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Native American mascots: Pride or prejudice?
Many Native Americans consider the Washington football team's name racist.
April 4th, 2013
03:36 PM ET

Native American mascots: Pride or prejudice?

By Moni Basu, CNN

(CNN) - Suzan Shown Harjo remembers when she walked into a store with her grandfather in El Reno, Oklahoma. She wanted to get something cool to drink on a summer day. It was the early 1950s and the storekeepers told the 6-year-old she had to leave.

“No black redskins in here,” they said.

At that moment, Harjo felt small, unsafe, afraid. Because she was a dark-skinned Native American - Cheyenne and Hodulgee Muscogee - she was being identified by just her coloring. She wasn’t even a whole human being. Not even her grandpa, whom she saw as all-powerful, could do anything to protect her.

Later in her life, that incident made her angry. Angry enough for Harjo to launch a lifelong mission to protect her people.

Suzan Shown Harjo has been fighting for decades to remove Native American mascots from sports teams.

Part of her work took aim at sporting teams that use Native Americans as mascots. With the start of the baseball season this week, some of those teams have been front and center. The Cleveland Indians, for instance, feature a smiling Indian dubbed Chief Wahoo, criticized by Native Americans as a racist caricature.

The most offensive example of a mascot, says Harjo, is the one used by Washington’s football team. She has been fighting for years to get the Redskins to change their name.

The R-word - she can’t even bring herself to say it - is the same as the N-word, says Harjo, president of Morning Star Institute, a national Native American rights organization.

She finds it unbelievable that more than half a century after she was told to get out of that El Reno store, after decades of civil rights struggles and progress on race relations, Americans have no problem with rooting for a team called the Redskins.

Fans say the name is an honorific. But the Merriam-Webster dictionary says this: “The word redskin is very offensive and should be avoided.” And to many Native Americans, nothing could be more derogatory than the use of that word.

“The Washington team - it’s the king of the mountain,” Harjo says. “When this one goes, others will.”

The controversy over Native American names in sports is longstanding and surfaces in headlines now and then, as it did in December when the Atlanta Braves baseball team was reportedly considering bringing back a dated “screaming Indian” logo for batting practice caps.

Or when Amanda Blackhorse, a 31-year-old Navajo social worker, went to Washington last month to attend a hearing of the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board. She has petitioned to cancel the Redskins trademark on grounds that the name is racist. Harjo filed a similar petition in 1992 and won, but she later lost in the appeals process.

Harjo was defeated in the courts, but public opinion has been shifting steadily on the matter.

In March, several lawmakers introduced a bill in Congress that would amend the Trademark Act of 1946 to ban the term “redskin” in a mark because it is disparaging of native people. Among the sponsors of the bill is civil rights activist Rep. John Lewis, D-Georgia.

Harjo says she hopes the legislation will accomplish what litigation has failed to do so far.

If passed, the bill would force the Washington football team to discard its trademarked name and ban the use of any offensive term in any future trademarks.

Proponents believe that Native American mascots pay homage to the people and help promote a better understanding of those who dominated America before Europeans landed.

The Cleveland Indians mascot, Chief Wahoo, has been criticized as a racist caricature.

But opponents say the mascots perpetuate stereotypes that are void of context and history. They argue that even if the mascots themselves are not racially insensitive, they portray native people as one-dimensional.

“A good many Americans don’t know any Indians,” says Kevin Gover, who heads the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of the American Indian.

“The Indian you see most often in Washington, D.C., is at a football game - at the expense of real Indians, real history, real culture. The petty stereotype has become expected.”

In February, the Smithsonian museum hosted a symposium on racist stereotypes and cultural appropriation in American sports. The idea was to make people think about how these stereotypes can be damaging to Indians.

“Kids grow up and think it’s OK,” Gover says. “It’s not OK.”

There used to be more than 3,000 teams with Native American names and mascots. That’s down to about 900 now - but that’s still 900 too many for Gover.

He grew up, also in Oklahoma, and recalled how the University of Oklahoma became the first collegiate team to drop its unofficial mascot, Little Red, a student who dressed as an Indian chief and danced on the sidelines during football games.

Protests on campus forced the demise of Little Red. In 2005, Oklahoma adopted two costumed horses, Boomer and Sooner, as mascots who represented the real horses that pulled the Sooner Schooner. But many students didn’t take to them.

One of them was Royce Young, who wrote about the university’s “mascot crisis” in an online forum in 2007:

“But why can’t OU bring back Little Red? Oklahoma prides itself on being ‘Native America.’ American Indian heritage is something that is more prevalent in this state than any other in the nation. Would it be so wrong to have Native American imagery representing ‘Native America?’ "

Young, 27, and a writer for CBS Sports, said he now believes he would have written a more educated post after having discussed the mascot issue with Native Americans.

"I wouldn’t say I regret writing it,” he said. “But I’d be much more sensitive of understanding why Little Red was insensitive to some instead of saying, ‘What’s the big deal?’ ”

Royce said he saw nothing wrong with Oklahoma honoring its native people, but not with a tasteless mascot.

Several college teams followed Oklahoma’s footsteps and dropped Native American mascots - Stanford and Syracuse among them.

The movement to do away with Indian mascots gained momentum after the American Psychological Association in 2005 called for the immediate retirement of the mascots based on studies that showed the harmful effects of inaccurate racial portrayals.

The following year, the NCAA, the governing body of collegiate sports, adopted a policy banning teams with “hostile or abusive racial/ethnic/national origin mascots, nicknames or imagery” from competition. The ban affected high-powered football schools such as Florida State University with Chief Osceola and the University of Illinois, whose official symbol was Chief Illiniwek.

Some states have put the morality of the Indian mascots up for a vote.

Last year, voters dumped the University of North Dakota's Fighting Sioux mascot. And Oregon prohibited public schools from the use of Native American names, symbols or images. The names on the banned list include: Redskins, Savages, Indians, Indianettes, Chiefs and Braves.

At Florida State University, a white man dresses up as Chief Osceola, smears war paint on his face and rides an appaloosa called Renegade to the middle of Doak Campbell Stadium. He plants a burning spear on the field before every home game. The marching band plays Indian-themed music, and the crowd goes wild doing the “tomahawk chop,” a move picked up by the Atlanta Braves.

FSU student Lincoln Golike, who played Osceola in 2002, told the Florida State Times back then that it was tremendous honor to have so many admiring fans.

The Seminole tribe in Florida made an agreement with FSU to allow the use of its name that allows the university to continue competing in the NCAA. The university says its relationship with the Seminole tribe is one of mutual respect.

However, the Seminole nation in Oklahoma, comprised of the descendants of a majority of the Seminoles forced from their lands by the Indian Removal Act, has voiced its opposition to FSU’s mascot.

The real Chief Osceola fought U.S. soldiers in the Seminole Wars. He was captured in 1837 under a flag of truce and died in prison. Before his burial, the soldiers chopped off the head of the Indian warrior to keep as a trophy. That Osceola serves as a mascot at FSU doesn’t sit well with the Seminoles in Oklahoma and many other Native Americans.

“Native Americans feel offended, they feel hurt. They feel their identity is being trivialized,” says Carol Spindel, who wrote “Dancing at Halftime,” a book that explored native mascots.

“This is such an ingrained part of American culture that it’s very hard to get people to question it,” says Spindel, a professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where the official symbol used to be Chief Illiniwek. He was the subject of debate for decades and made his last appearance in 2007 under the threat of  NCAA sanctions.

But five years later, there are still some who want Illiniwek back. A nonbinding student referendum held just weeks ago strongly favored making him the official mascot again.

Spindel concluded in her book that mascots such as Chief Illiniwek were a reflection not of native people but of those who invented them.

“If we do a census of the population in our collective imagination, imaginary Indians are one of the largest demographic groups,” Spindel writes in her book.

“They dance, they drum, they go on the warpath; they are always young men who wear trailing feather bonnets. Symbolic servants, they serve as mascots and metaphors. We rely on these images to anchor us to the land and verify our account of our own past. But as these Indians exist only in our own imaginations, they provide a solipsistic connection and leave us, ultimately, untethered and rootless.”

At 67, Harjo believes she has made strides in her struggle to do away with racial stereotypes but says Native Americans have a long way to go.

“Because we as Indians, we don’t have the numbers,” she says, referring to the dwindling population. The latest census listed 2.9 million people as American Indian and Alaska Native.

“So we don’t pose a threat,” she says. “If we organized a march, the numbers would be so small. We’ve done it school by school. State by state.”

Harjo knows if the powerful Washington football team is forced to discard its name, then everyone else will follow. But for now, she takes pride in small victories.

Just a few weeks ago, a high school in Cooperstown, New York, decided to retire its R-word mascot.

C.J. Hebert, superintendent for the Cooperstown Central School District, said students approached him regarding their discomfort with the mascot that had been around for decades.

“I do think that times change and perspectives change, and certainly it’s historically a time for us to reconsider what the name is,” Hebert said.

