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. Thank You

    I'm glad you posted that. There are people that think it is just people whining, they need to know it truly is offensive and must be changed...

    April 5, 2013 at 6:36 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Coldharbor1864

    Your are right about the edict but IT HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH THE TERM REDSKIN! The Native Americans in the are for centuries painted themselves the RED VERMILLION dye to look SAVAGE hence the term Redskin. It is revisionist History to claim that scalping was the source of REDSKINS. While your history is correct up to that point the REDKSIN piece is DEAD WRONG!

    April 5, 2013 at 6:27 pm | Report abuse |
  3. mblmbl

    We can cleanse our country of all "insulting" references to Native Americans by non-native Americans if pushed to do so. But be careful what you wish for...this will leave the dominant connection to Native American "culture" to the ubiquitous "Indian casinos" popping up like weeds all over the country. Nothing like the legalized preying on society though the marketig off vice, preying on addictions and other human failings, as your cultural legacy. Not to mention the lesser cultural sin of providing financial security to second rate 70s rock bands in their dotage.

    April 5, 2013 at 5:38 pm | Report abuse |
  4. LivingInTheSouthwest

    People should stand up against bigotry whenever it rears its ugly head. It isn't a trivial matter.

    April 5, 2013 at 5:18 pm | Report abuse |
  5. C M Bennett

    Ever hear of a Team Mascot called the Chickens; Skunks; Weasels; etc. I guess not.

    April 5, 2013 at 4:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • LivingInTheSouthwest

      Your point? Are you saying that team names are all postive images because of the image that is to be portrayed? Just because the owners and fans think "Redskins" connotates a postive image doesn't make it so. "Redskins" is an obvious slur and those who defend it are bigots. Not a grey area.

      April 5, 2013 at 5:09 pm | Report abuse |
      • coldharbor1864

        I can understand the confusion of Native Americans from another part of the country other than New York and New England. The custom in the Norheast was for Warriors to paint themselves with RED Vermillion DYE and shaved off most of their hair. The Indians in the south west observed significantly different customs. By the way, look above, there is an Indian School whose mascot is the Redskins. I don't get why Native Americans need to further twist history. Everyone knows and does not dispute the horrific treatment they received time and time again. The people to did this should have been executed. But is does not change the fact that the term Redskin comes from addressing Native Americans who did this to look fierce and scary to their enemy!

        April 5, 2013 at 7:48 pm | Report abuse |
      • srsly

        Political correctness has just gone too far. This is ridiculous. Just because a few people out their find it "offensive," doesn't mean the rest of the world needs to bend over backwards for them. I doubt many of those opposed to it actually have a problem with it. Seems like people these days just need to be upset over something for attentions sake. Redskin is just that, red, just like "African Americans" are black. Should I be offended of the term "white?" This is just dumb. Since you think so, I forbid you to use the word "White." You must now refer to me as European American, or Paleskin

        April 7, 2013 at 6:18 am | Report abuse |
    • PC Police

      Don't the Padres (offensive name?) have a Chicken for a mascot?

      Should the obese also be offended by the Oakland Athletics? Should little people be offended by the name the Giants?

      April 5, 2013 at 5:48 pm | Report abuse |
  6. wildling

    obviously not.... otherwise we wouldn't be able to call dem' folk on the other side of the pacific Yellow... dem' yeller folk!

    April 5, 2013 at 4:32 pm | Report abuse |
  7. QuietStormX

    Come on!!!! Here are the Washington Redskins of Washington, D.C. and in no way is the NFL's Team depicting the indians with nothing but respect for it's Pro Football team. Talking or showing anything about a indian anything just nothing. And ones who think all anything indian is off limits and to think one or some dictionary reference is some reason to solely think that for some crazy purpus. Leave the Washington Redskins alone and get a life back where you or they are from. Not the Washingtom Metro area who love our Washington Redskins.

    April 5, 2013 at 4:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • LivingInTheSouthwest

      From my post above: Just because the owners and fans think "Redskins" connotates a postive image doesn't make it so. "Redskins" is an obvious slur and those who defend it are bigots. Not a grey area.

      Stop being a bigot.

      April 5, 2013 at 5:11 pm | Report abuse |
      • Daily Llama

        Well, right from the get-go, we – in the United States – should stop calling ourselves "Americans" as we just ASSUME the blanket term applies ONLY to us. There are 2 distinct "Americas", North and South. Canadians – technically – are "americans" too. So are "Mexicans". We have – historically – glommed onto "America" as our national grouping alone when it probably SHOULD be the "United States of North America". Better yet, despite annexation, try calling native Alaskans and Hawai'ians "americans" and see how far you get ....

        April 7, 2013 at 6:47 am | Report abuse |
  8. Jeff B

    The Redskins dilemma is compounded by the fact that it's late owner, George Preston Marshall, was a renown bigot who didn't integrate his team until 1962. NINETEEN SIXTY TWO for crying out loud!!

    April 5, 2013 at 4:13 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Joe Momma

    What If considered "Dude" to be offensive. Could I start a ridiculous campaign to get "dude" removed from the common vernacular because someone called me "dude"? I think I'd like to sue all the liberal idiots taking this political correct nonsense way beyond the point of absurdity. That's what they are essentially doing with this word "Redskin" which had probably never been used to describe a native American in a derogatory manner.

    This is all a likely ploy by some pathetic Dallas Cowboys fan...

    April 5, 2013 at 4:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • LivingInTheSouthwest

      Don't be stupid. Words have meanings and you don't get to decide what that is. Redskin is a derogatory term and only bigots defend it.

      April 5, 2013 at 5:20 pm | Report abuse |
      • Joe Momma

        Few people are as prejudice as the bigot pointers themselves. I'd consider your own words before you sling bigot at everyone you disagree with.

        Both you and below are illustrating my argument. If a small fraction of the population consider "dude" to be a derogatory term for cattle ranchers does it make it a derogatory term for everyone. I'd argue 99% of any American (native or otherwise) hear "Redskins" and they equate it to a football team.

        April 5, 2013 at 7:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Don Black

      If the word Dude was used in the same manner or was meant to mean the same thing as Redskins then your campaign to get people to not use it wouldn't be ridiculous. That would be like the LBGT community trying to get people to stop using the word "Gay" as a meaning for something negative, more power to them.

