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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. Serious

    Honeslty people. This article means nothing for the future. Due to everyone will soon have a combination of all races within themselves. Then what? Complain about being a human. Jeez!

    April 7, 2013 at 10:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Serious

      Go Redskins!

      April 7, 2013 at 10:29 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Sticks and Stones may break my bones..

    I think we should respect The native american culture. I think it was out of ignorance that the sports teams were named such..and I do not think the team was named "redskins" for any malicious reason.

    Sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me....

    I do want to say that there are more slanted bad words against white people then any other culture i know..but, most of the time it gets blown off.

    April 7, 2013 at 10:05 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Tom P.

    Originally they were the Pigskins. Footballs were made from pigskin and for that reason were reddish. Soon the team name was changed to Redskins in that context. The hog industry was very big in that area and reflected that culture. That is still reflected in interior linemen on that team being called "Hawgs"

    The offense is not in the name but in the logo. There is no necessity to have a Native American on the helmets. If the logo was a pig face of some sort, even a ferocious boar, it would not only reflect the origins of the name but also the original culture from which it came, as "Knicks" does for New York and "Packers", even more, for Green Bay.

    Chane the logo – not the name, and do honor to both.

    April 7, 2013 at 9:53 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Lynnette

    If I can be Plish in this culture and be good spirited about the jokes and be OK wiht it, she can suck it up and do the same. She couldn;t live a DAY in the shoes of a Polish person, wihg all the miserable jokes about us out there.

    April 7, 2013 at 9:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lynnette

      Sorry, typing fast. I meant POLISH! She needs to learn to have a good time and not be a prude.

      April 7, 2013 at 9:29 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Loathstheright

    Native American and I am used to racist comments by others....I ignore it and write it off as ignorance.

    April 7, 2013 at 9:16 pm | Report abuse |
  6. CC

    Actually most of us "liberals" think this whole article is stupid.

    Signed: Your Olive Skinned friend. hahahaha

    April 7, 2013 at 9:15 pm | Report abuse |
  7. CC

    I thought it was about red necks. Of course that is a lifestyle choice, therefore not a derogatory term. I am Olive skinned. Oh no!!!!! lol. Please don't call me that, my thin skin my melt off, hahaha.

    April 7, 2013 at 9:13 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Rob

    Well said....

    April 7, 2013 at 9:01 pm | Report abuse |
  9. wrm

    Brought to you by the makers of positive energy and mood crystals.

    April 7, 2013 at 9:01 pm | Report abuse |
  10. wrm

    This is what you sit around worrying about? Is this a joke?

    April 7, 2013 at 9:00 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Mike

    So, you basically compare races of people to colors of food? are you serious?? a red skinned potato, is red in color, Native americans are not red in color.. Black eyed peas do have the color black in it, African americans are not black.. If you seriously believe it's right to have a team tha sports a racial slure as a mascot because you think that they are actually the colors they are called, than you clearly are missing the boat and always will..

    April 7, 2013 at 8:59 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Leftcoastrocky

    It is time for the owners of the Washington Redskins to change the name of the team.

    April 7, 2013 at 8:55 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Davenaz

    Maybe the religious in this country should be offended by New Jersey using satan as a mascot..... Just seems soooo inappropriate. I bet the devil doesn't want to be associated with hockey!

    April 7, 2013 at 8:53 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Jerry D

    At least three native American high schools have chosen Redskins as the mascot, so it appears that to them, at least, no, the names are not at all similar. In fact, the vast majority of native americans do not find the term offensive.

    April 7, 2013 at 8:49 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Davenaz

    Actually a stereotype of an "Indian" in AZ would portray someone with beer and a free Chevy truck....

    April 7, 2013 at 8:47 pm | Report abuse |
  16. smitvict

    Paul Revere is mad about the New England Patriots. The "P" word.

    April 7, 2013 at 8:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bigdaddyc9

      Love that post.Good thinking.

      April 7, 2013 at 10:33 pm | Report abuse |
  17. TMCNova

    I keep wondering, as a Scandinavian, if I should be offended by the Vikings?

    But they are my favorite team! Quite the dilemma…..?

    April 7, 2013 at 8:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ican Heare

      yeah I am Norwegian, maybe I should be super upset about History's new Vikings program

      April 7, 2013 at 8:27 pm | Report abuse |
      • situationalawareness

        Vikings were what they were called, it wasn't a slur.

        April 8, 2013 at 12:15 am | Report abuse |
    • Daws

      Ah, vikings is a slur then? No? Then shut up and stop equating the two.

      April 7, 2013 at 11:00 pm | Report abuse |
  18. TampaBUCS

    Washington owners are just waiting for the right timing to change the name. Once the economy is a little better, they will change the name and cash in on the new merchandising.

    April 7, 2013 at 8:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • indybeck01

      They already have. Apparently you aren't aware how well the RGIII jerseys have sold...

      April 7, 2013 at 9:48 pm | Report abuse |
  19. notachance

    I keep forgetting that this term even refers to native americans until they are nice enough to keep reminding me.

    April 7, 2013 at 7:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • konica135

      Yes, the mainstream media is a champion for the racist mongering left wing. The practice of "out of sight, out of mind" needs to be followed.

      April 7, 2013 at 7:54 pm | Report abuse |
      • indybeck01

        "Yes, the mainstream media is a champion for the racist mongering left wing. The practice of "out of sight, out of mind" needs to be followed." Idiot quote of the day. Be proud...

        April 7, 2013 at 9:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • BrownSkin

      How fortunate that you're able to forget.

      April 7, 2013 at 10:16 pm | Report abuse |
  20. stop the nonsense

    I resent the comparison made in this article. Why did the author feel a need to compare it to the n-word to get the point across that the r-word is an offensive word period?

