By Moni Basu, CNN
(CNN) – David Grosso, 42, was born and raised in the metropolitan Washington area so it's not tough to see why he's a diehard Washington Redskins fan. Been going to games since he was a boy. Season ticket holder.
But Grosso, like so many others, objects to the name and mascot of his favorite team.
"The term Redskins is a racist and derogatory term," he says.
These days, Grosso has the power to do something more than air his opinion. He was elected to the D.C. Council in November, and he plans to introduce a resolution Wednesday to rename the team to the Washington Redtails. That's a tribute to the Tuskegee Airmen, though, Grosso says, there are plenty of redtail hawks in the area.
He's open to other suggestions. He just wants the current name gone.
"District residents and their elected representatives should not tolerate commercial or other use of derogatory terminology relating to any people’s racial identity, or which dishonors any person’s race, or which dishonors the name Washington," Grosso's resolution says.
Grosso says his hometown, named after the nation's first president, has been dishonored by association with what many Native Americans call the R-word because it's just as offensive as the N-word.
“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.”
Grosso says he has the support of eight of the council's 13 members; two more are leaning his way, he says. He has been circulating his proposed resolution to them ahead of a formal introduction. Grosso expects the resolution to pass, after which he will make sure team owner Daniel Snyder sees it.
Snyder has been quiet on the issue and thus far resisted, though efforts to get the name changed have gathered steam in recent months.
Amanda Blackhorse, a 31-year-old Navajo social worker, went to Washington in March 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. Suzan Shown Harjo filed a similar petition in 1992 and won, but later lost in the appeals process.
Also 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.
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.
At least one player felt the name change campaign was going overboard. Star quarterback Robert Griffin III said this on Twitter: "In a land of freedom we are held hostage by the tyranny of political correctness."
As of 6 p.m., more than 3,000 people had retweeted it.
Follow Moni Basu on Twitter
Boy, this is a tough one. On the one hand, the Redskins and NFL are just about synonymous with each other. On the other hand, the term "Redskins" was once used in a very derogatory fashion to describe Native Americans. Honestly, I would lean toward taking the high road and changing the name. There are some things more important than money
seriously, with all of the problems that DC has this so called elected official is worried about the Efing football teams name.Thats why nothing ever gets done...I have native american (indian) in my heritage and I'm not offended in the least. Do some real work dude!!!
We changed the Bullets to the Wizards not that long ago, partially due to the violent crime in the city. How is it that we are not willing to change the name of Redskins, when it is clearly a derogatory term? Is it because that genocide is complete and the average DC resident isn’t reminded of this constantly or are we just taunting their ancestors? I have lived in the region my whole life and I haven’t met even a half-blooded Native American. Also, I think the Redskins are the bigger, more storied franchise that would be less willing to change from its roots.
I think the real answer is that Native Americans are a small group economically, socially, and politically and don’t hold the sway of other groups. I see many people here arguing that if you don’t like the name then don’t support the team. This argument contains the often used fallacy that the rights and treatment of minorities should be determined by popular vote or capitalism/free enterprise. It puts the decision out of the individual’s hands and provides a sense of process that lets the individual obfuscate their personal responsibility to the group. Obviously minority groups alone cannot win elections and likely won’t have the economic power to receive equal treatment. The Redskins’ name ostracizes potential fans simply for economic reasons.
I gotta agree with the previous comments. We as american's have evolved to the point where we are soooo sensitive.its just a name for a sports team. People get over it already geeez
A lot of people refer to them as the Washington Foreskins. It's a name that matches their owner, fer sure.
Good morning, actually the terminology "Redskin" did not come from the darker skinned plains Native American. It came from the eastern tribes that painted/dyed their skin when heading into battle & ceremonies – look it up !
The same goes for the name "Indian", who the idiot Columbus named because he thought he discovered a back route to Indiia. Cowboys, Viking, and the such, are NOT named in relationship to a person's color, so comparing them has no significance in this situation. While we're on the subject, why does this country honor such a person as Columbus ? What did he doscover ? The slave trade route !