That’s a statement that makes Harjo feel her campaign has been worthwhile.

Tell us what you think about Native American names and mascots below.

Posted by
Filed under: Discrimination • History • Native Americans • Sports • Who we are
soundoff (1,978 Responses)
  1. Rob

    Stupid, hypocrite society

    April 5, 2013 at 12:31 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Native Washingtonian

    I definitely hope they eventually change the name of the Redskins, since it is clearly a derogatory slang name. I propose using chieftain instead of Redskin. That way, the songs wouldn't be disrupted and Snyder could make a fortune by replacing all the memorabilia with new chieftain merchandise. A lot of people mention the Fighting Irish name and say that it is harmless. I would argue that a comparable Irish nickname would be mick or paddy. That would probably offend more people of Irish descent.

    April 5, 2013 at 12:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • 9erFan

      excellent recommendation. I don't that will offend anyone.

      April 5, 2013 at 12:33 pm | Report abuse |
      • Dan

        This will continue to offend the exact same people. This lady has a problem with team names such as Indians, Braves, Chiefs, etc. She's offended by any and all representation of Native Americans as mascots. Did you read the article?

        April 5, 2013 at 12:58 pm | Report abuse |
  3. jeff

    Get rid of the Cleveland" Browns.".All the brown people are gonna be mad someday. Let's be proactive about it. ......I know they were named after Paul BROWN but Brown is still offensive.. If somebody calls you a Brown person OMG, the horror, the horror...

    April 5, 2013 at 12:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Steve

      I think they should get rid of "Black Hawks" as well, I know a lot of hawks who do not like to be singled out by the color of their feathers.

      April 5, 2013 at 12:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lemme Guess

      How does that depict anyone of any race. Redskin shows a native american on the logo, same as Blackhawks. Hawks are not people big difference!

      April 5, 2013 at 12:42 pm | Report abuse |
      • Dan

        Hey Lemme Guess, the Black Hawks have Native American on their uniforms as well...

        April 5, 2013 at 12:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Don Black

      The Cleveland Brown's are short for the Cleveland Brownies little fairy like creatures. Any story that they were named after their owner is false. Pittsburgh rules!

      April 7, 2013 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Dan in Seattle

    The only person that thinks the term Redskins is racist is the author and a select few others.

    April 5, 2013 at 12:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • rtk25301

      Didn't know I was that "selected." Thanks, but I don't really think I'm that unusual.

      April 5, 2013 at 12:36 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Beaker Ben

    "...Americans have no problem with rooting for a team called the Redskins."

    There might be people in this country who don't have a problem rooting for the Redskins but true Americans certainly do. They root for their team, America's Team, the Dallas Cowboys.

    April 5, 2013 at 12:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • mattindc

      ...and the REDSKINS swept your America's team didn't they? HAHA and with ROMO's new contract vs RG3? Get ready for America's team to KEEP getting swept. By those racist REDSKINS.

      April 5, 2013 at 12:23 pm | Report abuse |
      • 9erFan

        ...and the difference between you and us is you think success is winning a division.

        April 5, 2013 at 12:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • 2guysandamic

      Maybe we should change the name of the Tampa bay buccaneers becasue its offensive to pirates, or change the Dallas Cowboys because its offensive to actual cowboys....

      April 5, 2013 at 12:27 pm | Report abuse |
      • rtk25301

        I had no idea that cowboys were embarrassed by that term. My bad.

        April 5, 2013 at 12:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Betsy

      No other ethnic group has to endure this form of racism. I assure all of you that although are numbers may be small we are still here and will survive. This opression and racism. My son's are supposed to be proud and honored because a cartoon character with dark red skin and exagerated features is the symbol of a sports team? We are proud to be citizens of the Onondaga Nation and reject this ridiculous excuse that they are honoring us with this crap. My children see it for what it is. It may not change today but perhaps in the future. Open your minds and your hearts.

      April 5, 2013 at 12:36 pm | Report abuse |
      • Dan

        I'm not trying to be smart, I'm seriously curious. What type of oppressive racism do you encounter? I've not once heard anyone say something negative about a Native American. I guess it may happen, but I've never heard or seen it. I've heard negatives regarding just about all other races, but for some reason, all the Americans I know seem to be very respectful of Native Americans. Again, I'm not trying to challenge you, just understand.

        April 5, 2013 at 1:04 pm | Report abuse |
      • Don Black

        Dan, read a book man. You want to know what kind of racism NAs face on a day to day basis well you could read some of the comments here or, there are classes you take at your local community college that would inform you. That is if your really curious.

        April 7, 2013 at 1:25 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Scott

    Syracuse made Otto the Orange official in '96 so I'm pretty sure they dropped the Saltine Warrior way before that. Writer might want to check his facts, SU might have been the one leading the way, and they still have strong ties to the Onondaga Nation. Great article aside from that though.

    April 5, 2013 at 12:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • D

      Just change the logo to a potato. Then everybody happy happy happy.

      April 5, 2013 at 12:23 pm | Report abuse |
      • Mr Potato Head

        Not Mr. Potato Head.

        April 5, 2013 at 12:39 pm | Report abuse |
  7. manhandler1

    Hate it when the Atlanta Braves get into the World Series. They play that tomahawk song, along with the chopping motion, so many times that it makes you want to run screaming out the door. I have to eventually turn the sound off.

    April 5, 2013 at 12:14 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Brilliant!

    Unless you are Native American and have been told something along the lines "we don't allow REDSKINS in here". As was the woman in the article you could not read.

    April 5, 2013 at 12:13 pm | Report abuse |
  9. KMFB

    Y'all are getting your feelings hurt by a sports team being called the Redskins because its racist.. if we're talking about racism, then why aren't you people attacking the Cleveland Browns? That's pretty racist to "brown people"

    April 5, 2013 at 12:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Brilliant!

      How? Does the logo depict a brown person? BROWN what?

      April 5, 2013 at 12:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • 9erFan

      it you took a moment to learn about the name you'd find that it isn't racist or offensive at all. Many people think it came from Paul Brown, their legendary HOF first coach and GM, however, it's actually named for the Brown Bomber, which was the nickname of the Great American Hero Joe Lewis.

      April 5, 2013 at 12:21 pm | Report abuse |
  10. KenNH

    When i saw the R word i thought it would be in context to rich. Please when talking about different groups think of:
    Rich=blacks
    Middle class= native americans
    poor=whites
    So when B.O. says he wants to help the middle class and poor and tax the rich more it will make sense. = hahaha!!

    April 5, 2013 at 12:12 pm | Report abuse |
  11. D.B.

    Racism is a function of intent. Nobody believes black people are being racist when they call other black people the "N-word." That's because in that example, there is no intent to denigrate someone based upon their race. Similarly, the term "Redskins" when discussing the football team, is not said with an intent to denigrate someone based upon their race. That some feel offended is immaterial. Somebody always feels offended in this country...nobody can control how someone else feels, nor should be be overly sensitive to everyone's feelings. Rather, we need to try to view the intent of how we use language and words and symbols. If they are used in an effort to denigrate or insult, they are wrong. If they are not, we should not try to force a privately owned company to change their name/symbol. It's called freedom of speech.

    April 5, 2013 at 12:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • 9erFan

      that's weak...simply put if you don't like when someone calls you certain word, you sure as hell don't use on yourself. It makes you look stupid. Kinda like wearing your pants around your ankles....you look stupid. And before anyone says something, I've seen white people wearing their pants stupidly too!

      April 5, 2013 at 12:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • mattindc

      You my friend say it PERFECTLY......racism is in the INTENT and you can't please everyone.

      April 5, 2013 at 12:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Andrew

      The term is a racial slur. It is akin to calling themselves the Washington Chinks or N-Word. You say some feel hurt feelings are immaterial, but it is an entire culture that is offended, despite how small they may be. You speak of intentions as the base of racism, that's fine I can agree with that. So let us look at the intentions of that word, it was meant to stereotype, denigrate, and belittle the Native American people. When someone creates a caricature of your culture and plasters it on a money-making machine that has no benefit to your people, you would probably be a little upset as well.

      April 5, 2013 at 12:30 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Beavis

    Is this article for real?

    April 5, 2013 at 12:10 pm | Report abuse |
  13. NotGivingOutmyRealName

    Stuff like this is one part of many reasons why this country is a shell of it's former self.

    April 5, 2013 at 12:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Malcolm X

      Maybe you miss the "former self" where Aboriginal Americans, Africans, Asians could be killed, enslaved, and totally demoralized at the hands of whites with impunity. So sad to see those days gone,huh? Your idea of "the good old days" of the greatness of U.S. culture is a myth. Welcome to reality.

      April 5, 2013 at 12:23 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Tona Seneca

    The Washington White Guys

    April 5, 2013 at 12:09 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Donnie

    I am long time fan of the Redskins , growing up in DC, and to me it seems like a waste.