      April 5, 2013 at 6:06 pm | Report abuse |
  10. FSU_Stud

    As a Florida State Seminole, I'm almost insulted in this attempted "smear" campaign against us. We fly the Seminole Nation's flag, we wear their traditional clothes honorably, we erect monuments to their "Unconquered Nation", and we pay homage to their members every once in a while before kickoff. They seem to try their hardest to MISS THE FRIGGEN POINT, PRIDE. We have a serious amount of PRIDE in the Seminole name, and just because you're the descendants of a culture doesn't mean you have a monopoly on its pride. The nation of Ireland isn't about to pull the "you're a racists" card on Notre Dame because they have a leprechaun as a mascot and claim to be the Fighting Irish. It's allowed because it's a matter of PRIDE in a culture, be it yours or not. And Osceola doesn't smear his warpaint on; stop trying to make our pride sound like childish prejudice.

    April 5, 2013 at 4:02 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Jon

    To Redskins fans, the name and logo are a matter of PRIDE, not prejudice. To remove one of the last positive uses of the word would be deleterious to the whole purpose of its removal.

    April 5, 2013 at 4:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • huh

      Since when is "Redskin" a positive use?

      April 5, 2013 at 4:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • LivingInTheSouthwest

      From posts above: Just because the owners and fans think "Redskins" connotates a postive image doesn't make it so. "Redskins" is an obvious slur and those who defend it are bigots. Not a grey area.

      Stop being a bigot

      April 5, 2013 at 5:13 pm | Report abuse |
      • Jerry D

        Red Mesa High School, Mascot Redskins, Look it up. Run by Navajo. Or are they bigots as well?

        April 6, 2013 at 10:53 am | Report abuse |

      Positive to who? your precious football team?

      April 5, 2013 at 6:09 pm | Report abuse |
  12. PC Police

    All references to Natives as Indians should be banned first. It's ridiculous to complain when Natives perpetuate the problem by not correcting the first error.

    April 5, 2013 at 3:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • WC Patrol

      What was the first error and why are they responsible for correcting it?

      April 5, 2013 at 4:08 pm | Report abuse |
      • PC Police

        Allowing to be referred to as "Indians". THEY ARE NOT INDIAN!

        April 5, 2013 at 4:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • LivingInTheSouthwest

      American Indians/Native Americans didn't come up with the term "indians" nor did they get a vote on whether or not to allow it to be used. Neither did they have any say regarding "redskins". Also, it has nothing to do with the discussion at hand.

      April 5, 2013 at 5:22 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Dan

    As per the Oxford Dictionary: Redskin is first recorded in the late 17th century and was applied to the Algonquian peoples generally, but specifically to the Delaware (who lived in what is now southern New York State and New York City, New Jersey, and eastern Pennsylvania). Redskin referred not to the natural skin color of the Delaware, but to their use of vermilion face paint and body paint.

    April 5, 2013 at 3:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • coldharbor1864

      Dan, Thank God you said that. The other story that the Native Americans use which is a revisionist history story is that when white people scalped baby Indians the blood running down their foreheads made them red and therefore Redskins. This is a false twisting of history to make their case sound more sympathetic. The Redskins you refer predates any bounty story by a long shot! As you said, it was the Vermillion dye that they used as Warriors to paint themselves RED! Hence Redskins. Native Americans did this.

      April 5, 2013 at 3:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Adam

      And the Merriam-Webster dictionary defines it as "American Indian: Usually offensive"

      April 5, 2013 at 4:05 pm | Report abuse |
  14. M

    I have always thought names like Braves and Redskins were racist and I am white. I agree that using a specific Native American tribe name like Chippewa and Seminole are not racist because that is an actual name, not a slur. My personal thought is that Cleveland and Washington, D.C. should find out what Native American tribes existed in the area and request permission to use the name. However, trying to change the names of the Atlanta Braves and Washington Redskins after all these decades would be very difficult.

    April 5, 2013 at 3:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joe

      I am not going to argue Redskins...but what is wrong with Brave? Or the Kansas City Chiefs? Those are names of specific roles in early North American societies, and quite honorable roles to have.

      And for the record, the name that bothers me is the Cleveland Indians, because Indians are from India.

      April 5, 2013 at 4:02 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Nicholas

    There are always two sides of the coin.. but to go over the other side.... When 90 percent of the population in the US hears the word Redskin... they do not think of it in a bad or racist way. It is 40-80 years after the fact and the N-word is taboo.. and provokes anger and grief... Redskin does not and is at this momment not used as a word to make fun of a certain group... Now if you ban the word... Take it away from teams.. You are now giving it the power of the N-Word... You are giving it the negativity that the N-word was never able to lose... Why would you want to do this? Why would you want to make a word that has very little negtaive power anymore aginst your race...now have that power by making it mean spirited again... You are lucky ... you should thank yourself that it may have been a bad word in the past but it no longer is... It is a better world when words lose their negativity and you want to bring that back? I just wanted to go over that point.

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

      It appears that even though we (the majority) of america doesn't know that it is offensive, shouldn't the fact that the Indian population finds it offensive be what matters?

      April 5, 2013 at 3:46 pm | Report abuse |
      • PC Police

        Native Peope or original settlers. They aren't Indians. Indians are from India. I'm offended when anyone refers to anyone not from India as Indians. First step for the people trying to get this straightened out: don't call yourselves Indians. When I go to an Indian restaurant, I eat food from India.

        April 5, 2013 at 3:50 pm | Report abuse |
      • Steve

        One woman's crusade does not make it the voice of all Native Americans. Look at the disagreement between Florida and Oklahoma views towards FSU's use of Seminole. The real question is why do we continually cater to those that think their race or a word describing their race is the sole thing that defines them as a person?

        April 5, 2013 at 3:53 pm | Report abuse |
      • Jerry D

        But the fact of the matter is, 90% of them according to several surveys do NOT find it offensive. Google it. Its a fact. So all the talk about the term being offensive is nothing but white guilt. Some Indians do find it offensive, but no one promised them a world with no offense. So people are offended by gay marriage. We going to listen to them? Some people thought Beyoncé's halftime show at the Super Bowl was offensive. Get over it!

        April 5, 2013 at 6:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • LivingInTheSouthwest

      90% really? Got a source. I would say 90% of where I live would consider it racist.