Don't bring intelligence to the table.
This is merely a touchy feely PC issue.
Why not call the team the Patowmacks, Piscataways or Sisquehannocks and have it be a post mortem tribute to legitimate (albeit historical victim of good ol Umaricun genocide/ethnic cleansing) Native cultures instead of a dehumanizing racist caricature based on superficial skin color?
Let's go with "Whiteskins."
I was about to suggest the same thing!
Okay, this is ridiculous. This is the same thing as with the Boy Scouts. Let it go. If they want to be the Redskins, let them. It's a football team, not some radical movement out to discriminate Native Americans. Are we going to change the name of the Dodgers because it's offensive to homeless people? Or the Vikings because Scandinavians are offended? How about the 49ers because it demeans the original settlers of California (the '48ers)? This is nonsense. What happened to people having thick skin and not letting others' words bother you? Are we not the rugged Americans anymore? Are we all a bunch of little, feeble people who are afraid of what we say? I'm certainly not, and no one else should be either.
How about Yankee Doodle?
Instead of using a derogatory term, how about getting an agreement with a specific tribe (Iriqouis (sp?), for example) and go that route? There are many tribes of American Indians that once inhabited that area before the invasion of the Europeans ... get permission and use the name and mascot. It would be honoring the tribe ...
.. we could call them .... the Washington "Politically Corrects" ... :(
Go Beavers! As recently as 2010 I've seen T-shirts in Corvallis that read: The Black Bandits of Benton County.
This was the accepted motto of the football team even before the 1950's. It fell out of favor and then for some unknown reason, it made a comeback.
OSU colors are orange and black. No one seemed to flinch. Not even Obama's brother-in-law who coaches there.
I quack like a duck so I must be a Duck.
People just don't want to see the obvious.
If I were the Redskins owner, I would threaten (and lobby the NFL mgmt.) to move out of DC, or tell the NFL Commissioner to stand against these silly policies. Withholding municipality funding would go a long way to shutting these people up, who have nothing better to do with their lives.
If you're white you're opinion don't count. It's up to natives to determine what's acceptable or not.
Nope. It's not. There was a war, we won. We call the shots.
Washington BRAVES, how's that one ?
If you change the Redskins nickname, then you have to change the Cowboys and the Yankees. equally derisive names.
Washington wants the Redskins to change their name so that they can move back into D.C. I say they just move them on down to Richmond. The Richmond Redskins sounds like a great name change to me.
Just name them the Washington Redtape already!
So sick of this PC Bullcrap.
Well, I guess there's a bunch of pro teams that will need to change their names; Chicago Blackhawks, Cleveland Indians and Cleveland Browns, N.Y. Yankees, New Jersey Devils, Vancouver Canucks...just to name a few. Buy, you know what really makes me laugh, the fact that team names offend people, yet high school kids in Georgia are just NOW starting to have integrated proms and yet people are upset that their "white" kids are going to a prom with "black" kids? Let's not worry about whites and blacks going to a prom together, let’s focus on changing professional team names that could possibly be insulting the American People!!!
The stadium is in Maryland, the franchise headquarters is in Virginia. Amending the trademark act would force a change, but the DC city council resolution wouldn't be worth the paper it's printed on. Non-story.
I love the Redskins, YOU CAN'T JUST CHANGE THE NAME LIKE THAT! GO REDSKINS!
What about crime and unemployment? Isn't there anything else politicians focus their energy on?
First gay people are every where and now they want the Washington Redskins to change their name. People are to sensitive.
Let's see, this is essentially a private company, yet they have to change their name???
What's next, the MLB – The Cleveland People from the India Subcontinent? The Atlanta Couragous Warriors?
As being of Dutch ancestry, I am offended by the New York Yankees, they must change their name.
And no, I would have no problem with a team named the Springfield Dumb White Europeans, thought I don't think they'd have a winning record.
What? You don't like being called a "New York Thieves" fan?