    If their big concern, is how the teams portray the Native Americans, wouldn't the time be better spent trying to educate people on what is and isn't true about Native Americans. and use the name thing as a jumping point , for this discussion. Instead all they're doing is "ticking" off more and more people who are a fan , (or not even a fan, but don't see it has an issue). And spending (and wasting money) tying this issue up in court systems.

    Like i said seems like a waste. And to equate 1 jerk of a store owner in OK in 50's, to entire team now, is a big leap.

    And more and more of the teams, are just caving , and not wanting to deal with the absurdity of this issue, and changing their name, for that reason, not because they see a promblem with it.

    April 5, 2013 at 12:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Andrew

      Why is it absurd? I feel these people have every right to be angry. Just because you and society have washed out the contemporary meaning of this word, does not mean it was not at one time a very derogatory, offensive slur used against the Native American people.

      April 5, 2013 at 12:33 pm | Report abuse |
  16. mattindc

    Here's what it is in a nutshell: All these people who THINK Redskins is a racist term grew up in a home/neighborhood devoid of any real race issues so they really have NO CLUE what racism really is. I grew up in DC and knowit first hand. REDSKINS is not racist.

    April 5, 2013 at 12:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • NUTSAC

      Well thank you old wise one

      April 5, 2013 at 12:10 pm | Report abuse |
      • mattindc

        No charge!

        April 5, 2013 at 12:12 pm | Report abuse |
      • Brilliant!

        No charge and no brains!

        April 5, 2013 at 12:14 pm | Report abuse |
  17. Danjuno

    . I am a lifelong Washington Redskins fan and have never felt anything negative towards Native Americans. unfortunately, most of the posters on this article seem to be missing the point. There are a growing number of people who are offended by the name "Redskins" and an increasing # of legal challenges. Sometimes you have to think about what you are fighting for. Maybe it is time to find a less offensive name for the NFL team in Washington DC. The Washington Bullets became the Washington Wizards and I dont see that anyone was harmed by the change. Why dont we start talking about what a good, new name could be for the team instead of all this bickering about who is offended and why?

    April 5, 2013 at 12:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dan

      If we're going to go with a new name, something like the Razorbacks would work for me. Kind of in recognition of "The Hogs".

      April 5, 2013 at 1:15 pm | Report abuse |
  18. Malcolm X

    I'm not surprised at the utter ignorance and raw genocidal, racist mindset of most of the white people (and a few of you others) on this post. Also at the continued use sometimes of the term "indian". Wether "american indian" or some such term it is beyond ignorant and stupid. Indians are from India. Period. What it shows is that because of the overwhelming guilt harbored by the nation in its development on the blood of Aboriginal Americans, a total lack of moral insight into this subject has become ingrained in U.S. culture. Shows me that quite a lot of you (white, mostly) folks are still bloodthirsty, immoral in your hearts. Of course all the while thinking you are morally superior to "others". Not a lot has changed for some of you. Too bad the world, and this country, is changing all around you. Talk about "manifest destiny"! Ha ha!

    April 5, 2013 at 12:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Anti-X

      bla blabla

      April 5, 2013 at 12:21 pm | Report abuse |
      • Malcolm X

        Ilustrating my point,exactly.

        April 5, 2013 at 12:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Brewers_Fan7

      Malcolm, your post is by far the most racist thing that I've seen here, but we'll get back to that in a minute. First, how does having a discussion about whether or not a word is racist, with some honest disagreements and some good back and forth, equate to a "genocidal mindset?' Secondly, while white settlers did some extremely terrible things to many of the native tribes the vast majority of the native population who died post-Columbus died of diseases brought from the old world. In most cases these diseases were spread without malicious intent. You also fail to mention that relations between the various Native nations and the new white settlers varied considerably and especially early on the whites were just puppets in the local politics. Perhaps if you were as well educated as you're trying to sound you'd have some background in the subject.

      With regard to the issue of whether the name is or is not racist, I have to come down on the side of it being racist. I don't, however, feel that names that pay homage to a specific native leader or tribe (provided it's done respectfully) are racist. The difference between names like the Vikings and Cowboys are that no one finds them offensive and they've never been used to denigrate a group of people. Still, all of that being said, this should be a matter for the owners of professional teams and the boards of Universities to deal with. If public opinion swings that way then they'll make the change.

      April 7, 2013 at 1:10 pm | Report abuse |
  19. Arsh

    Sad fact is Native's are a dying breed so eventually there won't be anyone around to say we can't use the image because the person it would offend won't exist anyway.

    April 5, 2013 at 12:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Malcolm X

      Conservative Republican, raw racist whites are the dying breed, actually. Thank god.

      April 5, 2013 at 12:08 pm | Report abuse |
      • Don Black

        The Native American population is growing. I don't know where you heard they were dying out. Now, a lot of their culture is passing because of cultural dilution but the Native population is increasing and has since diseases and genocide stopped in the early 1900s.

        April 5, 2013 at 1:40 pm | Report abuse |
  20. HenryMiller

    Oh, get over it!

    I'm half Danish, descended from Europe's tenth century terrorists, the so-called "Vikings," and I'm not getting bent all out of shape by those bank commercials featuring a lot of Viking caricatures. And isn't there some sports team called the Vikings?

    April 5, 2013 at 12:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Andrew

      You are descendent of Vikings, but that culture does not exist anymore. Native Americans still very much exist in this country. Besides the racial histories of the two groups are nothing alike.

      April 5, 2013 at 12:35 pm | Report abuse |
  21. BLACK SKINS

    Used like "filthy REDSKINS" yes, it very offensive!

    April 5, 2013 at 12:00 pm | Report abuse |
  22. David

    and part cherokee right?

    April 5, 2013 at 11:59 am | Report abuse |
  23. ATPMSD

    "There are no bad words, only bad people." – George Carlin

    April 5, 2013 at 11:58 am | Report abuse |
  24. RW

    The Washinton Warriors

    April 5, 2013 at 11:57 am | Report abuse |
  25. The Horn

    our high school Varsity goes by the Indians, though JV team is called the fightin Whities!

    April 5, 2013 at 11:55 am | Report abuse |
  26. mike

    Is that why the Dems are the ones trying to keep taxes down for the working class, while the GOP keeps trying to protect sub-15% tax rates for the rich?

    April 5, 2013 at 11:53 am | Report abuse |
    • HenryMiller

      So you think "the rich" should be paying more than 90% of all individual income tax squeezed out of us by the federal government? While half the population, the parasites, pay nothing?

      April 5, 2013 at 12:05 pm | Report abuse |
  27. Adam

    So as long as the slurs are descriptive it's okay?

    April 5, 2013 at 11:49 am | Report abuse |
    • mattindc

      Those "REDSKINS" killed all the soldiers"......boy that sounds REALLY racist....NOT. Get over it this is a non story and I'm part Sioux & Flip.(Phillipine)

      April 5, 2013 at 11:55 am | Report abuse |
  28. Fred

    Reagan?

    April 5, 2013 at 11:49 am | Report abuse |
  29. rman

    except that the second line is "Hail Victory"

    April 5, 2013 at 11:45 am | Report abuse |
  30. Mike

    The majority of blacks find the N word offensive, so when black use it, no it is not ok. 90% of the Native Americans have no problem with the name of the team, and do not find it offensive. There is the difference.

    April 5, 2013 at 11:44 am | Report abuse |
    • mattindc

      That data is flawed. If only 1 NA likes the name that's PLENTY for me. And MANY NA's LIKE the Skins!

      "Those damn Redskins killed ALL the soldiers!"

      That DOES NOT sound racist even in it's most BRUTAL context...

      April 5, 2013 at 11:53 am | Report abuse |
    • Jerry D

      No details on sample size, and looks like a media outlet with an agenda did the survey (looking at you, CNN). I have more trust in University of Pennsylvania Annenburg poll that is more recent and shows exact opposite result.

      April 5, 2013 at 11:55 am | Report abuse |
    • Redskins

      In the survey I posted, 91% of Native Americans ARE NOT Offended by it.

      April 5, 2013 at 11:58 am | Report abuse |
  31. mattindc

    You're a GENIUS! Bring back ANY Bush right!!? Lets start another useless war spending BILLIONS for NOTHING.
    You're a GENIUS......

    April 5, 2013 at 11:44 am | Report abuse |
  32. dron3

    I think we should really be concerned with the w-word

    April 5, 2013 at 11:43 am | Report abuse |
  33. Robert Britt

    Are we also getting rid of the "Fighting Irish" their logo depicts all Irish as short and itching for a brawl.

    April 5, 2013 at 11:43 am | Report abuse |
    • Adam

      Irish is not a racial/ethic slur.

      Imagine they were the Fighting Micks.

      April 5, 2013 at 11:43 am | Report abuse |
      • Mike

        Again she is not just going after The Redskins.
        They are going after the Cleveland Indians

        April 5, 2013 at 11:50 am | Report abuse |
  34. Seriously?