      April 5, 2013 at 3:51 pm | Report abuse |
      • Nicholas

        Valid point.. 90 % may be high.. I live in a area of the country that is less racist then say the deep south or such so I am not immersed in alot of hatred so I may be silly when saying 90%.

        April 5, 2013 at 3:56 pm | Report abuse |
      • OriginalAmericanNDN

        They must have surveyed the Indians from India.

        April 5, 2013 at 7:53 pm | Report abuse |
  16. PC Police

    I think using the word "Indian" to describe the original settlers of North America racist. Indian means "from India". The original European settlers were just slow, and didn't reflect anything right back then. It should be changed now.

    April 5, 2013 at 3:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Stephanie

      I absolutely respect your opinion. My grandmother on my daddy's side (where I got my Native blood) called African-American people colored. She didn't do it to be mean or hatefull. That was just the word they used in their day. Now she knew them because my grandfather worked beside them as a sharecropper. I say all that to say this... I'm 42. I grew up hearing "cowboys and indians", Tonto was an Indian, The word is there. It has no more offense attached to it that the word "bowl". Try to come more to the center........if we go around changing things because, oh dear God, we've offended somebody else now, we'll never be done. It's impossible. So, you don't like the word. Don't use it. I don't. I use "Native" or their tribe. Let's get past all this nobody can be offended thing. No one is trying to be ugly. If they are, you'll know it. There are sometimes when the battles get in the way of the war.

      April 7, 2013 at 6:36 am | Report abuse |
  17. Raindrops


    April 5, 2013 at 3:33 pm | Report abuse |
  18. Dave

    It is no wonder this country has become an international punchline. Everyone has become so sensitive over absolutely nothing at all. Words are words people, time to grow up.

    April 5, 2013 at 3:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bill

      I am offended by your lack of being offended.

      April 5, 2013 at 3:41 pm | Report abuse |
  19. "The Fighting, Thundering Adam"

    And I'm a different Adam than the Adam who is also posting here. Even though I agree with what he writes, from now on, I'll be "The Fighting, Thundering Adam" to help differentiate us.

    April 5, 2013 at 3:30 pm | Report abuse |
  20. Captain Obvious


    April 5, 2013 at 3:30 pm | Report abuse |
  21. ME II

    "PC is out of control"

    There are no laws enforcing PC, do what you want, just don't complain about the consequences.

    April 5, 2013 at 3:28 pm | Report abuse |
  22. Adam

    No one forced you to read it.

    April 5, 2013 at 3:20 pm | Report abuse |
  23. North 49

    I guess we need to cancel or restrict Halloween next. Soon you wont be able to dress up as a native american because someone will find it offensive. Maybe people should be offended that native americans dress like 'white' folks. Where does it stop? BTW there is a Canadian sports team called the Eskimos and no one seems to complain about that.

    April 5, 2013 at 3:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Adam

      Eskimo is not a racial/ethnic slur.

      April 5, 2013 at 3:21 pm | Report abuse |
      • JinxGT

        What if I used the word "Eskimo" in a derogatory manner?

        Such as, "That coat straight up makes you look like an Eskimo?" using a sarcastic tone to imply the individual looks ridiculous. Wouldn't that be derogatory?

        April 5, 2013 at 3:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • PC Police

      I think the church is already trying to ban Halloween.

      April 5, 2013 at 3:51 pm | Report abuse |
  24. Mark

    Happy Friday...sing it with me!

    Hail to the Redskins!
    Hail Victory!
    Braves on the Warpath!
    Fight for old D.C.!
    Run or pass and score - we want a lot more!
    Beat 'em, Swamp 'em,
    Touchdown! - Let the points soar!
    Fight on, fight on 'Til you have won
    Sons of Wash-ing-ton. Rah!, Rah!, Rah!
    Hail to the Redskins!
    Hail Victory!
    Braves on the Warpath!
    Fight for old D.C.!

    Now don't you feel better?

    April 5, 2013 at 3:07 pm | Report abuse |
  25. a b

    you know how i know the R-word is not as offensive as the N-word? because no one says "R-word". it's redskin. and there's quite a few native americans who have publicly proclaimed that they don't see any negative connotation in it. this movement is the work of a handful of people who have nothing better to do with their time.

    April 5, 2013 at 3:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • LivingInTheSouthwest

      Please provide a link to at least one.

      April 5, 2013 at 3:55 pm | Report abuse |
      • Jerry D

        I've posted several. There are also all the tribes that have gone to court to STOP teams or school districts from changing indian derived names. Stop being aggressively ignorant of the FACTS.

        April 5, 2013 at 6:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • OriginalAmericanNDN

      Say it to a Native American in a Rez town...you will quickly realize it gets the same reaction as the N-word to an African American. 🙂

      April 5, 2013 at 7:46 pm | Report abuse |
      • Jerry D

        How about them calling their own children redskins. Mascot of the local school. Red Mesa High School run by Navajo. Look it up. For some reason my posts with links get deleted. Can only assume its because people realize it puts the lie to the opinion the term is racist and should be banned.

        April 6, 2013 at 10:56 am | Report abuse |
  26. Grow up.

    The R-word? The n-word, the w-word, the c-word, etc. What, are we in grade school now that on an adult message board and storry you can't actually use that word? Seriously? Go back to 3rd grade please and take your perpetually offended friends with you.

    April 5, 2013 at 3:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Scott

      Oh my God...I finally met someone else who is sane about this issue. Thank You!

      April 5, 2013 at 3:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • wormwood

      Well put.

      April 5, 2013 at 8:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Pattypal

      Well said. We are evolving into a culture of that wants Big Brother to protect us from all of the hurts and pangs of living in the world! The more of this type of legislation there is, regardless of what sector it is meant to protect, the less we learn about ourselves, the less we grow as a society. If an American of Native American descent does not want to be called a redskin, the she/he should express that, they should express it as a whole, but legislating to the rest of the country is not the answer. Stand up for yourself, but don't use the govt, that is live yelling for Mommy. I am of Mexican, Italian, German and Native American descent, but more than any of that I am an American. My Grandfather was a Mexican who worked very hard to give that legacy to his descendants and was proud of that accomplishment. He would be very disappointed if I went around whining about some of the racial slurs that I might have to endure, instead of accomplishing changing someone's mind by the way I live my life.

