772
Kernersville, NC
It's influenced by a NA tribal mask/headpiece from the PacNW (I'm not even going to try to spell it correctly). As it looks exactly like the original, I'm not sure why it would be offensive, but I could be being dense about it. It's no worse than the Chiefs or Braves nicknames/logos, minus the Tomahawk chop.
Oh, I had no idea. I’m not sure that it’s problematic. Have they at least given credit for the inspiration?
 

snowmanny

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 8, 2005
11,559
Jeffersons seems unlikely. Unless they have a logo of George.

ED: if you’re going to name it after a monument, instead of “Monuments” or “Jeffersons” or “Washingtons” just name them the “Kings.”

ED2: missed that’s one the list. That’s my vote.
 
Last edited:

bankshot1

Member
SoSH Member
Feb 12, 2003
19,249
where I was last at
This might be nit-picking but Trump's football team was "The Generals" and for those who still recall ABC's Wide World of Sports, The Washington Generals were the comic foil to the Harlem Globetrotters and always lost.