    That would be a good name to change to.

    April 5, 2013 at 11:43 am | Report abuse |
  35. Coldharbor1864

    Native American's in New York and New England 1755 painted themselves with a RED Vermilion Dye that made them red! Hence the word REDSKINs! It was not something that some white invented to be racist. Go on the internet and check it out. The problem is that while Native Americans don't like the word Redskins, they also do not like the names Chiefs, Indians, Braves, Warriors, Sachems, etc. I would assume they don't like the states named after Indians like Minnesota and Dakota, and they don't like GM Pontiacs or Jeep Cherokees. What about the Black Hawks? What is acceptable to them or would they prefer that they be erased entirely??

    April 5, 2013 at 11:41 am | Report abuse |
    • David

      You're right, but you failed to describe the second theory regarding its history. In a separate theory regarding paying for the scalps of male natives over the age of 12 some say that... "Redskin=scalp". Which is racist and hurtful. So before I go do more research...please do the same.

      April 5, 2013 at 11:57 am | Report abuse |
    • We Are Not Mascots

      As always, just because you've read something written, that does not make it the so. There is also another side of the "R" name. At the time of this country's "Scorched Earth" policy (and I'll not get into all of President's Jackson's orders), people were paid to bring in scalps of native peoples. Additionally, many of those individuals took things a step further with more than scalping being involved. There is WAY more to this story, and that's where the "R" name came from. (I'll not elaborate on the details here due to the ugliness of what transpired. Dig a little deeper; the name is offensive, and it's a shame that more minds aren't open to realizing that it is.

      April 5, 2013 at 12:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Don Black

      It is one thing to get "permission" from a tribe and call yourselves the "Blackhawks", its another to just take up a native name without permission or a name that even the dictionary states is a racists slur.

      April 5, 2013 at 1:45 pm | Report abuse |
  36. AtlJack

    Sports teams don't pick mascots because they are "weak" or have undesirable traits. They pick mascots based on what they believe are positive traits.

    The Atlanta BRAVES was chosen because most Americans believed Native American warriors were exceptional and BRAVE.

    Rural southern people refer to themselves as "rednecks" and they don't care what you think about the term.

    This is a foolish crusade. It is meaningless.

    April 5, 2013 at 11:41 am | Report abuse |
    • yemi716

      To you, yes. Probably because you don't identify with anyone outside of your race. If you did your position would be different. 'Redskins" is considered a racial slur. Not only by native americans, but also history and the dictionary. Whites aren't the only people in this country, even though we all know how badly you guys wish it you were.

      April 7, 2013 at 12:05 pm | Report abuse |
  37. tony

    Them are some sensitive people. Still ticked off about the whole country stealing, massacre thing I bet

    April 5, 2013 at 11:37 am | Report abuse |
  38. rman

    I've been a Redskin Fan my entire life. I remember when there were protests outside of RFK (they only came when the team was winning). Comparing it to the N word is rediculous. There isn't a soul in this country who doesn't know the N Word is offensive. I was never aware that "Redskin" was an "offensive" term until I had to be told. If people have to be told that it's offensive..odds are...it aint...

    April 5, 2013 at 11:32 am | Report abuse |
    • rman

      I don't think so. They'd quickly become a red neck favorite..guaranteed.

      April 5, 2013 at 11:42 am | Report abuse |
    • AtlJack

      Could this be because a small percentage of Native Americans have TOLD them they should think its offensive.

      April 5, 2013 at 11:42 am | Report abuse |
  39. AlwaysWright

    Football is played in quarters, not periods. So how 'bout you go back to Canada and watch some hockey, eh?

    April 5, 2013 at 11:32 am | Report abuse |
  40. RichG

    What if we had a team called the Oakland Spear-Chucker's? Oh yes, that would tick some people off.

    April 5, 2013 at 11:32 am | Report abuse |
  41. Marc D

    Absolutely right. If ANYONE thinks sports team use their names to promote disrespect needs to crawl back into their hole. Some of these names have been around longer than most of the fans. Can I say that wasn't the intention originally, no? However, it isn't anymore. They are the names we've all grown up with. I agree the n-word is bad; it's never meant in a good way, but now we're hearing the w-word, the r-word...why not the h-word or the c-word for white people; y-word for orientals, r-word for arabs? Eventually you run out of letters. Is PETA going after Denver for the Broncos? We are NEVER going to have equality if every Tom Dick and Harry finds fault with everyone else.

    April 5, 2013 at 11:31 am | Report abuse |
  42. Jerry D

    Ok, so some folks think that if it offends anyone, change the name. Seems I remember lots of people offended by Beyonce's halftime show. Are we going to ban her from shaking that thing? Make her cover up in public? But people were legit offended!! Please explain why that is different from a logical perspective, and not just because you agree with one and not the other.

    If majority of NAs were offended, it might be different. But MOST are not. Its just a few whiners. So they get to decide for all of us?

    April 5, 2013 at 11:28 am | Report abuse |
    • Nick

      Agreed, they have polled Native Americans numerous times...if they have no problems with the name...then it should be a dead issue.

      April 5, 2013 at 11:31 am | Report abuse |
      • Don Black

        They have not. One poll was done with a small response pool of participants. Hardly definitive of the population.

        April 5, 2013 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse |
      • Jerry D

        To Don Black, actually there have been multiple polls and they all show the same thing. And almost 800 people is a more than adequate sample. Margin of error for a sample that size is about 4%, and it showed 91% found it acceptable.

        April 5, 2013 at 7:21 pm | Report abuse |
  43. ROMNEY2012

    You can't keep reporting posts that you disagree with.

    April 5, 2013 at 11:28 am | Report abuse |
  44. Adam

    People need to stop using the Notre Dame argument. "Irish" is not an racial/ethnic slur. If they were the Notre Dame Fightin' Micks, people would be offended. Or if the NBA team was the Brooklyn Ni**ers.

    April 5, 2013 at 11:27 am | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      No, the point is she is only part of the 10% of native American who are offended by the name. 90% do not care. She is not only going after Washington, but all sports teams who have Native American Mascots. If she were Irish you bet she would be going after Notre Dame Fighting Irish.
      Might as well change all the team names. Can’t have the Vikings, or the Cowboys, or the Buccaneer

      April 5, 2013 at 11:31 am | Report abuse |
    • Redhead

      As far as I know, "Sioux", is not a racial/ethnic slur, but the University of North Dakota was forced to stop using its logo.

      April 5, 2013 at 11:34 am | Report abuse |
      • HalfWolf

        WRONG! Sioux is a racial slur. It means "enemy, snake" in Ojibwe, hence the need to change the name. Dakota is not an offensive term, any more than New York. Dakota describes a nation of people.

        April 5, 2013 at 3:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dwight

      Go back and read your history books and you will find that the Irish were indeed stereotyped as being nothing but shiftless, thieves, drunkards, brawlers, etc. This is even reflected in ND logo and name. This is even reflected in the movie Blazing Saddles. In truth all ethnic groups have had thier share of disrespect, but as we all know respect is earned and not earned easily.

      April 5, 2013 at 11:35 am | Report abuse |
    • Seriously?

      I'm Irish and I would love it if they chnaged it to Fightin' Micks!

      April 5, 2013 at 11:40 am | Report abuse |
    • w l jones

      The n...word in pre-colonial Africa were fine because it mean God.

      April 5, 2013 at 12:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dan

      This women also has problems with the "Braves", "Indians", and "Chiefs".

      Please explain how these are so different than The Fighting Irish?

      April 5, 2013 at 1:40 pm | Report abuse |
      • HalfWolf

        The Irish in this country did not go through the persecution that Native Americans have.

        April 5, 2013 at 3:41 pm | Report abuse |
  45. Woody

    Oh Lord, somebody make it stop ...

    April 5, 2013 at 11:25 am | Report abuse |
  46. Nick

    This is getting ridiculous...they have been called the Redskins since 1932 and we are now thinking about changing it because it may offend some people? Good grief, political correctness has gotten so out of control. First the Washington Bullets are changed to the Wizards because"Bullets" is not PC enough...now they want to take a name as recognized as the Washington Redskins and turn it into something else? Good Grief

    April 5, 2013 at 11:25 am | Report abuse |
  47. Pollywog

    Maybe it would be better if there was just a list of words we CAN use. It'd be a much shorter list than the ones people take offense at.

    April 5, 2013 at 11:24 am | Report abuse |
    • Krill

      The problem with that, Polly, is that the list of words we would be allowed to use would be all but empty as anything anyone says can and likely will offend SOMEONE somewhere.

      Its time to get over all this thin skinned crap. If you don't like something someone says, don't listen to them. If you don't like something someone does, ignore them. The vocal minority need to keep their collective traps shut and let the rest of us live in peace.

      April 5, 2013 at 12:26 pm | Report abuse |
  48. Seriously?