      April 7, 2013 at 7:43 am | Report abuse |
  27. Lucas,CTS

    Where will it end? Do you know your children read books about native americans? They also read about African Americans and trials and hard ships they faced. Maybe we should ban history class? Start fresh because in all honesty there will also be some group, some race some gender that will always have a problem with something. Im a white male (big surprise huh) i dont like the New York Yankees. i live in upstate NY and Yankees is derogatory to other New Yorkers and its history of the word. Maybe we should make them name change? How about the Dallas Cowboys? Cowboys, really? I remember reading bad things about cowboys and indians and what the cowboys did. That name should be banned as well. Until our country decides to stop being fickle about "names" or "i feel that" and start addressing real issues in the world (such as god given gun rights ((its in the bible look it up)) national debt and Americas Power Trips trying to control EVERYTHING even if itsnt theirs to control) we will continue to behave in a manner that crumbles society. Nice job with your 5 minutes of fame, your got your name in a article, now lets talk about some real issues.

    Thank you Freedom of Speech

    April 5, 2013 at 3:03 pm | Report abuse |
  28. Matt, VT

    Amanda BLACKHORSE has a problem with the name Redksins! Isn't BLACKHORSE offensive to horses???? How hypocritical!! I grew up thinking mascots were an honorous position. The Redskins are a TEAM that people love, cherish and honor!! Why can't these people realize this and accept it as the Honor it is!!??

    April 5, 2013 at 3:02 pm | Report abuse |
  29. Dan

    So you're upset because people compete for finite resources? Dude, that's life.

    April 5, 2013 at 2:56 pm | Report abuse |
  30. Rachel

    The first thing we all have to realize, whichever side of the aisle we are on on this issue, is that teams going by "Redskins" or "Indians" are not the SAME as teams going by a specific tribe name, such as "The Seminoles" or "The Chippewa". You may be against ALL of those, but there is a difference, and people ignore that when making their arguments. I can see deciding that "The Seminoles" or "The Chippewa" is a racist moniker........but it is at least more complicated, especially in cases where the tribe supports the nickname (which has happened). It COULD be seen as respectful to the memory of the tribe. It could also be seen as racist. But at least there is debate. How anyone can defend "the Redskins"....... I just don't know

    April 5, 2013 at 2:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Adam

      When the NCAA banned native american themed names, schools like Florida State and Central Michigan got to keep their names because they got permission from the local tribes, and they have ongoing initiatives with those tribes to educate students and fans. It's a constructive relationship that benefits both sides. If you're going to have a native american themed nickname, THAT is the way to do it.

      April 5, 2013 at 2:58 pm | Report abuse |
      • ME II

        Hear! Hear!

        April 5, 2013 at 3:12 pm | Report abuse |
      • Colin

        As a once Arkansas State University Indian fan, I was upset we had to change our name to the Red Wolves.
        We did nothing but honor them. This political correctness is getting out of hand.
        Florida State made a deal with the Seminoles aka THEY PAID THEM OFF. Not every university can afford to do this!

        April 5, 2013 at 3:13 pm | Report abuse |
      • Adam

        Arkansas State had the chance to get permission from a local tribe just like every other school did. They either didn't pursue this option, or they couldn't find a tribe willing to consent.

        April 5, 2013 at 3:19 pm | Report abuse |
      • oneblankspace

        North Dakota received permission from the local tribe to keep the nickname, and they have NEVER had a mascot. The only problem is the NCAA, whose president used to run the school of Hoosiers (which is a fightin'words insult in St Louis), required them to get approval of two tribes. The other one gave the university approval to use the nickname in a religious ceremony some 60 years ago (or more). And then the NCAA has the nerve to admit the University of SIOUX Falls...

        At least the Sioux Crew fan club changed its name to NoDak Nation (NDN).

        April 6, 2013 at 8:33 am | Report abuse |
    • ChiefWahooGoTribeGoIndians

      You should defend the names because it is called the first amendment. You should support, equally and without prejudice, every person's right to freedom of speech, which also includes naming you company, team, mascot, or any other object to whatever you want.

      I have yet to hear you object to racist mascot names that "might be" offensive to European Americans, like Boilermakers, Fightin' Irish, Sooners, Mountainers, and Pirates (and so on and so on). People don't object to these names. Why? Because it is such a silly thing to worry about.

      Go Tribe!

      April 5, 2013 at 10:02 pm | Report abuse |
      • Don Black

        No you shouldn't be able to appropriate and misrepresent someone else' s culture.

        April 5, 2013 at 10:48 pm | Report abuse |
      • OriginalAmericanNDN

        Sooners?!? Really...offensive to the greedy lil , why because OU didn't give credit to the Irish?

        April 6, 2013 at 3:01 am | Report abuse |
  31. veronica13

    Yes, I know this must be hard for you to comprehend.

    April 5, 2013 at 2:52 pm | Report abuse |
  32. CT

    I'm glad to see this article didn't lump the Kansas City Chiefs in with the Washington Redskins, as many writers often do. Few know the story, but the Chiefs are named after former Kansas City mayor H. Roe (Chief) Bartle who worked to get the team moved to KC from Dallas in 1962. He was not a Native American, but he devoted so much philanthropic effort toward Native American causes that one tribe named him its chief, hence the nickname.

    April 5, 2013 at 2:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Adam

      And "Chief" is not a racial/ethnic slur. I don't think the Cleveland Indians or Atlanta Braves need to change their names (although I'd love to see them retire Chief Wahoo and Atlanta's screaming Indian).

      April 5, 2013 at 2:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • AReader

      Chief is also not a Native American word. Jeffe in Spanish, Cheffre in French.

      April 5, 2013 at 4:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • oneblankspace

      And besides, the Kansas City Texans just sounds ridiculous.

      April 6, 2013 at 10:04 am | Report abuse |
  33. Keith, New Mexico

    It always amazed me that the majority of the Black population of DC, where I used to live, has not supported the Native American movement to do away with the Redskin mascot. A study of the history of the name makes it obvious that it was a derogatory term just like the N word. Even if you take other mascot names and try to argue that the intent is not to be offensive if the Native Americans find it offensive what is the big deal about changing it. Abe Pollin stepped up like a man and did away with the Bullets name, changing it to the Wizards and it hasn't caused any suffering for the DC fans. It's time the football team ownership acted responsibly as well.