There are no "native" Americans. You may be descendant from the first immigrants from Asia.
And DNA testing indicates they were actually from southern Russia, Just north of the Black sea.
You don't seem to understand that the words "Indian" and "Brave" are not racial slurs like "Redskin" is.
Maybe you should read up about all the changes happeniing to names, emblems and msacots in Professional Athletic Associations. I for one think it is a load of crap and people need to get over it. My High School mascot was the Tigers, I guess we could have offended them also. I don't want anyone to call me "white", from now on you must refer to me as "pigmentally challenged".
And yet, they're still trying to change it. Chippewa isn't a racial slur either; it's then name of a tribe that was used to have this area as their stomping grounds. That doesn't change the fact that the PC culture decided it was offensive, and made a school change its team name to the Storm.
Honestly, the whole PC culture is way out of hand; not to mention the fact that it only exists as a convenient distraction from real issues.
The "Indians" from Cleveland refers to the American Indian and not the Asia sub-continent. I never did understand why the Brits decided to call the sub-continent "India" in the first place ...
I recommend Grosso Change his name. I think its Gross to have a public official named Grosso! #stupid
Don't take this personally... but how is changing the name of the team to Redtails an improvement? That deters from what the team is originally highlighting–brave Native Americans. It frustrates me how someone who most likely just rented Redtails from Redbox decided to flip a lid over how the team should be named after those men instead. Were the the Redtails amazing men? Yes. But there were Indians that did some amazing things, too, and who deserve the recognition. So, if anything, stick with the team's original mascot and make it a more appropriate name.
Rename em the Washington Quagmire - Represents the City....and gives the Defense something to live up to.
We've lost our country!.....
ok?????? what are we going to do about the dreaded redskin potato? get over this america.
Well, they could keep the name but change the mascot to a potato, or a peanut.
I think people are too sensitive now a days. Get the hell over it people. Political correctness is something that plagues our country to no bound.
I would bet that no one has tried to insult a Native American by actually calling them a "redskin" in over a 100 years. In this country the word "Redskins" has one and only one meaning. It means the Washington football team.
You clearly have never been to a res and have NO idea of the racism and prejudice that still plagues native people today!!!
I live in an area (South Florida) where we have a considerable poulation of Miccosukee and Seminole Indians, including reservations for both tribes. Truthfully, I have NEVER heard anyone refer to these native Amenricans, in a derogatory manner or otherwise, as "Redskins." My one and only acquaintance with the term is the name of the Washington, DC football team. And given the rich history of the team and its rabid following, I just assumed that the term "redskin" had a positive connotation. So I never understood the term to be a racial slur, and moreover viewed the team as HONORING native Americans. I don't mean to say for an instant that native Americans are not he subject of racial discrimination. But I would be suprised if "Redskin" has any meanigful usage as a racial slur today.
They should change the name. Would it be appropriate to call a team the 'Blackskins'? Or the 'Yellowskins'? No, so this is no better.
i mean if u are really are up set lets change the name of oklamhoma....it means redskin in an indain language
well why not the whiteskins while ur t it to is just political bull nobody once says hey how bout that redskin over there and really blackskin and yellowskin thas trying to be racist when people say redskin nobody sees it as a bad thing most songs these days have the N-word in it and no one cares the only people who care this much are people who faced this racisum and you would have to be over a hundred years old to know what that feels like all ur doing s stereotyping do u think everyone on the raiders steals no do u think that the browns care u have to realize that these names were mdongto and have a totally different meaning nowadays and if u want to change just one name whats to stop everything from being renamed like countries and maybe even the pesident hes our first black president are we going to have to call him the only "different" president in america sofar i have friends who are native american and take pride in there heritage and they love the redskins they even live in washington they dont take affence to it at all i know because ive asked them several times all this will do will cause a chain reaction first the people of washinton will get man then the owners,other teams, the NFL,then people in othr states,then whats that to stop othe major buisnesses to start that then society and we go back to a world where people are affraid to speak their minds and no one wants to touchtaboo things and we end up with segragration again but off every thing
cause the colored players they are in the team would be angry ,
I agree with a lot of Alex's comments. Really, the name was never meant derogatorily, so it is wrong to now say that it is offensive or derogatory; it is heritage and just what they are named. And while we are at it, racism can be a good thing, if not derogatory. We should recognize races. It is only when we use them in a negative sense that racism becomes hurtful. None of that was ever intended when the Redskins were first named, and so no offense ought to be taken now. The only problem with the name is that some people are trying to make it a problem with no real justification. Keep the name!