    April 7, 2013 at 7:36 pm | Report abuse |
  21. sj7898

    no, not equal IMO. while the n-word was a commonly-used racial slur, "redskins" is not in anything approaching common usage.

    April 7, 2013 at 7:34 pm | Report abuse |
  22. mike

    There are many reasons why children no longer play cowboys and indians.
    Whether this is due to an aversion to violence, or a loss of the historical conflict, the result for the indian is the same.
    Your child is now more likely to grow up thinking of indians as casino owners or purveyors of cheap cigarettes as opposed to a proud and fierce defender of their way of life.
    If this is really what you are after, I am certain America's "Rednecks" would be more than happy to call the "Skins/Necks" their team!
    But wait! This would offend everyone but the "Rednecks"!
    "Rednecks" are the only group that will proudly wear their stereotypical mantle at present.
    I call for change! I hereby invite the brothers to join me in calling for a name change that is inclusive of all of those competeing.
    Go Bro-Necks!
    Take that "Redskins"!

    April 7, 2013 at 7:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • CC

      Being a redneck is a lifestyle choice. Totally different thing.

      April 7, 2013 at 9:17 pm | Report abuse |
      • oldowl

        Not if your family tree just has one branch.

        April 7, 2013 at 10:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • KipOliver

      Er...the main reason kids don't play cowboy and Indian anymore is because they don't run western dramas/action shows on TV anymore.

      April 7, 2013 at 10:38 pm | Report abuse |
  23. Animal

    Hey guys this is serious stuff. I am a random animal that now feels offended, because there is a mascot in sports named after me. Guys please help me and Call PETA because I feel like I am being misrepresented. P.S. the team I am named after may or may not be good.

    April 7, 2013 at 7:06 pm | Report abuse |
  24. M

    The issue is that "Redskins" means vastly different things to different people. For me, just hearing the word conjures up memories of watching football with my family, of going to my first game, of cheering after improbable late season winning streaks to make it to the playoffs. Millions of other fans have the same warm connotations with the word. For us, "Redskins" doesn't mean anything in a racial context. Using it as a derogatory term doesn't make sense.

    But for others, those who are close to the terms disreputable origins, the term might hold the opposite connotation. Because of their heritage and life experiences, the history of the word is still strong in their minds. Two different groups, each of whom view the same word in radically different ways. Which side has the stronger argument?

    If the word is truly still viewed as racist to the average Native American, then as sad as it will be to many fans, the name should be changed. But if it is only a small minority of people who find this name racist, then it is a sign that the original meaning of the word is almost forgotten, and that its new meaning is all that is left.

    April 7, 2013 at 7:06 pm | Report abuse |
  25. Drew Crow

    It is sad that we consume ourselves with this fake outrage.. The r word, n word, the other r word, the w word, etc.. See the pattern? They are just words.. Toughen up, quit crying, and focus the on the things that truly matter. I am Native American descent and the reason it doesn't both me, is because I won't let it. Instead of writing about this "injustice" and continue this unwinnable PC agenda, how about you addressing issues like helping our brothers and sisters face the challenges of widespread alcoholism, low graduation rates, doing more to preserve our culture and rituals, or how to boost the economies of our tribals lands? Your "R" word won't do nearly has much damage as the other issues that I mentioned.

    April 7, 2013 at 7:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • ron in hockley

      good point. it seems those are far more important issues, just too bad they don't inspire people as much. why i don't know. alcoholism is far more devastating and soul killing than any implied slur or symbolic gesture.

      April 7, 2013 at 7:34 pm | Report abuse |
  26. Wood

    EVERY mascot is a stereotype....seriously. Look at the Tampa Bay Bucs mascot, do you think that is what a pirate really looks like? Should the real pirates in Somalia be offended? Is that what's next? PETA wants animals not to be used as mascots as well, is that okay? Can't wait to hear how some tree huger will be offended by the Toronto Maple Leaf as it highlights the pain trees go through to make breakfast syrup.....next someone will claim a Seahawk pooped on their head and thus that is not offensive

    April 7, 2013 at 7:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Donnie the Lion

      If you think every mascot is a stereotype, you have not met Clyde the Thistle.

      April 7, 2013 at 7:43 pm | Report abuse |
  27. ROB

    @SoFloMo

    Would they scalp us SoFloMo? You are a joke.

    April 7, 2013 at 7:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • SoFloMo

      Is there anything anyone can call you Rob that would offend you? How about coward, racist, and idiot to try a few. If being called names doesn't offend you, if you're a real man, it would offend you if someone referred to your family members as such. When you begin to understand that, you'll get the picture about the term Redskin.

      April 7, 2013 at 7:08 pm | Report abuse |
      • mike

        You are so cute when you are offended!
        Let's put our heads together and think of a suitable name for this team that can't possibly offend your delicate sensiblilities, either now are in the future.

        April 7, 2013 at 8:06 pm | Report abuse |
  28. mike

    Put another way: "Indian sport team name hater speak with forked tongue".
    Change the name and wipe your peoples legacy further from the minds of this very stupid country.
    Be careful what you ask for, cause you just might get it!

    April 7, 2013 at 6:58 pm | Report abuse |
  29. SoFloMo

    The NFL's Washington team will change its name from the Redskins within the next 5 years as a result of the FCC's interpretation of the decency clause, or new legislation from congress. The only people that will be sad to see the term Redskin go are those that don't have a problem with using pejorative terms to describe people, and use those words in their regular conversations.

    April 7, 2013 at 6:58 pm | Report abuse |
  30. Joseph Morris

    I am Indian; Chippewa to be exact. I do not find these teams to be racist. As a Indian I find Thanksgiving to be off meaning. Thanksgiving...Columbus came, see Natives killed, a holiday for the blood that spilled......nothing like having something taken from you by force and then turned into a holiday. What a mockery....