    I'm Irish and I am deeply offended by Notre Dame Fighting Irish, my uncle is a senator and am deeply offended by Washington Senators, My great grandfather was a cattleman and I am deeply offended by the Dallas Cowboys, My great-great uncle was a pirate and I am deeply offended by Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Oakland Raiders, and I am just deeply offended by Suzan Shown Harjo.

    April 5, 2013 at 11:23 am | Report abuse |
    • SO?

      You miss the point. If it is not OK to stereotype one group all must be considered.

      April 5, 2013 at 11:26 am | Report abuse |
      • Mike

        I am offended by the name Dallas Cowboys.

        April 5, 2013 at 11:33 am | Report abuse |
    • Seriously?

      Oh, and my bulldog just came up to me to let me know that he is offended by about 2 dozen colleges!

      April 5, 2013 at 11:33 am | Report abuse |
    • SteveC

      Neither is the North Dakota Fighting Sioux, but according to the incompetent NCAA, they had to lose the name.

      April 5, 2013 at 11:38 am | Report abuse |
  49. Ryan

    The name should not be changed. There will always be somebody offended by something. This issue has been polled among American Indians many times, and time and time again the vast majority say that they are not offended by the Redskins' name. Let's just accept that you simply cannot satisfy everybody in this world.

    April 5, 2013 at 11:22 am | Report abuse |
  50. Cowboys Fan

    What people forget is that the Redskin franchise was originally based in Boston. The team name "Redskin" was selected to honor the individuals that dumped tea into Boston Harbor as an act of political protest. They were worried about being recognized, so they dressed as Native Americans and painted their faces. The team later moved to Washington but kept the nickname. In the early 21st century, this act of political protest also unfortunately inspired the mentally challenged, in alliance with the just plain stupid, to leave their mobile homes and form the Tea Party.

    April 5, 2013 at 11:19 am | Report abuse |
    • ladyfon

      Well if the assumption is Tea Party = Mobile Homes, then I would like to add that Republicans = Mansions (since they are the 1% right), and Democrats = Ghetto. Is that about right?

      Signed,
      Bigger Cowboys Fan

      April 5, 2013 at 11:30 am | Report abuse |
    • Fred

      Gee, I'm a member of the Tea Party and I don't live in a trailer. The Tea Party frightens you, doesn't it?

      April 5, 2013 at 11:56 am | Report abuse |
  51. KLO

    I have never heard someone use the term REDSKIN in a derogatroy way except when talking about that crappy football team.

    April 5, 2013 at 11:18 am | Report abuse |
    • Nick

      Crappy enough to make the playoffs and win the NFC East

      April 5, 2013 at 11:20 am | Report abuse |
  52. jesse

    Im just going to throw this out there and let it simmer. Without these teams showing support and promoting Indians would anyone in America even remember them?

    It's funny to me people are fans of the Redskins, which promotes, support and shows unity yet some find it offensive.

    So I guess fans of the Indians, hate Indians? I guess fans of Florida state hate Seminole Indians? I guess those people who dress up like hogs and show up 4 hrs early for a redskins game secretly hate their teams mascot?

    Grow up and stop blaming everyone for one persons ignorance, it"s well just ignorant.

    April 5, 2013 at 11:17 am | Report abuse |
    • Bill in VA

      Amen

      April 5, 2013 at 11:20 am | Report abuse |
  53. Dwight

    Scott W. go back and read your history books. You re refferring to the proclamation by King George that paid money for the scalps of NA, but the term redskins is never used and this is considered by most to be revisionist history. The term is most likely regarded as a way to distinguish the white skinned man from the NA, which were not white and were not black either. Many NA used red ocher to decorate thier skins at times. There are many theories, but the scalp theory is the likely, especially since all people that are scalped have red skin.

    April 5, 2013 at 11:16 am | Report abuse |
  54. Dan

    Anyone that finds this article rediculous, might as well not even comment......you cant convince people with no common sense!

    April 5, 2013 at 11:16 am | Report abuse |
  55. Kevin

    I'm Irish, should I be offended by "The Fighting Irish"? I'm not offended, because the Irish are one of a very few people honored by a mascot. I would be offended if they made Notre Dame change our mascot. If I were a Native American, I would be honored that teams think my culture is worthy of a mascot. But then again, I"m not overly sensitive like a lot of people.

    April 5, 2013 at 11:15 am | Report abuse |
    • Adam

      What is they were the Fighting Micks? The aren't the Washington Native Americans you know...

      April 5, 2013 at 11:17 am | Report abuse |
      • Bill in VA

        or the Drinking Irish. lol

        April 5, 2013 at 11:22 am | Report abuse |
    • David

      I halfway agree with you, but Redskin is not a name for an native. It was the term used to describe the scalp. It has since turned into a term describing natives. So while I agree with you, I have to disagree on this one instance of using "Redskin" and thinking that is a honorable description of any native. I think any scalped Irish would agree.

      April 5, 2013 at 11:25 am | Report abuse |
  56. Bill in VA

    I am not the originator of this idea but I like it. Keep the Washington Redskins name and change the logo on the helmet to a potato. 😉

    April 5, 2013 at 11:15 am | Report abuse |
    • Rob in Albuquerque

      Better idea: Keep the helmet logo and change the team name to Warriors. It would still fit in the fight song.

      //s// A nearly native Washingtonian, now transplanted

      April 5, 2013 at 11:29 am | Report abuse |
  57. CoolB

    Is the R-word equal to the N-word?

    If this is a hypothetical question then why are we referring to it as the R word? Saying it like that insinuates that it is already a bad word.

    April 5, 2013 at 11:13 am | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      CNN, and the Rest of the P/C police is trying to make it that way so the name will be changed. 90% of the Native American comunity does not care about the name of the Washington Redskins.

      April 5, 2013 at 11:16 am | Report abuse |
    • CoolB

      I guess that depends on who you ask and the context it is used in.

      Honestly though, are we to now police how blacks speak to each other?

      April 5, 2013 at 12:01 pm | Report abuse |
  58. Redhead

    What about the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame? Is anybody offended by that nickname?

    April 5, 2013 at 11:09 am | Report abuse |
    • Adam

      If they were the Fighting Micks people would be offended.

      April 5, 2013 at 11:10 am | Report abuse |
  59. CommonSensePlease

    Seems to me like a bitter person decided to take out HER racism on the rest of us. She claims to have been mistreated in a single incident as a child and that incident shaped some sort of hatred in her for those who are not Native American. Is this doing justice or is it revenge? I'm part Cherokee, my family walked the Trail of Tears, and guess what... I DO NOT find the name term 'redskin' offensive at all. The term is part of history, just because it was used in a negative way in the past doesn't mean we have to continue to view it that way now.

    April 5, 2013 at 11:09 am | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      Because she does not represent what the majority of her people think. 90% do not care about the issue aand do not take offense to the name.

      April 5, 2013 at 11:19 am | Report abuse |
    • SO?

      So its OK for one group to be stigmatized just because they do not complain? Double standard much?

      April 5, 2013 at 11:24 am | Report abuse |
  60. Dwight

    As being 1/16 of Irish descent I think that Notre Dame should change thier name because this makes fun of all Irish people, especially short Irish people and indicates that they are prone to fighting. Since Dances with Wolves people of North American heritage are now generally held in high esteem, until you visit a reservation and then that esteem falls as you realize they have no internal self esteem. It might seem like a good idea now, but once you remove the Redskins, Braves and Indians from the American presence, then any Native American presence will cease to exist in the common consceince outside of the history books. Since Dances with Wolves NA have been seen in mostly a good light, but thiswill tarnish any remaining prescence they have.

    April 5, 2013 at 11:06 am | Report abuse |
    • Adam

      Until Notre Dame changes it's name to the Fighting Micks, it really isn't comparable.

      April 5, 2013 at 11:09 am | Report abuse |
      • Mike

        She is not just after THe Redskins, She is after all teams that have Native Americans on it. if she were Irsish she would be going after Notre Dame Fighting Irish.

        April 5, 2013 at 11:28 am | Report abuse |
      • Dwight

        We are dealing with perception here. The Irish at one point were thought of as lazy, fighters, drunkards and thieves. Which is why Australia was filled up with mostly Irish criminals by the English and this was a concept in early America as well. The name "fighting" Irish and the logo don't move away from that notion. The movie Blazing Saddles pokes fun in that the town folks finally agree to accept all people of color and race, but Mr. Johnson says, "All right. We’ll give some land .. to the n#s and the chinks, but we DON’T want the Irish."

        April 5, 2013 at 11:29 am | Report abuse |
  61. Scott W

    Normally I am not much for all of the PC stuff butin the case of the word Redskins the insult goes to far. All of the defender of this name should research the origin of this word. Redskin stands for the scalps of indiand that were turned in for a bounty. I can understand teh debate over whether some of the other team names are offensive or not but when it comes to "redskin" it is beyound offensive. As far as I know I do not have any native blood but I agree that Washington should change the name of their team.