'colored players' – really?
How dare he use the term "colored!" You should take this up with the organization that represents Afro-American people, the NAACP. You know, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.
You do remember WHEN that organization came into existence don't you? Oh that's right, you weren't born yet...
I am offended they want it changed they are stripping me of my heritage. LOL HEY what ever happened with that same problem with the college i think they were called "The Fighting Sioux" something like that.Was that ever changed?
Around 1990, the St. John's Redmen changed their name to Red Storm.
I am 1/2 Choctaw Indian and guess what i live in central California my skin is basically RED!!!!!! who cares!!!!!!!!!!! Go Redskins
I forgot to Mention the other half of me is Irish. You cant even imagine how hard it is for me to pass up a bar.Thats right im a could be drunken Injun Mick. LOL LOL
Has anyone asked any real cowboys if they are offended by the team in Dallas? Because they have not exactly been lacking in the 'suckage' department the last several years.
Changing the name "Redskins" doesn't change the fact that their ancestors robbed, raped, and stole the country from the "Redskins". Lol they need to get a life
Why not just call them the Washington Native Americans, or just plain Americans? Seems better than the alternative.
Changing the name "Redskins"
How about we keep the name and stop getting so butthurt about a name that most of us don't know that's racist or derogatory.
Just change it to the Washington Casino Owner Americans ... enough PC .. already . The name is only offensive to people who don't watch the game or who are offended by everything
I can understand this being a non PC term but when will we ever draw the line? The name isnt being used as a derogatory term, its simply a dated team name. And this hasnt been nor will it probably be the last of sports teams being under fire. Its getting to the point of ridiculous when teams like the Utes of Utah, Seminoles of Florida State, the Illini of Illionois are all constantly under fire. Lest not forget the Atlanta Braves and the Cleveland Indians. What I really want to know is why is it ok for my home state of Oklahoma to keep its name and be above reproach? Does the name not come from the Choctaw nation and does it not mean "red people"? Redskins or Red People??? Whats the difference other than one being a tribal name and the other being translated? If this argument has to keep continuing so be it but lets take it to the state level and start putting State names to the discussion.
I mentioned earlier im 1/2 Choctaw and half Irish. I AM IN NO WAY OFFENDED by anything like this.Some people are too thin skinned (uh oh was that no P.C?) IM a borderline Drunken Irish Red man,and proud of both sides of my heritage. Nothing offends me as a matter a fact i have a huge list of Indian and Irish jokes LOL.You know what i take that back the only term i don't like is "American Indian" its just Indian.My great grandmother only spoke Choctaw she use to say "NONA" my old man said it meant "No Native Americans here,just Indians" Im a big Hockey fan San Jose sharks i swear if the sharks in the ocean get offended i don't know what i am capable of doing LOL LOL
How about calling you Choctaw. Indians are people from India, unless you own the local Sev as well. ;-)
This article is misleading. There is legislation in the DC council to force the Redskins to change their name if the team ever moves back to DC to play. I don't think DS plans on moving the team back to DC anytime soon. I know when I was younger I actually looked up why the Redskins choose their name, it helped me study about the Native Americans that used to live on the East Coast. This is just a another ploy by a DC politician on avoiding the real issues the plaque his city.
AMEN. Guess these guys are studying up for a congressional run.