    April 7, 2013 at 6:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jenny

      Um... Thanksgiving has nothing to do with Columbus, and as a Mayflower descendant, I take offense at your offensive take on the Holiday....

      April 7, 2013 at 7:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kevin

      Thanksgiving was born out of a selfless act, and in fact celebrates natives. To try to taint it with blood on the hands of others is very disingenuous. What does it matter what Columbus did before this event? Why can't it just stand on it's own for what it was?

      April 7, 2013 at 7:39 pm | Report abuse |
  31. david

    Our liberal media won't allow us to vote for a president that would be good for the country. They made us outlaw the "N" word...what next ??

    April 7, 2013 at 6:54 pm | Report abuse |
  32. Joe Knows

    Redneck is a derogatory word as well, and black people say it all the time. The "N" word means selfish person. It suits a lot of people perfectly.

    April 7, 2013 at 6:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • CC

      Redneck is a lifestyle choice, The others are skin colors or ethnic backgrounds. They are not in the same category.

      April 7, 2013 at 9:20 pm | Report abuse |
      • billmosby

        Well, originally Rednecks were a product of poverty. They couldn't afford sunscreen.

        April 8, 2013 at 1:55 am | Report abuse |
  33. Kevin

    I'll bet that 99% of people, INCLUDING "Native American's" don't know the true origin of the word. I'll give you a hint, it was NOT coined for any native band that exists within the US

    April 7, 2013 at 6:53 pm | Report abuse |
  34. Paul Cales

    No wonder we are a declining nation.

    April 7, 2013 at 6:52 pm | Report abuse |
  35. NeedWampum

    Can she get me a high interest loan?

    April 7, 2013 at 6:51 pm | Report abuse |
  36. Mick O'Reilly

    It should be up to Native Americans to determine whether or not they feel offended by the Washington D.C.'s NFL team name. If they are, change it. If not, let it go.

    April 7, 2013 at 6:51 pm | Report abuse |
  37. tribeless

    An Indian once asked me what tribe I was from. After I told him I did not belong to any tribe his face went blank and he headed down the road no longer wanting to talk to me.

    April 7, 2013 at 6:49 pm | Report abuse |
  38. Rickapolis

    Why does it seem to be a rule on the internet that if one disagrees with another's view it results in taunts and insults? America was founded on the idea of free expression of ideas. Unfortunately, the anonymity the internet provides is used as an excuse to be rude in a way that would never be considered face to face. I would recommend that when one replies to a statement pretend that you are looking the other in the eyes. And that you both are of a size. It may bring about a friendlier exchange of ideas.

    April 7, 2013 at 6:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Merlin

      Good food for thought. I wish more people posted with the intent of solving problems rather than insulting those who do not agree with them.

      April 7, 2013 at 8:07 pm | Report abuse |
  39. Jeff

    I am offended by the word "Yankee"...what are my chances? And Hail to the Redskins!

    April 7, 2013 at 6:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • CC

      Hehe, I am a proud Yankee!!!! Wait, there is a team with that name? For the love of God, No!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! lmbo!

      April 7, 2013 at 9:21 pm | Report abuse |
  40. Peter Jones

    The article makes it sound as if Oklahoma, Stanford and Syracuse dropped their Native American-derived mascots around the year 2005. They dropped them in the 1970s: 35-40 years ago. It's sad that this battle hasn't yet been won. White people deciding which words are racist for other races is problematic.

    April 7, 2013 at 6:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rickapolis

      Well said.

      April 7, 2013 at 6:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jeff

      I am offended by your use of the word "White"!

      April 7, 2013 at 6:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Robert

      And the irony of the University of Oklahoma mascot change is that it is a shift from a nominal native American mascot who offends the thin-skinned who can't be bothered to aid them in making the mascot a better representaiton to a mascot that celebrates breaking the law (The Sooners) and stealing land from native americans who had been death-marched there (Trail of Tears) and told that this was their new land. Hmm... which offends me more? I'd vote for celebrating stealing their land and illegally sneaking in ahead of everyone else. (Like many who graduated from high-school in Oklahoma My state issued guilt-trip (1 semester of Oklahoma History) still sticks with me 25 years later)

      April 7, 2013 at 10:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Southerner01

      What about the case mentioned in the article of Florida State? Their mascot was designed with participation of the Seminole Tribe of Florida, any changes to the costume, actions, etc. requires Seminole tribe approval. The Seminole Tribe receives a % on the concession market from the name. They approve of the mascot. If the Seminole Tribe of Florida approves the Florida State Seminole mascot, should the Seminoles of Oklahoma be able to force it to be changes?

      By the way, the article is wrong on one point. The FSU fans do not do the tomahawk chop. They do the war chant. The term tomahawk chop was invented by the Atlanta Braves when they stole the concept of the war chant.

      April 7, 2013 at 10:21 pm | Report abuse |
  41. Stop the madness!

    Touché sir! ... I never gave it up in the first place though.

    April 7, 2013 at 6:47 pm | Report abuse |
  42. Lee S

    The r word certainly does equate to the n word. My grandfather was called a dirty r word and asked to leave a store because of his race. Just because you haven't heard about it doesn't mean it didn't happen.

    April 7, 2013 at 6:46 pm | Report abuse |
  43. Nomad1211

    What makes me laugh, is that for a group of people that think words are offensive, they sure love to bring it up over and over again.

    April 7, 2013 at 6:46 pm | Report abuse |
  44. Bhawk1

    Don't let the names die. If the name dies then the reason to remember people goes with it. The people should never be forgotten nor their deeds.

    April 7, 2013 at 6:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Adam

      That's the dumbest thing I've ever heard. The racist name of a football team is not what is keeping the memory of the native people of this continent alive.