    April 5, 2013 at 2:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Adam

      What would be the big deal to change their name to the "Red Hogs"? Guys love to come to games wearing the pig snouts, so you keep your colors, you keep your quirky fan behavior, and you just change the name and the logo on the helmet.

      April 5, 2013 at 2:56 pm | Report abuse |
  34. Serious Truth

    I don't like the "W" word either. How can it be OK to call me white but not call someone else yellow, red, or black?

    April 5, 2013 at 2:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • white guy

      Ah, the problems of privilege...

      April 5, 2013 at 3:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • clevercandi

      does this mean we're all just crayons in the big game of life? 😉

      April 5, 2013 at 4:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • LivingInTheSouthwest

      Asians aren't yellow. American Indians aren't red. African Americans aren't really black. White's identify as whites. Therefore, why not use the term. As a group, African Americans have shied away from the term "black" but it isn't in the same derogatory category as yellow and red when describing people.

      April 5, 2013 at 4:00 pm | Report abuse |
  35. Omni

    I didn't see her in any of the footage next to MLK or John Lewis. When black teens were getting scalped in Montgomery Alabama by water hoses she was no where to be found. Where's her dog bite scares. Can't remember seeing not one Native stand up for what my parents fought and died for. Yeah, the white man treated us all like dirt but your people didn't get into the fight until it was safe. Sorry sister. I like the Redskins.

    April 5, 2013 at 2:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Adam

      CONGRATULATIONS! You win most ignorant comment of the day.

      April 5, 2013 at 2:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • ME II

      Go back to school and read up on things like Wounded Knee and Trail of Tears.

      April 5, 2013 at 3:25 pm | Report abuse |
  36. Craptastic

    As a sports fan, you are usually honored by your mascot. There are exceptions of course (Banana Slugs, Buckeyes, a Tree, etc), but for the most part, any tough and revered person/group, animal or thing is a great mascot to respect. Most people who are not Native Americans honor and respect the fierce bravery that the Native Americans have displayed over many generations. If the team you root for has that image, then you embrace that role and respect it. While I agree 'Redskin' is a derrogatory term and likely should be changed, most others are not. Being a Spartan fan, I embrace the role of a Spartan warrior and their respect and honor, not poking fun at Greeks.

    April 5, 2013 at 2:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Adam

      Ignorance is not an excuse. You can say all you want "No... we're named the chinks because we admire the work ethic of the Chinese laborers who built the railroads" . That doesn't make it less offensive.

      April 5, 2013 at 2:44 pm | Report abuse |
      • JT

        .... and he said he didn't agree with the use of the term redskins.

        April 5, 2013 at 3:17 pm | Report abuse |
  37. Mike

    Why aren't you also standing up against Notre Dame for their portrayal of the Irish???? What about the New England Patriots?? surely the people who fought in the revolution shouldn't be mocked! The problem is that this person only cares about the matter that pertains to her rather then fighting any logo that is a caricature against a group of people that may be found insensitive to some. The problem is, if she did that, she would realize that most logos are a caricature of a group of people and that she be banning half the logos that exist.

    April 5, 2013 at 2:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • veronica13

      Nice theory; however, white people have far less incidence of oppression – sooooo, those who have experienced this type of abuse are sensitive for good reason. They must also be diligent to prevent a relapse in negative stereotypes that attempt to put them down. I'm sure you're white and have no experience with this, or you wouldn't say such ignorant things.

      April 5, 2013 at 2:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Adam

      First of all, most nicknames are animals. Not groups of people. Second, this sin't just a name of a group of people, it's an offensive slur that refers to a group of people. If Notre Dame were the Fightin' Micks, you can bet people would be offended.

      April 5, 2013 at 3:04 pm | Report abuse |
  38. DJB

    I am 100%, 4/4 blood, Native American from Arizona - Navajo Tribe. I find the name"redskin" to be derogatory and offensive. The Washington DC NFL football team should change their name, the sooner the better.

    April 5, 2013 at 2:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Adam

      I have decided not to even refer to them as anything but the Washington NFL team anymore. I'm not going to use that name.

      April 5, 2013 at 2:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Guy

      I once was in Red Mesa, AZ. The local school, on a reservation, was nicknamed the "Red Mesa Redskins." I wish now that I would have taken a picture to show, but if you are so inflamed by this issue, go out and take a look for yourself.

      April 5, 2013 at 3:34 pm | Report abuse |
  39. Bo Thomas

    Hmm... let's consider the unintended consequences of the "offended's" wishes. Eliminate the 900 remaining mascots and further bury any memory of American Indians. Eventually American Indians will be reduced to a brief sentence or two in US History books. The offended do not speak for the majority and seldom do. How about addressing the 3rd world status of most reservations due to the destroyed work ethic and ambition of another unintended consequence – welfare payments on the reservation. Whoops, my mistake. It's those darn mascots that have destroyed the work ethic and ambition.

    April 5, 2013 at 2:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • ME II

      Blame the victim, metaphorically?
      Not that Native Americans are "victims", but they are on reservations because the US took their land and put them there.
      We (figurative US) broke it,we bought it.

      April 5, 2013 at 2:40 pm | Report abuse |
      • ken

        Wish they would still take shiny items for their land.

        April 5, 2013 at 3:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sirjohnathan

      Hope that rant made you feel better about your ignorance. I guess if you have no rebuttal, change the conversation completely? Great job!

      April 5, 2013 at 2:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Adam

      You're absolutely right. I mean, no teams have an Eskimo mascot, and that's why everyone has completely forget that Eskimos exist.

      April 5, 2013 at 2:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • OriginalAmericanNDN

      I so look forward to encounters with the "all-knowing white males concerning anything Native American"!! ((=

      So, on your NDN Rez, where the welfare checks roll in...do NDNs not want to work? Is welfare our only source of income? What are we doing in those Tribal Colleges? How does it work if the tribe has a headquarters & area but no land for members to live on? What about the NDNs that live in states without Rezs or Tribal Agencies? Do they still get welfare?

      Wise one, do tell.

      April 5, 2013 at 7:31 pm | Report abuse |
  40. Chase

    I agree with you. I can't believe some people don't get how offensive that is.