And any teams that move to New Jersey have to change their names to the state or city they are in, but no ex post facto, the New (Jersey) York Jets and Giants still keep their names. ;-)
So if the name is supposed to be derogatory, why did the team adopt it in the first place? You choose a name because it is supposed to represent and embody your organization's values and pride. Pretty sure that this would have been seen as a complement and not a bash on Native Americans when originally chosen.
And for the record, why not let all the registered Native Americans (or 1st Americans as some of my friends refer to themselves as) vote on it. Since they are the ones that are apparently offended, let them decide.
So will we then let only the Irish vote to decide if Notre Dame gets to keep the "Fighting Irish" name. Isn't that stereotyping as well? Where does it end? Maybe only Nature Conservancy members should be able to vote on team names like Bobcats, Lions, Wolverines and Panthers? come on folks, quit giving your legislators trivial stuff that gets them off the hook for solving real problems. If you don't like the names, vote with your wallet and leave the rest of us alone..
I agree as long as no federal money is used to cover the cost of the name change Let Grosso own people who elected him cover the cost
The real reason he wants them to change their name REDSKINS is because they want a new stadium in DC and its a political thing, I'll scratch your back you scratch mine. you want some land and some services from the city, then change your name. I dislike politics like this. I live in northern Arizona where the largest Tribe is in the world. The Navajo Nation. I see more Natives with REDSKINS jackest, t shirts, hats, etc etc the list goes on and on. They are not bothered by the name or they wouldn't wear that. The Mascot is awesome, I think is shows strength and honor. I love the REDSKINS, please do not cave to the POLITICS of MR Daniel Grosso, and Amanda Blackhorse.
The best they can do is remodel RFK.
Rename them the Redrags, in honor if Coach Shanahan.
I find it hard to believe that a meaningful number of people (i) actually believe that the Washington Redskins footbal team are making a derogatory statement about them or (ii) are actually offended by the team. Even assuming that some politicaly incorrect thinking led to the original name, that thinking has been left behind in the sands of time. But if the name must change for the sake of political correctness, I would keep the logo just the same and come up with a complimentary or non-offensive native american name, like Warriors, Braves, Tomahawks, etc.
Total Bull crap.
Dude! That's totally offensive to bulls...
As a former Redskins fan, and some American Indian Blood (Lenape), I will say this. The origin of the name has to do with when they were in Boston in the 30's. The "Boston Redskins" alludes to the Boston Tea Party and the fact that white guys dressed up as Indians so that the British would blame the Indians for the vandalism of the tea. Is that brave or fierce? Redskins is kind of an insult in that context. Boston went on to have the Boston then New England Patriots.
I too love the logo and colors but maybe the change should be to "Warriors" if anything.
Even though the Tuskegee Airmen are/were great Americans, calling them the "Red Tails" is just kissing up too much to one segment of the population for my tastes.
Keetowah Tsalagi Aniyunweah (a beautiful name, btw), I guess I agree with you. If you are not offended, then why does it need to be changed?
This is just another ploy by the American agenda against Native American's that has been going on since the day they set foot on this land to eradicate the Native people. Taking away a great symbol of us and making people forget that Native's to this once great land ever existed.
Who's next? Chicago Nonwhitehawks?
Next thing you know the Irish will demand that Notre Dame change their mascot....(Fighting Irish......perpetuates the stereotype of drunken Irishmen.)
No one is changing that one either...I'm sure you know how the Irish were treated when they migrated here..."no Irish need apply" ring a bell. If they change one they change them all. I can't wait till the envirofools get mad about the insensitive names like the eagles or the bears. My God those people are doomed to be mental slaves for eternity.
I'm not only a proud tsalagi redskin...I'm also part Blackfoot Indian....yes I said Blackfoot Indian...so....why isn't anyone mad about that hmmm? Because the racist lib race baiters can't look past the surface one drop rule they worship so much.
Just change the logo to a potato.
Ask us....not the naacp or white and blacks....that's the issue...no one ever asked us what we like to be called or how we prefer to be represented. Id prefer you call me Keetowah Tsalagi Aniyunweah....but most people can't pronounce that...and since we are in the west indies...I have no issues being called an American Indian...heck were the only group called American first.