      April 7, 2013 at 6:48 pm | Report abuse |
      • Dom

        Then what else is it really that stands out sooooooo much that would make you think of Indians besides the reservations and casinos smart guy? Maybe you should imply some thinking before you post anything kiddo. Thanks.

        April 7, 2013 at 6:52 pm | Report abuse |
  45. JD

    This just in: There is a new Harlem NFL team. They will be called the Harlem N-words. It shouldn't be offensive to anyone, right...just play the game, right? More important things could be done, right?

    April 7, 2013 at 6:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • JD

      and seriously, just change it to like the Washington Natives and it won't be a big deal.

      April 7, 2013 at 6:46 pm | Report abuse |
  46. Dom

    I'm exactly 75% Cherokee. I don't see the big deal. Have some pride in the color of your skin and where you come from. I think it's great we have some acknowledgement somehow these days instead of being totally being in the dark. I AM a redskin. So what? Seriously quit wasting tax payers money on something so insignificant. That's what the highlight of this article should be. As well as the other stuff that really doesn't matter. Good grief.

    April 7, 2013 at 6:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cathy

      Dom, Thank you for having the sense to be proud of the person that you are.

      April 7, 2013 at 8:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Estecate1

      To all those people whom say that they are Native, and say that they don't have a problem with Sports team Indian Mascots. I have this to say, I feel sorry for you. It seems that you are not in touch with your heritage/culture and do not know your Native history and its relationship with U.S.. It seems you all need to get a grip yourself and fully understand the significant impact that this imagery has on us. Your endosement of sports team indian mascots just makes harder for us to eliminate them all forever. This is the 21st century, lets work together to eliminate this last bastion of racism. That's all I have to say. I am full blood Seminole Nation citizen of Oklahoma.

      April 7, 2013 at 10:15 pm | Report abuse |
  47. Nomad1211

    I won – they tried to censor it 3 times. Why are we so afraid of words in the country. Ridiculous.

    April 7, 2013 at 6:45 pm | Report abuse |
  48. Colin in Florida

    Suzan Shown Harjo obviously has no problems in her life, otherwise she could campaign about something that matters.

    April 7, 2013 at 6:44 pm | Report abuse |
  49. Nathan Noland

    Welp, Washington Burgundy Skins it is...

    April 7, 2013 at 6:44 pm | Report abuse |
  50. conor McCartney

    hello

    April 7, 2013 at 6:43 pm | Report abuse |
  51. CryMeaRiver

    Stupid people, like the author of this crappy article, offend me every day. I have to live with it, so too should you.

    April 7, 2013 at 6:42 pm | Report abuse |
  52. Bhawk1

    when the sports teams drop the names who will remember them. No one. As sports names the name stayes alive and a reason for people to remember them and find out why someone would chose those names.

    April 7, 2013 at 6:41 pm | Report abuse |
  53. Colin in Florida

    As a native of the South, the team name I find offensive is the New York Yankees. Let's force them to change their name too. Or how about we all grow up and let's worry/talk about something important, like continued high unemployment or super bugs caused by morons wanting an antibiotic every time they sneeze.

    April 7, 2013 at 6:41 pm | Report abuse |
  54. worknman24hours

    I think it is time for the Redskins owner to change the name of the team.

    It's blatantly ridiculous to have a team named like this.

    Other teams are called the Chief's-the Indians-the Warriors- the excetera.

    I challenge the owner of the Redskins to be a better man and change the name to something better.

    The best way to force the issue is to hit the owner in his pocket and to stop buying Redskins memorabilia and tickets until the name changes.

    You could equate the name Redskins to being treated like -the n-word- as well.

    Becuase the name Redskins is a demeaning name spoken to devalue the entire population of people it is meant to describe.

    April 7, 2013 at 6:41 pm | Report abuse |
  55. Cindy

    With the property rate, unemployment and alcoholism on the reservations, why not do something that CAN improve the life of Native Americans. Why do people worry so much about words, they can only hurt you if you let them.

    April 7, 2013 at 6:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cindy

      Oops, I meant poverty rate.

      April 7, 2013 at 6:41 pm | Report abuse |
      • billmosby

        Well, what with all those new casinos, I think the term "property rate" is right and proper.

        April 8, 2013 at 1:56 am | Report abuse |
  56. Dee

    You are fighting a losing battle. No one who is for the Redskins is talking about red skinned people. I When I think about those people, I think about a long time ago and burning houses, scalps and arrows! The people who came to here didn't do so well in getting along with the natives, but they didn't do to well with getting along with the settlers.

    April 7, 2013 at 6:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Matt Pham

      So you are attacking the Native Americans for trying to defend their land when strangers whom they had never seen the likes of before came from no where and many times attacked the Native Americans first?

      April 7, 2013 at 6:48 pm | Report abuse |
  57. Zon

    Is the "R" word equal to the "N" word? In a word, yes. I'm not even Native American and it's offensive to me. Find another team name, it's not the end of the world.

    April 7, 2013 at 6:39 pm | Report abuse |
  58. Mike

    Firstly, the Braves stole the "tomahawk chop" from FSU although is matters very little other that to show the lack of research done for this article Second, the Seminole tribe in Florida has come out numerous times and said it has no issue with being represented by FSU in anyway including the use of the Chief Osceloa persona as the "mascot". In fact the Seminoles were the only un-conquered tribe in North America and the university even displays that fact within the school motto, something the Seminole tribe takes great pride in.

    Before you go on your crusade make sure you actually present the facts and stop trying to speak for others.

    April 7, 2013 at 6:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jenny

      Okay, so speaking of misplaced outrage.... The article clearly says that the Braves took the Chop from FSU. You either misread it or just didn't understand the difference between the words "by" and "from".