    April 5, 2013 at 11:05 am | Report abuse |
    • Jerry D

      You need to educate yourself. See my post below. Vast majority of native americans do NOT find the term offensive. I'm sorry, but if its only offensive to select few, get over it. No one promised you a world without offense. Lots of people were offended by Beyonce's halftime show. Should we ban her? Deal with life folks.

      April 5, 2013 at 11:22 am | Report abuse |
  62. Tony

    The Cleveland Indians mascot is an offense caricature. The Redskins helmet shows a respectful graphic of a mighty warrior.

    April 5, 2013 at 11:04 am | Report abuse |
    • Michael

      Yeah but the word Redskin is a lot more offensive than Indian. Maybe they should trade logos so one is all good and one is all bad, then drop the bad one.

      April 5, 2013 at 11:11 am | Report abuse |
  63. Ripper

    Political correctness and people crying racism are killing this country. It's sad that in a democracy one person complaining they don't like something can force the majority to change to their desires. What I would like to know is why nobody is complaining about them being called Indians. That name was gives to them by settlers who thought they landed in India. There are at least a half dozen references to "Indian" in the article but noone seems to mind that. America needs to stop bowing down to individuals who want to further there own agendas. We used to be strong, now we're just a bunch of PC'd wimps.

    April 5, 2013 at 11:04 am | Report abuse |
  64. geeworker

    alt mascot for washington
    oak tree: DC official tree got wood could be used as a slogan
    rose: DC official flower petal power theme
    wood thrush: DC official bird fans could give everyone the "bird" when a made a touchdown
    skunks: after the elected officials performance

    April 5, 2013 at 11:03 am | Report abuse |
  65. mayfiat

    lets be clear here, the "r" word is not redskins, its retard and it should NEVER be used. redskin is term that may be offensive to some – but dont alter the argument already in play in the world. If the indian nation wants the team to change thier name, so be it, but dont go there. We have a family member with special needs, and the r-word is not redskin!

    April 5, 2013 at 11:03 am | Report abuse |
    • Michael

      Never? You just used it. I guess never is a lot shorter than I thought.

      April 5, 2013 at 11:09 am | Report abuse |
    • se

      if it's offensive to native American Indians then it should be taken down and changed. It doesn't matter if the intent is not to be racist. What matters is if the effect is racist.

      If a team was called the cotton pickers and it was a team from the south to represent the heritage that helped that state flourish, what do you think would happen? It would be shot down, not because the intent of the name is racist, but the feeling it may bring up in the black minority

      April 5, 2013 at 11:10 am | Report abuse |
      • Selmers

        Then so is Black Awareness.

        April 5, 2013 at 11:14 am | Report abuse |
    • John

      Retard- A term used in music to denote the slowing of a piece compared to the rest of the work. Derived from the Latin retardandum, truncated to "retard" c. 1811. Adapted into the English lexicon to describe a person who is mentally slower or otherwise challenged or disabled compared to the rest of the population.

      Its not offensive, my aunt with a Phd in learning disabilities, one of the top researchers in the field, with an Autistic brother, uses it in polite company and conversation.

      April 5, 2013 at 11:11 am | Report abuse |
      • SO?

        i see so REDSKIN is a term of endearment?

        April 5, 2013 at 11:37 am | Report abuse |
    • Gamma

      While I think that it should be up to the team as to what it's name is, and don't feel offended by names like "celtic" in football, I find you very obnoxious. You decided to just place yourself and your family on a high pedastal, and expect everyone else to view it as such. Your special needs child isn't that special, so please don't act like he is.

      April 5, 2013 at 11:14 am | Report abuse |
  66. Ben

    As a DC football fan, I think we should change the name to the Washington Natives, and possibly re-vamp the logo. How do people feel about this?

    April 5, 2013 at 11:02 am | Report abuse |
  67. Jack Kramer

    What percentage of American Indians/Native Americans actually find these team names offensive? As someone who has Norwegian and Irish ancestry, should I be offended by team names such as the Vikings, the Celtics, and the Fighting Irish?

    April 5, 2013 at 11:00 am | Report abuse |
    • YOU FOOL

      OK, So discrimination is OK as long as it is within your certain percentage?

      April 5, 2013 at 11:04 am | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      10% find it offensive. Most naitive Americans do not care about the name.

      April 5, 2013 at 11:04 am | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      Yes according to this article and the person fighting to remove Indians from sporting events, Vikings, Cowboys, and Buccaneer.

      April 5, 2013 at 11:11 am | Report abuse |
    • smf

      Come on let's put this in perspective. Tell me what would happen if we put an African American character on a helmet and called the team the Blackskins. It is the same thing... period, we are just oblivious to this as a society.

      April 5, 2013 at 11:23 am | Report abuse |
      • Dan

        But it's not the same thing. Redskins is an actual team name, Blackskins is not. If Blackskins was a term that had been applied over many years to a sporting team in a positive manner, then maybe this would be a reasonable comparison.

        April 5, 2013 at 11:54 am | Report abuse |
  68. WASHINGTON BOOTLIPS

    What? It's just a name!

    April 5, 2013 at 10:59 am | Report abuse |
  69. Exactly!

    So they could name a team the "BOOT LIPS" and have an African with a bone through his nose and that would be ok?

    April 5, 2013 at 10:56 am | Report abuse |
    • John

      Except the Chiefs, Braves, Redskins, Illini and Seminoles all use tasteful and respectful images of their mascots. And if the culture really did wear a bone through their nose, whats wrong with showing it? Why are you trying to hide the non-western aspects of your culture, while at the same time complaining about western culture?

      April 5, 2013 at 11:04 am | Report abuse |
      • YOU FOOL

        HUH? So it is OK if it does not offend you?

        April 5, 2013 at 11:09 am | Report abuse |
  70. George A. Custer

    What the heck did we ever to do the indians to deserve this moaning and groaning?

    April 5, 2013 at 10:54 am | Report abuse |
  71. Exactly!

    BAN THE NAME! All other whiny groups; gays, interracial, illegal aliens have to be addressed with PC

    April 5, 2013 at 10:54 am | Report abuse |
    • yemi716

      "whiney groups" hahaha oh man. What it must be like to be white in this country. You guys will picket for guns, mere pieces of metal, but you won't support your fellow human in their issue because YOU, a non native american, feels like they should not be offended. Shocking.

      April 7, 2013 at 12:09 pm | Report abuse |
  72. John

    So let me get this straight, people are upset that there is enough respect and admiration for the past ferocity and valor of their ancestral warriors that a team has been named for them? Would anyone care if a Mexican soccer team was named the Pale-Faces, after the Conquistadors? No. Or if a British soccer club was named the Blueskins to honor the Celtic warriors of old? Doubtful. No one cares that Michigan State is the Spartans, USC is the Trojans, or that Oklahoma State is the Cowboys despite these names only connoting the warrior-like aspects of those societies.
    Grow up

    April 5, 2013 at 10:52 am | Report abuse |
    • DRH

      In a country that is replete with examples of how much honor and respect has been afford the American Indians, I'd suggest that you look at the history of the use of the R name before you deem its employ "honorific."

      April 5, 2013 at 11:16 am | Report abuse |
  73. Wardo

    As 1/4 Native American, I am not offended. Maybe the other 3/4 Dutch has taken over my brain. This is what Dr. Ben Carson is speaking about when he states that political correctness is out of control.

    April 5, 2013 at 10:52 am | Report abuse |
    • yemi716

      or you're white and have no sort of connection or understanding of your so called native side.

      April 7, 2013 at 12:10 pm | Report abuse |
  74. Logic

    They did kick Custer's butt.

    April 5, 2013 at 10:51 am | Report abuse |
  75. LittleRedHen

    This seems to be the work of an individual with no official representation from a particular tribe. So, what are the various tribes' official positions on this subject? No mention in this article.

    Why not work with these teams to develop mascots that show something more representative of the true culture, a symbol to honor the American Indian and keep the name? IF “A good many Americans don’t know any Indians,” why completley remove the only public images that reminds America that you even exist?

    April 5, 2013 at 10:51 am | Report abuse |
  76. Mike Lousarde

    Look at Federal Contracting and the billions of dollars of set asides and sole source contracts they receive on top of tax, land, and casino breaks. Trust me, they do not get the short end of the stick.

    If anyone gets the short end of the stick in this country it is your average white person. When are people going to stop seeing ethnicity this country?

    April 5, 2013 at 10:50 am | Report abuse |
  77. Dan Williams

    Working with Native Americans off and on for approximately twenty years I have learned that many Caucasians are more offended as well as the Native Americans less than thirty-years old. The vast majority of elders from tribes of Pima, Sioux, and Chippewa who I have worked with had not issue with the mascot. Often I am told by elders in their seventh and eight decade that it is more of the white mans guilt as they stood talking me with an austere presence wearing a Redskin jacket. Be cautious of those that write books for monetary gain and or fame with an agenda they say.

    April 5, 2013 at 10:49 am | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      Most of this is coming from the P/C police. It is realy not an issue in the Native American comunity.