    April 5, 2013 at 2:31 pm | Report abuse |
  41. Alex

    These teams mean no disresepct to any of the Native Amiercans out there. Also you don't hear too many cries for schhols like Notre Dame to change their mascot of the fighting Irish...I am irish and couldn't care less about that.

    April 5, 2013 at 2:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • LivingInTheSouthwest

      A fair number of comments have said the same thing you did and the replies are all about the same. "Irish" isn't derogatory while "Redskins" is. The "Fighting Micks" would most likely be considered too offensive.

      April 5, 2013 at 4:13 pm | Report abuse |
  42. Tom

    Just change the team name to The Washington Natives. This way you don't have to change to logo or any of the colors, and the name still sounds pretty cool....and I'm an Eagles fan.

    April 5, 2013 at 2:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • who cares

      I'm offended by you, eagles fan

      April 5, 2013 at 2:32 pm | Report abuse |
  43. Josh

    I've never understood people obsession with words. By her logic, someone saying "That's my friend over there; the redskin woman" is worse than someone saying "Get out of here, we don't like your kind". That just doesn't make any darn sense. The context and intention is what makes something offensive, not any word by itself. The funny part is the harder people work to label a word as offensive, the longer the word is going to stick around. Heck, I didn't even know what a wetback was until I read the article about "the w-word" the other day.

    April 5, 2013 at 2:25 pm | Report abuse |
  44. rmahone

    Hail to the Redskins....these people are in the extreme minority. Isn't it majority rules and the minority has the right to be heard....oh, that's right, not in America anymore........if one person doesn't like something, we tend to want to change everything for that one person.....also, is this the worst thing that is happening in their lives????? I say get a life....start worrying about our economy, the jobless rate, North Korea, Iran, etc......things that will definitely impact EVERYONES life in the long run!!!!!!

    April 5, 2013 at 2:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Adam

      You would've loved the 1830's... Majority of people weren't black, so they had no problem with black people doing work for no pay.

      April 5, 2013 at 2:36 pm | Report abuse |
      • Joe

        That comment brightened my day.

        April 5, 2013 at 4:34 pm | Report abuse |
  45. Tank Manhammer

    If Native Americans don't want to be demeaned, maybe they should build a time machine, go back to the 14-1500s, and better arm themselves so that they can take on a superior force.

    April 5, 2013 at 2:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • JohnathanBL

      Oh wow! you are so smart!! this is the smartest comment I've read all day long. What an amazing idea you got going on here. You must be part of this superior race you talk about.

      April 5, 2013 at 2:29 pm | Report abuse |
      • Tank Manhammer

        Ha ha, no. I just wanted to get people all worked up. You took the bait!

        April 5, 2013 at 2:31 pm | Report abuse |
  46. GFBF

    Yep, I would not want to be remembered as a native American either. Really they stayed in the stone age while the other half of the world was navigating vast oceans. They became so relaxed in their ways they allowed their people to be conquered. Yeah, what a great story. I was sitting by the brook watching the rolling waves in dammed creek made by beavers in playful harmony while the other people in the world was EVOLVING. HAHAHAHA

    April 5, 2013 at 2:23 pm | Report abuse |
  47. stevef

    If you have to tell someone the name is racist. Is it really racist anymore? Cant a word change...if racism isn't in the heart of the person using it and admiration is...Dont you plant the idea of racism? Cant racism grow back into the name?
    But in the end its up for the Native Americans to decide.

    April 5, 2013 at 2:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • ky

      you make the most sense ive read all day

      April 5, 2013 at 3:58 pm | Report abuse |
  48. Chief J Strongbow

    Maybe to make the Native Americans that are offended feel better we could put them on some special land and send them a government check every month. You know just to make amends.

    April 5, 2013 at 2:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • shelly

      been there done that didn't work the first time

      April 5, 2013 at 5:07 pm | Report abuse |
  49. merlinfire

    Would you name your team after something you didn't respect?

    Washington Senators aside, of course.

    April 5, 2013 at 2:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • mordredwater

      hmmm...if you respect them so much, why are they offended?

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

        Victim mentality?

        April 5, 2013 at 7:09 pm | Report abuse |
  50. Guest13126

    I totally agree. PC is out of control.

    April 5, 2013 at 2:15 pm | Report abuse |
  51. brad

    Hail to the Darkskins. Hail victory. Zulus on the warpath. Fight! for old DC. Yep you are right, not offensive at all. Sing at the nex game.

    April 5, 2013 at 2:11 pm | Report abuse |
  52. Matthew

    You are an idiot. Redskin is like calling southerners Rednecks. Neither are offensive. Your ignorance is what is truly offensive.

    April 5, 2013 at 2:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • JohnathanBL

      A lot of times people get upset when they hear the truth they don't want to hear. Dear Matthew, the ignorant idiot around here is obviously you because redneck is in fact an derogatory name wether you like it or not.

      April 5, 2013 at 2:25 pm | Report abuse |
  53. Big Tim

    The Redskins logo looks very noble and tastefully done to me, can't say as much for the Indians logo.

    April 5, 2013 at 2:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • stevef

      Yeah that one is pretty bad.

      April 5, 2013 at 2:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • PC Police

      I think Cleveland should rename their team to the Cleveland Rednecks. Problem solved. Everyone can then agree that we have offended everyone, and therefore we have become equal-opportunity offenders.

      April 5, 2013 at 3:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • OriginalAmericanNDN

      How "Indian" are you to find that logo noble AND tasteful?!

      For those of you removed from this, the racism continues today. In towns & cities near Reservations. The same racism hispanics, african-americans & others of color or other differences face.

      Screaming example...look how understanding most of the people commenting are. Any attempt to understand? Just for a moment did ya replace NDN with autism, or anything else that might hit home with you?

      I can't be the only one that realizes 2 seperate lawsuits (=different people) a house bill (support from a decent #) college teams already change mascots (pressure from public). So it is NOT just this one lady & a single event when she was 6yrs old.

      April 5, 2013 at 6:56 pm | Report abuse |
  54. christian

    The NCAA likes to have things all ways, change your mascot it's offensive, blah, blah, blah.. That whole notion lost credibility when I was at The University of Alabama at Birmingham. We are the Blazers, trailblazers, but were forced to change our mascot from a cowboy looking guy, to a dragon, because the mascot was too white!! So as usual anything white is demonized so the NCAA can try to force us all to feel bad about something that for most of us, our ancestors didn't take part in, ie slavery, indian massacre.