      April 7, 2013 at 9:18 pm | Report abuse |
      • Southerner01

        Technically, the Braves stole the FSU War Chant and renamed it the Tomahawk Chop. FSU's war chant said nothing about tomahawks or chopping.

        April 7, 2013 at 10:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Estecate1

      You know, I get sick and tired of non-Indian telling other people that the Seminole people approve of FSU's mascot. I am a full blood Seminole, citizen of the Seminole Nation of Oklahoma. If you read the article, you would have seen that the Oklahoma Seminole did not approve FSU's mascot. I was involved in that disapproval. The Florida Seminole's "SOLD OUT", for money. That's all I have to say. You have a great day.

      April 7, 2013 at 10:22 pm | Report abuse |
  59. CryMeaRiver

    Sports are offensive because only one team wins. If everyone doesn't get a trophy it's not fair, thus we should do away with all sports so we don't hurt people's feelings.

    April 7, 2013 at 6:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • AstoriaJerry

      My feelings are hurt now because you posted this view about fairness before I did. Now I feel second class and not a first place winner!

      April 7, 2013 at 6:45 pm | Report abuse |
  60. Jack Nemo

    You are defined by what you are and what you do, not by what other people think of you or what they call you. Get over your misplaced outrage and do something worthwhile.

    April 7, 2013 at 6:37 pm | Report abuse |
  61. mountainlady

    Can we assume you mean this as a joke....however tasteless? Clem is correct. Yes it gets frustrating to be corrected all the time but the facts are that if words offend a whole race they should not be used...period. As for Sharon Mahart....let's see...we invaded their country, took away their land, confined them to reservations and tried to destroy their culture. Oh, man you are right! They have absolutely nothing to complain about and their just trying to spoil your fun.

    April 7, 2013 at 6:36 pm | Report abuse |
  62. CryMeaRiver

    It's racist to call socks Red or Black. Thus Boston and Chicago should change their names as to not hurt the feelings of the socks in my drawer.

    April 7, 2013 at 6:35 pm | Report abuse |
  63. Don't just smile...laugh!

    I don't even think a third grader would want to use that picture though!

    April 7, 2013 at 6:35 pm | Report abuse |
  64. Dan

    What about the "Fighting Irish". I think the NCAA should ban that name to!

    April 7, 2013 at 6:35 pm | Report abuse |
  65. AstoriaJerry

    Fighting Irish! Being called Irish was derogatory 100 years ago.

    April 7, 2013 at 6:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • mountainlady

      Being called Irish is not perceived as an insult. It is, in fact, most often seen as a compliment. This is not a good analogy. Native Americans have a point objecting to these racial terms. Unfortunately it would require a lot of Americans to move just a tiny bit out of their thoughtless rut to change it and, goodness, we can't ask them to do that just because they are offending a few thousand people.

      April 7, 2013 at 6:42 pm | Report abuse |
      • Southerner01

        "Fighting Irish" is a negative stereotype of Irish as violent, that persists from the early Irish immigration era. "Irish" is not racist on its own, but "fighting Irish" is certainly an offensive stereotype.

        April 7, 2013 at 10:29 pm | Report abuse |
  66. Michael

    Ah this debate is something I can sink my teeth into. I believe that those who are offended are correct and are vindicated with the Earth Changes/Global Warming. Those that believe that humanity's control of the Earth with their fences and oil spills, contamination, etc. are the real thieves in the name of so called progress. Many Native Americans foresaw the coming tides of Earth Changes centuries ago and warned the whites: That whatever you do to the Earth Mother...you do to yourself. I hope and pray that we wake up our consciousness and align it with the continued diminished focus to racist stereotypical sports team names and mascots because that type of offensive gesture in our minds and words is intimately connected to the weather forecast. What you sow is what you reap...sure has been a cold spring thus far in most of Americana. Once we change what we think, I am sure we will be able to stear the rudder in the current of life in a manner that is more conducive to rearing our young on Turtle Island/North America so that the current will not devour us on down the road. The Earth is letting us know that we are not the ones in control!

    April 7, 2013 at 6:33 pm | Report abuse |
  67. Elizabeth

    My college mascot was the Highlanders, as a person of Scottish descent, should I be offended? I can think of the Trojans, the Spartans, the Patriots. There is an NFL team that is the Vikings. All these are warriors, as are the depictions of Native Americans. If the mascots perpetuated negative or defamatory stereotype (as someone compared having a Jewish Holocaust survivor "mascot"), I would see the offense, but really these seem to just be celebrations of great warriors. JMO.

    April 7, 2013 at 6:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Zoltan Grossman

      Funny, I don't remember US troops killing any Fighting Irish in the 19th century, forcing Scottish kids into abusive boarding schools in the 20th century, or stealing Trojan or Spartan land so corporations can extract their minerals. Native Americans aren't making up this history, it happened to them, and "Redskin" is just keeping the hate alive into the 21st century.

      April 7, 2013 at 9:57 pm | Report abuse |
  68. SoFloMo

    Would those who don't have a problem with the word Redskin to describe Native Americans refer to a Native American as being a Redskin? Do you think it's OK for children in school to refer to a Native American student as a Redskin? If you don't have a problem with either, You can practice your insensitivity in some areas of Nevada, and see what happens.

    April 7, 2013 at 6:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • ROB

      Would we be scalped? Give me a break.

      April 7, 2013 at 6:51 pm | Report abuse |
  69. Don't just smile...laugh!

    Exactly....high 5!

    April 7, 2013 at 6:31 pm | Report abuse |
  70. mannycl

    What about "S" for stupidity

    April 7, 2013 at 6:31 pm | Report abuse |
  71. John

    I'm speechless that this is even an issue......what horsecrap........somebody needs to get a real job.