      April 5, 2013 at 11:14 am | Report abuse |
  78. Wondra Woman

    LMAO!!! Funniest post ever!

    April 5, 2013 at 10:48 am | Report abuse |
  79. DReVil

    A single tear rolled down my eye when reading this. . . In laughter.

    There are a lot worse sterotypes when it comes to Native Americans. Sports teams project them as the proud warriors they once were, thats a positive thing in my book.

    April 5, 2013 at 10:48 am | Report abuse |
  80. Dan

    ok, here we go......

    I have ancestors that were Cowboys, Redskins, Raiders, Pirates, Braves, and Buccaneers. I am due alot of money, please pay up, so I can stop being offended!!

    April 5, 2013 at 10:48 am | Report abuse |
  81. Logic

    Nothing wrong with having a potato as a mascot is there? Make Washington use a potato for a mascot if they want to keep that name.

    April 5, 2013 at 10:48 am | Report abuse |
  82. Jerry D

    For those who think the term is offensive, please respond to this poll done by the University of Pennsylvania

    WASHINGTON – A poll of American Indians found that an overwhelming majority of them are not bothered by the name of the Washington Redskins.

    Only 9 percent of those polled said the name of the NFL team is “offensive,” while 90 percent said it’s acceptable, according to the University of Pennsylvania’s National Annenberg Election Survey, released Friday.

    Annenberg polled 768 Indians in every state except Hawaii and Alaska from Oct. 7, 2003, to Sept. 20, 2004.

    The survey found little disparity between men and women or young and old. However, 13 percent of Indians with college degrees said the name is offensive, compared with 9 percent of those with some college and 6 percent of those with a high school education or less. Among self-identified liberals, 14 percent found the term disparaging, compared with 6 percent of conservatives.

    So, vast majority of indians find the term acceptable. Can we move on to something important now?

    April 5, 2013 at 10:47 am | Report abuse |
    • Jerry D

      Yeah, I didn't think so. Hard to refute facts with unsupported opinions.

      April 5, 2013 at 11:31 am | Report abuse |
  83. geeworker

    this is ridiculous how does a name offend anyone if we renamed the team spearchuckers would that offend anyone? after all it's just a name

    April 5, 2013 at 10:45 am | Report abuse |
    • Exactly!

      BINGO! If they called it spearchuckers there would be riots....double standard

      April 5, 2013 at 10:48 am | Report abuse |
      • yemi716

        it must hurt to be that narrow-minded.

        April 7, 2013 at 11:56 am | Report abuse |
    • Morgan

      That is so vapid. It's not just a name. It's a racist term used to insult a group of people based on their ethnicity. It's beyond insulting that this continues to exist.

      April 22, 2013 at 8:16 pm | Report abuse |
  84. Exactly!

    YOU PEOPLE started this. if racial slurs are offensive ban them all

    April 5, 2013 at 10:45 am | Report abuse |
  85. Mr. Ed

    As an adult horse, I'm offended by the Ageism shown by the team named "Colts"...they are exploiting my children. Furthermore, the name "Cowboys" offends me because it forces me to think of my ancestors that were enslaved to the humans.

    April 5, 2013 at 10:42 am | Report abuse |
    • geeworker

      thats funny, but as a horse I would think your main concern would be that your family is about to sent to the slaughterhouse if they pass the bill

      April 5, 2013 at 10:49 am | Report abuse |
    • Michael

      Being a African American with a bloodline trace all the way back to Seminole and Cherokee Indian. I don't have any anger toward the usage of the Indian names or logos that we see through out our country. What these schools or organization are trying to do is HONOR our AMERICAN HISTORY with a Indian names. I guess that is why I have partial to being a Florida State Seminole Fan for many years. I see nothing wrong with this and I support the Organizations, schools, and any others that want to HONOR my heritage by using Indian names to pay homage or tribute to an area of history that doesn't get talked about a lot in American History Books. If we want to get mad at some thing why don't we get mad at the History Professors and Teachers that don't speak enough about Native American History.

      April 5, 2013 at 10:59 am | Report abuse |
      • washingtonredskins

        They put the black people to work, they just shot the Indians

        April 7, 2013 at 8:19 am | Report abuse |
  86. redskinsfan

    because they have pride

    April 5, 2013 at 10:41 am | Report abuse |
  87. NightOps

    Racist: a person with a prejudiced belief that one race is superior to others
    Racism: 1) The belief that all members of each race possess characteristics or abilities specific to that race, esp. so as to distinguish it as...
    2) Prejudice or discrimination directed against someone of a different race based on such a belief.

    I don't see a team being named "Redskins" as fitting either one of those definitions. She can say that she feels offended, but there is hardly enough evidence to say they are being racists or committing into racism. Let's grow up people.

    April 5, 2013 at 10:40 am | Report abuse |
  88. Craig

    Being not a Native American, I don't think any mascot or team name should be changed. I look at the name as an honor to our native Americans. If these teams didn't continue to carry these symbols, I would be afraid that their heritage may be lost for all. We Americans don't do enough to honor these great people that fought to keep their land.

    April 5, 2013 at 10:40 am | Report abuse |
  89. Jay

    Welcome to the liberal states of america. (No Caps for a reason) This is what happens when political correctness takes over and the liberal agenda becomes the law of the land. This very same issue took place in the NCAA a few years back. To the point where small schools like North Dakota had to abandon their logo and mascot because it was offensive to ONE F'ING person. Even though multiple Lakota Sioux tribes voted for the school to keep its name. Yet Florida State is allowed to keep their mascot even though they have a white guy on a horse ride out with a flaming spear! Double standards set by the NCAA. The Skins are next. Becauise the name offends ONE or maybe TWO people.

    April 5, 2013 at 10:40 am | Report abuse |
  90. Dan

    Here we go catering to a minority group that is claiming the racist card!!! Let me guess, if The Redskins pay an obsurd amount of money, they wont be offended anymore?? Anyone who thinks this is disrespectful is a moron.........these temas, both pro and collegiate are honoring these "groups" not disrepecting thme in no way. How do we know we are not offending the dolphin population in Miami??? I think PETA should spend millionds of dollars on a study, to see if somehow the MIami Dolphins are in anyway affecting the dolphoin population. Maybe when a group of them beach themeselves, it is due to the team logo!!

    April 5, 2013 at 10:39 am | Report abuse |
    • NightOps

      Oh come on Dan...do you expect some Liberal whack-job to actually use common sense? That would just be too...too...mature! 😉

      April 5, 2013 at 10:43 am | Report abuse |
    • logical positivist

      If you don't respect that someone else thinks redskins is offensive, then you are a complete jerk. Of course, I mean that as an honorific. I used to call my brother a jerk and he was okay with it so you should be too.

      April 5, 2013 at 1:14 pm | Report abuse |
  91. Redskins Fan2

    A lot of Americans today don't know where Vietnam is, who fought in WWII or what the significance of the 1776 feet of the Freedom Tower. Why should they care about a Redskin, Seminole or Brave? Once again, the minority is taking over the majority because the squeaky wheel gets the oil.

    April 5, 2013 at 10:38 am | Report abuse |
  92. 1lastman

    It's AMAZING to me in 2013 that Native Americans still get treated disrespectfully, but even hint anything negative about gays and watch the firestorm erupt. What's the difference? Americans are hypocrits! See, this is what happens when a group has money and the media on their side (gays), and disrespect is what happens when you don't have these resources at your disposal (Native Americans)...

    April 5, 2013 at 10:38 am | Report abuse |
    • washingtonredskins

      Bravo!

      April 7, 2013 at 8:17 am | Report abuse |
  93. wend28

    As a citizen of the US, I'm offended that this is even an issue. Change the name of an NFL team that's been around for generations? Seriously? If we changed the name of something every time someone was offended, we would be a nameless country. Get a grip already.

    April 5, 2013 at 10:30 am | Report abuse |
    • spaz

      Totally agree, Wend. Too many PC people running around with too much time on their hands.

      April 5, 2013 at 10:35 am | Report abuse |
    • ME II

      Who cares about generations of NFL team names, seriously!
      Just number them Washington's Team #32. Who cares.

      GO #32!!!

      April 5, 2013 at 10:36 am | Report abuse |
  94. Sophia

    This crops up every couple of years it seems like – NHL, NFL – have far too much money invested in branding to let anyone change anything....move on to important issues...feeding and housing the homeless...or 1001 other issues challenging Americans today.

    April 5, 2013 at 10:30 am | Report abuse |
    • redskinsfan

      thank you Sophia, someone summed it up

      April 5, 2013 at 10:31 am | Report abuse |
    • jor

      They prefer to be called "un-housed," not homeless. Thank you

      April 5, 2013 at 10:57 am | Report abuse |
    • bibleverse1

      She shouldnt fight because her opponents are strong? This is America. I support her battle these names are not acceptable in 21st century. They are derogatory unless they are specific tribe with permission. Red Skins Indians and Braves should be changed.