    April 5, 2013 at 2:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Aaron

      The NCAA forced UAB to change its mascot? Really?

      April 5, 2013 at 2:35 pm | Report abuse |
  55. James E Mahler

    There is a certain type of argument, which, in fact, is not an argument, but a means of forestalling debate and extorting an opponent’s agreement with one’s undiscussed notions. It is a method of bypassing logic by means of psychological pressure. Since it is particularly prevalent in today’s culture and is going to grow more so in the next few months (years), one would do well to learn to identify it and be on guard against it.
    Just quoting some Ayn Rand...

    April 5, 2013 at 2:02 pm | Report abuse |
  56. Michael Porembski

    The logical name choice would be the Washington Lobbyists.

    April 5, 2013 at 1:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • R. Blagojevich


      April 5, 2013 at 4:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • PC Police

      Washington Filibusters

      April 5, 2013 at 5:09 pm | Report abuse |
  57. LovesanIndian

    Being engaged to a Native American member of the Eastern Band of Cherokee, I can tell you that he LOVES the Redskins and has never thought twice about the name. I can tell you what is offensive, here in TN we have an outdoor drama that is put on every year called" Liberty". The man that plays Chief Attakullakulla, known mostly as Little Carpenter, dresses in Indian dress, which is fine, BUT he paints his face a reddish color. That my friends is offensive. There is so much more that people can do to help the Native Americans, like supporting the Lakota School in ND, help raise awareness of how poor some of the tribes are and the living conditions on some of the Reservations. Offensive is ignoring history. We mustn't forget what happened before us so that new generations will not repeat it.

    April 5, 2013 at 1:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • James E Mahler

      Calling the Washington Redskins redskins is not offensive. What's really offensive is that "marvelous" idea some white people had some years ago to put huge faces of 4 white on the side of a mountain right smack in the middle of some of the most sacred native american land. Susan Show needs to stop the "show" and get a real job!!!

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

      I love that!!!

      April 7, 2013 at 6:38 am | Report abuse |
  58. Willy B

    Let's get that well known Native American Elizabeth Warren to sort things out........

    April 5, 2013 at 1:51 pm | Report abuse |
  59. G W Bush

    Hold on guys, I got this one:

    Nine... Eleven

    April 5, 2013 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse |
  60. Keli

    People are to sensitive about everything now a days. You can't call an immigrant who is here illegally an illegal immigrant. Are we going to stop calling murderers murderers? Calling women women or men men? Even sports mascots are being attacked. When I see any Native American image used as a sports mascot it is always portray favorably. They are saying their teams are fearless, strong, and willing to work to win. I have never seen any team mascot that is offensive. Sadly there is always someone who wants to stir the pot and start a fight for a "noble" reason when most times they just enjoy the spot light. Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, the ACLU..etc. Ironically they infringe on others when they attack someone or some group and force their thoughts on others. Hypocrisy. Let's just live and let live. Go for the real hate in the world. Not team mascots.

    April 5, 2013 at 1:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • rmahone

      AMEN!!!!!!! Uh Oh, did I say something with religious connotations? Am I going to be banned from the site?????? Did I offend someone by agreeing with Keli by saying "Amen"??????? PROBABLY.......and if so, KMA!

      April 5, 2013 at 2:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bili

      Doesn't it make sense that the group being described gets to decide if it's offensive? If they don't like it, change it. It's just a freaking name fer Pete's sake.

      When they rename the Washington Redskins, the Washington Rednecks then you can decide how offensive it is, mkay?

      April 5, 2013 at 3:46 pm | Report abuse |
  61. Kenneth Pierson

    File is yet again under "things people don't care about". This is yet again another example of political correctness run amok. It is part of history, accept it and move on. The majority of the world look at these logos and don't even give it a second thought. They see the Redskins and say "oh...and overpriced lousy football team".

    April 5, 2013 at 1:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • OriginalAmericanNDN

      We, native-americans, care!! The fact that you don't think we matter, that we shouldn't have a voice, don't have a right to say enough, don't deserve to be respected, is sad but expected.

      April 5, 2013 at 6:37 pm | Report abuse |
      • Joat

        If that's indeed the case, then what do you suggest be done? Should all sports teams having any name related to a Native tribe be renamed? Florida Seminoles? Atlanta Braves? Cleveland Indians? etc etc? Surely that would remove the offensive words from our society? Let's take it a step further. There are companies and organizations outside of sports that refer to Native Americans. Should those all be renamed as well? And after we're done whitewashing society and completely removing all mention of Native Americans from it to the point where Native Americans only appear as a footnote in the history books, would you be satisfied?

        I think that would be a tremendous loss to our society, merely for the sake of "not offending".

        April 7, 2013 at 7:53 am | Report abuse |
  62. Gideon

    HA! That... was... awesome...

    April 5, 2013 at 1:41 pm | Report abuse |
  63. Antonio SoCal

    Seriously......if you are NOT Native American (and I mean at least 50% not you fools who say my great great grandfather was Cherokee or something like that) then you really have NOTHING to say. I'm not Native American, I have no idea NOR claim any idea what would be offensive! Seriously you people who think this argument is stupid, just think about that! It doesn't affect YOU!

    April 5, 2013 at 1:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • SJ

      you people?????? What do you mean, YOU PEOPLE????

      April 5, 2013 at 1:43 pm | Report abuse |
      • Seriously?

        Maybe she is prejudic against sheep and meant Ewe people.

        April 5, 2013 at 1:46 pm | Report abuse |
      • DZA

        Great "Tropic Thunder" reference!

        April 5, 2013 at 3:11 pm | Report abuse |
      • James E Mahler

        Visions of Ross Perot? lol

        April 5, 2013 at 3:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • rmahone

      Get a life you idiot!!!!! If this is the stuff that keeps you up at night, you must have a pretty pathetic life!

      April 5, 2013 at 2:30 pm | Report abuse |
  64. Super Chingon

    I went to San Diego State – the Aztecs. I'm Mexican-American. I LOVE that my school choose that as their mascot!