    April 7, 2013 at 6:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Estecate1

      John, I think your opinion is nothing but a bunch of horsecrap myself. I have a job, and probably make more money than you do. I am a full blood Seminole Native person, a citizen of the Seminole Nation. It's people like you that dwell in the past and think that we will say nothing or do nothing. I just have this to say to you..... you get a moral life, and if you can't help us fight this issue, stay away from something you don't know anything about.

      April 7, 2013 at 10:31 pm | Report abuse |
      • les

        Looks like you are the one living in the past, just like the Natives in Canada, it's not in their best interests to join the rest of society.

        April 7, 2013 at 11:15 pm | Report abuse |
  72. Elliott Carlin

    thanks Mike; next time I stop at your shoe shine stand in a casino owned by the indians, I'll give you a big tip.

    April 7, 2013 at 6:29 pm | Report abuse |
  73. ChuckWG

    I get tired of hearing about this junk. First of all, if you were to ask an American Indian what about their past they are most proud about, most of them would say that they were great warriors. To name a team after what are considered great fighters has a long history – Trojans, Spartans, Vikings, Buccaneers, etc. And to have a large number of teams named after native tribes is to be expected because we are in the US and Indians are American. As for the "one-dimensional" complaint, that is silly as well. Also, if someone were to refer to someone as a "Redskin" they would be thinking about a football player and not an American Indian because it is an anachronistic pejorative term that no one uses anymore. So stop your whining!!

    April 7, 2013 at 6:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • ROB

      Where does it stop?

      April 7, 2013 at 6:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kevin S

      I agree completely. I understand this lady was hurt by racial injustice and being called that word went deep for her....but there are many more noble causes than going after the name of a football team. Frist of all if it was truly a slur why would the athletes or owners use this name in the fist place. Because it was about being a fierce warrior is why..... She talks like it is equal to the N word....and that is just wrong and at the same time proves this point. There are no sports teams that even considered the N word for team...why? because it's derogatory PERIOD....where Redskins was meant as honorable. Lady ...get a life...help your people in ways that matter..this is not one of those.(ask how many natives are actually fans of the Redskins if they want the name changed). I doubt this lady even likes sports.

      April 7, 2013 at 10:16 pm | Report abuse |
      • aintusumpfin

        Unless you have lived it, how can you judge her feelings about the word and whether it is justified? She is not the first Native American that I have heard say the same thing. They were called that not because they came from warriors, they were called that in the same tone you were called Stupid, Insensitive, Idiotic, Ugly, Thoughtless, you know in the worst meaning possible.

        April 8, 2013 at 4:57 am | Report abuse |
  74. Cassandra

    The "n" word is connected to a history in the USA that most want to forget or refuse to remember. The "r" word is the name of a football team. Too much time is spent on SMALL issues. Why not focus on healthy eating and ensuring that children are not gobbling down sugar and junk food all day? You know? Something of significance

    April 7, 2013 at 6:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Don't just smile...laugh!

      Or bullying in schools...spot on Cassandra!

      April 7, 2013 at 6:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Heather

      Being called a redskin is racist, it is like calling a black person colored.....how about they start a new football team, the denver darkies? Bet that would be called racist......I am sorry but as a Native American I am angry that this stuff is considered alright, yet having the n-word in a song causes riots........

      April 7, 2013 at 6:33 pm | Report abuse |
      • Wood

        If the n-word in a song caused a riot there would be nothing but riots. The biggest users of the n-word are black people. At some point, you lose the right to claim offense when your own people are the ones increasing the use of the word.

        April 7, 2013 at 6:54 pm | Report abuse |
      • aintusumpfin

        black people can and do sing the n word in their songs, or do you not listen to the lyrics?...I see skinny little white boys singing along with them to get the word out of their system and to look really tough pretending they lived that life too.

        April 8, 2013 at 5:02 am | Report abuse |
    • T

      Yeah, Native Americans have no memorable history in the US. You ignorant POS.

      April 7, 2013 at 9:08 pm | Report abuse |
      • Mr.HasALife

        The problem with Native American History is, despite having a rich and full history.. everybody involved in every monumental event has been drunk off their butts.. so that they don't remember it. That and their textbooks are all blank since they keep an oral accounting of history.

        So.. great history, just no books, and always drunk.

        April 8, 2013 at 4:35 am | Report abuse |
    • aintusumpfin

      significant to you you mean...I love you white girls how you can sit and decide what is significant and what other thing is unimportant.

      April 8, 2013 at 5:00 am | Report abuse |
  75. JD

    This is a satire article right; the author can't be serious right?

    April 7, 2013 at 6:21 pm | Report abuse |
  76. anon

    This is not about discrimination this is about free speech so. . . hopefully the first amendment still means something even if it is a stupid name.

    April 7, 2013 at 6:19 pm | Report abuse |
  77. Clem

    If I call someone a name and they tell me to stop, then I stop. I was taught this as a little kid. If native americans are offended and they tell me this name is offensive the I will stop.
    Would you ever call someone a redskin in your office? Of course not! It is a racist word.

    April 7, 2013 at 6:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Don't just smile...laugh!

      Seriously? This name has been used for YEARS and now that people can't find enough to complain about....the Redskins name should be changed. Offensive when a few people live a miserable life and have nothing else to make an issue of. Redskins obviously is not your team "Clem" and whomever else feels this way. We the loyal fans see our team through the players, coaches and fans. Until this was brought up I never once thought of it being offensive.

      The article comparing it to the N word, how dare you! I am not black, but know for a fact my black friends do not find the team name offensive, but do find offense by it being compared.

      Get a life...get a job and crawl back in your empty hole!!!!!!!

      April 7, 2013 at 6:29 pm | Report abuse |
      • Robert

        Tell ya what, try and use the word "redskin" in reference to a person and not a sports team in your day to day conversation and see just what people think. You might be surprised.