And Navajo do not represent me. They aren't even related to us...they are Mongolian in descent...hence the Asian appearance....look closely at the northeast woodland tribes....they are taller...have rounder eyes...lower cheek bones...etc etch...why is that you ask? Because we migrated from the regions known today as Turkey,Syria, Norway, Finland and Sweden....surprised? I thought so...but its not hard to understand that the northpole was totally frozen and my people migrated that direction while the Mongolians migrated via the Alaskan land bridge and island jumped on small ocean vessels across the pacific.
People are foolish to think all native American Indians are the same...that's like saying all American todays are related and one in the same. I guarantee Africans and Europeans that live here would agree with me 100%.
Keetowah Tsalagi Aniyunweah, thank you for that enlightenment about the different migratory paths. I will look that up.
There are over 500 Washington Tribes. Why not the name "Washington Tribe"? Tribe Football. This works for William and Mary.
I agree with Nate. If you don't like it, don't watch, attend, buy the products or support the team. No one is forced to participate or support the team. I think DC has other things that need to be addressed before this issue. My money says that when they win another Bowl, all these people will be front row at the parade wearing their REDSKIN jersey.
The name is descriptive...I have red skin...problem is how many players on the team do hmmm? Although I don't really like the name...I love the logo...its majestic and represents us in a strong light. Here's the reason I don't want them changing the logo...because they don't teach American kids one thing about my people....zero...so if the mascot goes....so does the acknowledgement that native American Indians actually exsisted. I'm serious...how many kids today even know why Tsalagi means? Probably only "we" Tsalagi understand it. Yataheh wado.
I'm pretty hard to offend after all I'm a Cowboys fan and JJ has offended me for years! But I can see how people would want to change it. How about free front row seats to Native Americans for every home game, they will be the Redtails by the weekend!
If you don't like the Washington's mascot, don't watch them. Easy.
Nice. Censorship at the local and national level.
The few I have talked to don't seem to mind over the years. The logo is not an offensive. Look at the Cleveland Indians "sambo" logo. That is offensive. I mean wow...
I happen to be part American Indian, and I have always been a fan of the Washington Redskins. I am not now, nor have I ever been offended by the name! leave it alone!
"Ask an American Indian if it's ok to walk up to them and call them a Redskin"
I just did, they said yes... As you said, there is your answer: the name stays!
Neawh & Wado.
Thank you for standing up for Indian people. There are so many ignorant voices commenting on this issue who have clearly never been on a rez or have any knowledge of the prejudice and racism that first nation people still deal with today. I'm tired of all of the stereotypes including the rich casino owning drunk indian. Yes, all natives are individuals and have their own view and opinion on these things, but the majority of native people would start swinging their war clubs if someone walked up to them and called them a redskin. And i mean real natives, not the ones who are just related through their great great grandma the "cherokee princess!" Many blessings to you.
So what About the Redskin potato? Are you gonna change that name too?
If it offends someone, no harm in changing the name.
Grosso offends me for no other reason than I want to be offended, he must change his name.
Just call the team Washington and keep the colors ; drop the Indian ; add a profile pic of General Geo. Wash and be done with it
E- A- G- L- E- S
Just change the name. It is offensive to many.
People who make a big deal about changing this teams name are idiots who think there isn't anything more important than a football teams mascot.
Everyone in America knows:
1. The Redskins will change their name
2. We will adopt immigration reform with amnesty
3.Gays will be allowed to marry
So get over it.
those will never happen ur just a stuck up liberal
Last time I checked this was a free market and the city does not own the Skins. Dan does. And he would move the team before this will happen. We have more important stuff to worry about than this. People like you and PC are ruining this country.
Ask an American Indian if it's ok to walk up to them and call them a Redskin? There is ur answer change the name! Go Bears!
Sir I live in an area where there are a lot of Native Americans and most of them I talk to do not have a problem with it.
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