      April 5, 2013 at 10:58 am | Report abuse |
      • jor

        And i suppose the Scandinavians are super butt hurt about "the Vikings?"

        April 5, 2013 at 11:06 am | Report abuse |
  95. Scott

    My wife and I are both Native American and neither one of us nor are any of our Native American friends concerned about this in the least. I think it's a white folks issue. Kinda like Anglo archeologists spending an inordinate amount of time and effort obsessing over our trash. Who cares!

    April 5, 2013 at 10:26 am | Report abuse |
    • Jason

      Well said!! Way to be confident instead of self absorbed and fragile.

      April 5, 2013 at 10:31 am | Report abuse |
      • Mike Hughes

        I agree. My girlfriend is Native American, and doesn't care about this as well...I think a words ability to be racist depends upon the denotations, but probably even more so the connotations of the word. I know for me personally, and really everyone I know, I would never even think of a Native American as a redskin. In fact, when I think of the word redskin, all that comes to mind is the football team.

        April 5, 2013 at 10:38 am | Report abuse |
    • Ron B

      Who cares? Plenty of people care. It doesn't matter if White people aren't offended by a racially derogatory term. Chances are, they are the ones who initially came up with it. I care because it's not up to White people to decided whether or not referring to someone as a redskin or a niqqer is offensive. I'm Black, and I'm offended by racially derogatory terms for Black people. If you and your wife are Native American and aren't offended by redskin, then that's your business. But it's not for White people to decide. It's up to US. When we stop deferring to *them* for approval, we'll start getting the respect we have long deserved.

      April 5, 2013 at 10:40 am | Report abuse |
      • Scott

        You obviously and completely missed the point that I don't care what white people think. Not to mention black folks who all seem to carry a chip on their shoulder about something that happened to their grand parents and not to them.

        April 5, 2013 at 10:54 am | Report abuse |
      • jor

        As the voting majority, it matters a little what white people think.

        April 5, 2013 at 11:00 am | Report abuse |
      • Treeboar

        White people didn't come up with it; the Native Americans called white people "whiteskins" or "paleskins", they called the slaves "blacksins" and referred to themselves as "redskins". With there being so many different countries they saw white people from (england, france, spain), it was easier to group them all as "whiteskins", and likewise b/c they had many tribes and no 1 leader over all tribes it was easiest to refer to themselves as "redskins". The N-word was created by slave-owners and began as a slur and was always meant in a derrogatory way. The "R-word" is NOT like the N-Word, it's like the word "Black" for African Americans - some people find it offensive but most don't see it as offensive unless it's being used to look down on someone (like how this lady got kicked out of a store; word wasn't racist that store clerk's actions were - kicking someone out b/c of the color of their skin).

        April 5, 2013 at 11:14 am | Report abuse |
      • amen!

        Typical rants against minority groups who simply VOICE an opinion on racism. Blame the victim for being too sensitive. Why? Because said minority group is not large enough to make a financial impact detrimental to the owners. PLAIN AND SIMPLE. What ultimately led to the Civil Right legislation of the 1960s? The bus boycotts - not a change of heart. FACT. The name will not be changed because The Washington Redskins are not losing any money over it. But to make it CLEAR to anyone who thinks the name is NOT offensive, just stop already. You sound like idiots.

        Washington Blackskins
        Washington Whiteskins
        Washington Yellowskins
        Washington Brownskins

        Heck, the COLOR in and of itself is derogatory. Native AMericans are not "red" skinned. As for the Fighting Irish argument - it's not the Fighting Redhairs or Fighting Freckles in the same way that it's not the Washington Natives.
        If I make a team called the Los Angeles Mexicans, nothing wrong with THAT either, right??? "The Redksins" is a label meant to diminish a whole group of people. It is most certainly NOT a source of PRIDE. Show me the natives on the board or owners list. Yeah, didn't think so.

        I can't believe I just wasted my time reading these comments.

        April 5, 2013 at 11:40 am | Report abuse |
      • Dan

        And the vast majority of Native Americans don't have a problem with it... So I guess you're all done complaining now? 91% of Native Americans are ok with the team name (NAES, 2004).

        April 5, 2013 at 12:49 pm | Report abuse |
      • washingtonredskins

        thank you Ron B

        April 7, 2013 at 8:22 am | Report abuse |
      • Mark

        Sorry, Treeboar, but the n-word didn't start out as a derogatory term. It stems from the Latin word for the color "black". It was used Spanish to describe people who were black as a description. It was eventually transformed into the negative term. Whether or not "redskins" started that way, I think the argument she presents is that the term was eventually used in the same negative fashion as the n-word to her and her grandpa (and from her perspective many other people). IF it was continually used to put her and other native american people down, I can easily see her argument.

        April 9, 2013 at 6:46 pm | Report abuse |
  96. Seer

    Did anyone vet this woman's story from 60 years ago? Nobody but her knows if it even happened. If it happened at all in the 'early 1950's' that would make her around 65 years old at least. She doesn't look 65. She also must be taking the same skin treatment that Michael Jackson did. She looks more like my second cousin from Denmark than a 'black redskin'. I think somebody really likes attention.....

    April 5, 2013 at 10:23 am | Report abuse |
    • ME II

      It's the memory of a six-year girl, who cares how accurate it is?
      Are you claiming that discrimination did not occur against Native Americans?

      April 5, 2013 at 10:29 am | Report abuse |
  97. Dr. Logic

    YES!!! lets do the PC thing and rename the Redskins to the Washington Generals. You know...the people who slaughtered hundreds of thousands of Native Americans during our "exploration years". THen no one will be offended anymore.

    April 5, 2013 at 10:21 am | Report abuse |
  98. BobZemko

    You really should have that brain tumor looked at.

    April 5, 2013 at 10:19 am | Report abuse |
  99. geni2012

    I understand that when she heard that in the 1950s that it was offensive, and it was an awful thing at the time to direct it at a small child, but I GUARANTEE you that when someone uses the word REDSKIN today, the first thing they think of is Robert Griffin, III, or the NFL. No one immediately conjurs up the image of an INDIAN or if it makes you feel better – a NATIVE AMERICAN. There are more important, more CURRENT issues in this we should be spending our time worrying about.

    April 5, 2013 at 10:17 am | Report abuse |
    • OrionStyles

      You're missing the context. The word may mean nothing to you, but when used in the presence of a Native American, to them it has the same effect of using the N word in the presence of an African American.

      April 5, 2013 at 11:55 am | Report abuse |
      • Dan

        No, you're missing the context. I find it interesting that you realize context matters, yet you pick the wrong context for which the mascot has and is currently being used.

        April 5, 2013 at 12:04 pm | Report abuse |
  100. Redskins Fan

    The country is starting to be a pathetic, sensitive, democratic mess. What about the Yankees? The Rebels? The Sooners? What about Hurricanes or Tornadoes...things that have been causing real, tangible death and suffering for millions of people today? Why not just get rid of all mascot names?? Washington DC Team vs. New York Blue Team...that will get the fans in. Then after the game record the score as 0-0 with no winners....so no one's feelings get hurt...fans, players or ethnicities. If we get rid of Rebels, Redskins, Hurricanes and Tornadoes will they will go away and never bother us again?

    April 5, 2013 at 10:16 am | Report abuse |
    • redskinsfan

      thank you at least someone understands

      April 5, 2013 at 10:17 am | Report abuse |
    • redskinsfan

      wait, your a Redskins fan and you wouldn't care at all about them taking the name away

      April 5, 2013 at 10:18 am | Report abuse |
    • geni2012

      I agree 100%!!!

      April 5, 2013 at 10:19 am | Report abuse |
    • Blues?

      Can't use "Blue Team" that's offensive to anyone who likes the color Blue! Perhaps a Democrat wouldn't want to be associated with this "Blue Team" don't want to offend them!

      (sarcasm)

      I agree, I think society has gotten too PC, anything said these days hurts someones feelings....

      April 5, 2013 at 10:29 am | Report abuse |
    • Exactly!

      No there is a double standard! Let one group complain the world crumble, let another complain they are WHINING!

      April 5, 2013 at 10:41 am | Report abuse |
    • jor

      Next thing you know, these natives are gonna be crying because they aren't being represented anywhere in American culture

      April 5, 2013 at 11:04 am | Report abuse |
    • 9erFan

      The thing is Northerners are calling themselves Yankees, so no-one is offended. Same thing with Rebel, which people in the south have an affinity for. Tornado's and Hurricanes aren't refierring to a group of people. Nobody likes the destrruction that comes with those things but we don't call "people" those things anyway. Call an Indian a "Redskin" is very offensive just as it is when a white person calls a black person the N-word. And especially, in a city that changed the name from Bullets to Wizards, in my opinion they already set the precedent and also, in my opinion, the Redskin change should have been made much before the Bullet one.

      April 5, 2013 at 11:22 am | Report abuse |
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