        April 7, 2013 at 6:38 pm | Report abuse |
  78. Ben

    In my opinion, if you are not Native American, you do not get to decide what is and is not offensive to that group of people.

    April 7, 2013 at 6:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Elliott Carlin

      And in my opinion, this would die down if we gave them the Redskin franchise rights like we did with Casinos.
      And in another one of my brilliant opinions, there are literally about 9 people who even care about this issue.

      April 7, 2013 at 6:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dimitri

      What do you do if some Native Americans aren't offended and in fact have struck agreements to benefit and some are as in the case of FSU?

      April 7, 2013 at 6:30 pm | Report abuse |
  79. Sharon Mahart

    I'm going to have to come up with something that offends me so I can sue to spoil everyone else's fun. We really can't just live our own lives these days, can we? What ever happened to "sticks and stones"? Now, everyone is a victim and needs accommodation. Phooey!

    April 7, 2013 at 6:16 pm | Report abuse |
  80. bear

    If you do not like the term Redskin then boycott the NFL. If enough people do so, they will change. We do not need a law for everything.

    Meanwhile be careful what you wish for. If you ban all depictions of Native Americans eventually they will be forgotten. Nobody will even remember that they were ever here. Anybody remember the Picts? Jules? Franks? All tribes that existed in Europe and were assimilated into the broader population.

    April 7, 2013 at 6:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cliff

      Oops. I thought the R word was republican.
      Anyhow as a great expression once said
      ( I am not a racist, you are all totally useless)

      April 7, 2013 at 6:42 pm | Report abuse |
  81. Mike Frazier

    As a member of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma and very proud of my Indian heritage, this lady needs to get over herself. All this political correctness has gone too far. I do not find the Indian mascots offensive. What I find offensive is someone claiming to speak for all of the Indian people of America. Please notice I am not using the PC "Native American", I actually find that offensive. We were Indians and always have been.

    April 7, 2013 at 6:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • UpsetVoter

      I am glad you are proud of your heritage. Everyone should be and the American Indians have a long history of being honorable people.

      April 7, 2013 at 6:21 pm | Report abuse |
  82. Jimmy Deuces

    That's just stupid. Get over it. I'm sorry that racism exists, but it does. Put on your big girl panties and cheer up. Segregation is bullcrap. As far as sports team names go, I'd be more offended by the Washington Congressmen or the Washington Lobbyists than I am by Redskins.

    April 7, 2013 at 6:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kendal

      First off, you do not like Native American at all, and second off, I don't believe that this even qualifies as racism. If you've ever said you've been called a redskin, then I would say you're a liar. When is the last time anyone had a vendetta over Native Americans? 1800's? Take your land and go build a casino, or you can give us the land and we can remove the name. Deal?

      April 7, 2013 at 6:21 pm | Report abuse |
  83. Chet

    I am a white male with blonde hair and blue eyes, and when I put my fanny out the first time the weather gets really warm I turn into a redskin. And I am not offended so why should you?

    April 7, 2013 at 6:13 pm | Report abuse |
  84. ccw

    According to your noble sensibilities, If it offends one person, then it's a travesty. Get over your own drama.

    Native American people have much bigger problems than sports team names. Poverty and alcoholism are major issues for most Native Americans. I'm sure teams changing sports names will fix all those problems.

    April 7, 2013 at 6:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • wahwah

      Open your eye, problems like alcoholism and poverty are everywhere in our society. By your reasoning calling black people the n-word and white people the c-word also does not matter because it does not offend everyone in society. Ok buds lol.

      April 7, 2013 at 6:21 pm | Report abuse |
  85. andrew

    Don't forget the tomahawk missile.

    April 7, 2013 at 6:11 pm | Report abuse |
  86. MarkH

    I love it when people throw that racist accusation around without knowing what they're saying. Racism requires hatred and belief in inferior genes and they're not equal due to those genetics. Saying redskin is not racist. It's insensitive. Get it through your head, along with your other over-reactive dramaqueen friends. People like you cause the separation of races more than even hate groups anymore. Even if there's nobody getting offended, you'll always be sure to tell them they should be offended.

    April 7, 2013 at 6:11 pm | Report abuse |
  87. GW1960

    Once we get through banning all the names that anyone could find offensive, we'll be done to just Team A, Team B, Team C, etc. But them I am sure someone will come along and say we are being offensive to illiterate people by using letters of the alphabet!

    April 7, 2013 at 6:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jim

      Hey my moms name starts with the letter A I would be offended if that letter was used.....

      April 7, 2013 at 6:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Greg

      I find it offensive that you consider them Team A when I have to be Team D. I don't think it's fiar for me to be second alphabeticly

      April 7, 2013 at 6:41 pm | Report abuse |
  88. Riiiiii

    Well susan. Unlike you, most people are not deeply rac – ist . In fact, i would dare to say the reality of rac – ism has died out by and large, in the USA, even in the south. Only a few feverish Rac – ists remain, and they start rumors of it still existing, you're one of those people susan.

    April 7, 2013 at 6:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • thecurmudgeoncomplains

      Until you've been on the receiving end of racial slurs, you have no right to even weigh in on this question.

      I haven't, so I don't. If Native Americans are offended by the term or the image, then it should be retired–period.

      April 7, 2013 at 6:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • UpsetVoter

      A lot of real racism still exists and it is a shame and will hopefully be eliminated. My problem here is that these names were not created to be an insult. People who go to Florida State are proud to be called Seminoles.

      April 7, 2013 at 6:37 pm | Report abuse |
  89. G tech

    The Oklahoma Seminoles signed a peace treaty with the US. The Florida Seminoles are the only Indian tribe that did NOT sign a peace treaty with the United States. I think there opinion trumps The other tribes.

    April 7, 2013 at 6:09 pm | Report abuse |
  90. Rickapolis

    It seems to me the obvious thing to do is simply refuse to use the offensive word. Call them 'the Washington football team' or 'DC Eleven', or the 'Federals', or any of a number of non-derogatory words. The TV networks, sports web sites, and the print media should just STOP using the word. Snyder would eventually get the message.

    April 7, 2013 at 6:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Brent

      What planet are you living on? Networks would never do this because fans would stop watching those channels. Think about the reality of business here.

      April 7, 2013 at 6:24 pm | Report abuse |
      • Rickapolis

        I'm living on the planet Earth. If you disagree with my statement why not do so courteously? I think you are mistaken. The networks may find a great deal of empathy from the viewing public. I strongly recommend they try my plan. It could change everything in a very short time.

        April 7, 2013 at 6:41 pm | Report abuse |
  91. Fifedawg

    Wow, some of you PC correctness types are showing your ultimate ignorance in not understanding that is impossible to please everyone, or not offend someone one for something... as a matter of fact your ignorance offends me! 🙂

    April 7, 2013 at 6:07 pm | Report abuse |
  92. SoFloMo

    If Washington did not have an NFL team, would they propose the name Redskin in 2013 to the NFL expansion committee? If not, why not. An honest answer will give you the reason the name should be changed. The honest answer is that they know the league would not accept the name based on its racist overtones and lack of decency. Didn't a Congressman get into hot water for using the term "wetback" recently?

    April 7, 2013 at 6:06 pm | Report abuse |
  93. beo

    then call the team the "white skins" and get over it..

    April 7, 2013 at 6:06 pm | Report abuse |
  94. Dan

    The original term "Redskin" referred not to the natural skin color of some American Indians, but to their use of vermilion face paint and body paint. It's time for people to stop with the Political Correctness, where one overly-sensitive, thin-skinned person determines what everyone else should think or say. Get over it and get a life!! And I am a proud long time fan of the Washington Redskins, never once thinking my team's name as a slur of any kind!

    April 7, 2013 at 6:05 pm | Report abuse |
  95. Steve

    Actually the Washington Redskins started their franchise as the Boston Braves in 1932. In 1933 they changed the franchise name to The Redskins. This is actually a reference to the Boston Tea Party during the revolutionary war era, when Bostonians dressed up as Native Americans painting their skin red and tossing all the British tea into the harbor in protest of the tea tax that was levied on the colonies. The name honors our revolutionary founding fathers and their protest. I have Native American ancestors and am an adopted member of the Mattaponi tribe in Williamsburg. I do not find anything offensive about the name, and think it is a ridiculous waste of time to clog our already overburdened court systems with such litigation.

    April 7, 2013 at 6:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Riiiiii

      Steve, reality doesnt fit their leftist agenda. Please shush your mouth for the greater good, we have to trick the sheeples.

      April 7, 2013 at 6:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Brent

      Steve... you have the most competent and logical post on this board. Thank you good sir.

      April 7, 2013 at 6:27 pm | Report abuse |
  96. Matthew Bork

    In all fairness, the Montreal Canadians only have 13 players out of 27 that are actually from Canada. How fair is it to the people of canada that Americans and The Swiss are calling themselves "Canadians." The Same can be said for the NY Islanders, not one of the players hail from an island. In all fairness, if the Red Skins or the Braves are forced to change their names, several other pro teams would need to change their's as well

    April 7, 2013 at 6:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chip

      There are also a few obviously non-Irish players on the Notre Dame squad.

      April 7, 2013 at 6:09 pm | Report abuse |
  97. Steve

    The official story is that when the Boston Braves football team left Braves Field to play at Fenway Park in 1933, owner George Preston Marshall needed a new name for his team. He chose Redskins in honor of Lone Star Dietz, the half-German Sioux who is described in a team history book as "a full-blooded Indian." Dietz brought Indian players with him to Boston from the Haskell Indian School in Kansas.

    April 7, 2013 at 6:03 pm | Report abuse |
  98. Skins fan

    It's not the same as the N word, but it is the same as ne*gro (which means black in spanish). If we're comfortable with the Washington Neg*ros as a team name, then Redskins is fine. But if not, then we shouldn't be using Redskins either. And by the way, the logo of the Cleveland Indians is beyond contempt. But I don't have any problem with Fl State Seminoles if the Seminole tribe doesn't mind. That could be construed as honoring the tribe, whereas Redskin clearly has a pejorative feel to it.

    April 7, 2013 at 6:02 pm | Report abuse |
  99. UpsetVoter

    It is true that the mascots are not an accurate prediction of the Native Americans but they were not designed as an insult. They are something for the crowds to root for.

    If they want to be accurate with today's Native American they should use a dollar sign or a cigarette. The main thing I know about the Native Americans is they made vast fortunes with Casinos and selling tax free cigarettes. I avoided their reservation because I have lung issues and everyone smokes (not sure about the Indians themselves since I did not see any at the time) in the reservation. I once tried to have dinner in the supposed "Non Smoking Section" of the Hard Rock Cafe of the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino and I had to leave due to people smoking cigars.

    April 7, 2013 at 5:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • UpsetReader

      I cannot believe someone could read this entire article and then write such a vapid, pathetic little paragraph. Native Americans are some of the most impoverished people in the US. They have been routinely and systematically taken advantage of since white people "discovered them." They are not rich off of cigarette sales. Really sorry about your lungs though, sounds like a total nightmare.

      April 7, 2013 at 6:37 pm | Report abuse |
  100. O My Paper Man

    It's all about accepting this Nations past, good with the bad.

    April 7, 2013 at 5:57 pm | Report abuse |
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