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

      That's exactly how I feel with the "aztec" name. It represents our ancestors that will never be forgotten. They were here first before any european set foot on land. We will remember them and the ways our people were badly treated, however, I do understand other native americans feel different, we all have differences of opinion. Very proud to be of Aztec blood. Keep the name San Diego State.

      April 5, 2013 at 2:09 pm | Report abuse |
      • GoSioux

        You realize "Aztec" is not the real name. This name was given by Europeans. Mexica (Meh-sheeh-kah) is the real name. It was given in the 16th century for the people living in Aztlan.

        April 5, 2013 at 3:22 pm | Report abuse |
      • yemi716

        yes, the word Aztec. Now replace that work with brownskins. Now, how does that sound? The "San Diego Brownskins". How does that appeal to you? Because that's what they are doing in Washington. They are not singling out a specific group of native americans and paying homage. They are singling out an ENTIRE group of people by their skin tone and using THEM or IT as a team name.

        I don't understand why people can't see how they would be offended.

        April 7, 2013 at 11:54 am | Report abuse |
  65. Seriously?

    So, if it's offensive why can you say redskin and not the other 2 names you refused to use/ Hmmm?

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

      Because Native Americans are so few in number they really can't ban together to voice opposition to how those words are used. The very few who do are lambasted as what this comment section proves in the case against Suzan Shown Harjo.

      April 5, 2013 at 1:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Slevin Fleetwood

      regardless of which you choose to spell out completely, all 3 are offensive terms. If someone walked up to me and called me any of the three, I would feel that it was unacceptable. How would you feel if you were the person that's mentioned in the article... just walking in to the store and being called one of these terms?

      April 5, 2013 at 2:03 pm | Report abuse |
  66. NeverChange

    Enough already, she should really find something better to do.

    April 5, 2013 at 1:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • OriginalAmericanNDN

      Better than standing up for herself & her people? Just because this is a cause new to you does NOT mean it is!! She has been fighting this a long time. Thank GOD!

      April 5, 2013 at 6:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Barry

      Using modern logic as displayed by the defense of other cultures and creeds, if she finds it offensive, then it is.
      Wonder if this one gets through. Any previous attempt contained words I thought might trip up the blog police.

      April 7, 2013 at 7:34 am | Report abuse |
  67. Seriously?

    Let's go the Prince route and call them-the Professional Football Team Formerly Known as Redskins

    April 5, 2013 at 1:30 pm | Report abuse |

    Now the shoe is on the other foot you all scream foul Ha

    April 5, 2013 at 1:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • ceg10

      Go get them Suzan! Not everything done in the past was always right. And for those that can not understand guess what? You do not have to understand, but you need to respect the feelings of other people. If it bothers them then that is all that is required to appeal and protest the problem. A whole nation of people want it to stop! We men did not always understand everything women complained about but we eventually learned to respected their feelings. This is the same matter Redskin fans, Indian fans, and others...

      April 5, 2013 at 1:43 pm | Report abuse |
      • What If...

        Agreed, who are you people to decide what offends someone when you depict someone by the color of their skin?! Haven't we learned anything?

        April 5, 2013 at 2:52 pm | Report abuse |
  69. 2cents4free

    I dunno is Whiteskin or Blackskin offensive?

    April 5, 2013 at 1:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • A REAL GAS!

      Yes, but sadly they are here to stay...

      April 5, 2013 at 1:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • yemi716

      Are either one of those terms the name of a professional sports franchise? Nice try.

      April 7, 2013 at 11:46 am | Report abuse |
    • coldharbor1864

      You need to research history a little more. No one painted themselves WHITE or BLACK but Native American Tribes in New York and New England painted them selves up into the late 1700's with a Red Vermillion Dye that made the red. Hence the trim Redskin. The warriors did this to prepare for war.

      April 7, 2013 at 6:26 pm | Report abuse |
  70. SkyKing169

    Redskins. Indians.
    This discussion is silly.
    There is nothing derogatory in the least about these names, especially when used as the name of a sports team.
    Those whining about it really need to get a life.
    I know of many things you can do to make better use of the time you've been given. With all that we need done in the world, with all those in need of attention and help, why in the world would one waste another unforgiving minute on this?

    April 5, 2013 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • yemi716

      The term "redskin" was a blanket and bigoted term used to describe ALL natives. It's roots are derogatory. Who are YOU to say that it is not? History begs to differ.

      April 7, 2013 at 11:49 am | Report abuse |
  71. jnpa

    The r-word is not quite as bad as the n-word, but worse than the w-word. Of course the t-word and the s-words are also not very appropriate, but not as bad as the m-word and the p-word. The b-word is not really used as much as the v-word to describe l's and b's, but the q-word and the z-word are getting to be just as bad as the c-word and the d-word. So everyone just get a life and quit talking! f-word...f-word....f-word!

    April 5, 2013 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Seriously?

      A guy called me the z-word one time and I punched him out, but then I said the z-word to a woman and I got laid, so go figure.

      April 5, 2013 at 1:32 pm | Report abuse |
  72. Denver Broncos fan

    My AT&T cable box will not allow the word "redskin" as it auto corrects itself to a blank. This makes it interesting when trying to find a game. On another note: VZN has a cable box that "may" have the capability to listen in on your conversations and present ads based on them. Since when did cable boxes become politically correct and voice activated spies?

    April 5, 2013 at 1:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Fiona

      Cable box spying on your conversations? Urban legend.

      You know that they're keeping the blue food away from us, right?

      April 5, 2013 at 1:23 pm | Report abuse |
  73. Fiona

    Back when Stanford University decided the name "Stanford Indians" was not PC, the person who was most negatively affected was the real American Indian "mascot" who lost his job.

    April 5, 2013 at 1:17 pm | Report abuse |
  74. Your Mom...

    It Is Offensive...btw thanks for agreeing

    April 5, 2013 at 1:17 pm | Report abuse |
  75. Dan

    As a white male, I find the Dallas Cowboys and the London Knights to be offensive to my race and culture.

    On a serious note, just having a mascot character from a particular race or culture shouldn't be offensive unless it is intentionally to demean or be made a focal point of ridicule for example, which I'm sure in these instances they are not.

    April 5, 2013 at 1:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • MontanaTrace

      Intent is the determining factor. Are the members of the Boy's Club of America, all black men?

      April 7, 2013 at 9:57 am | Report abuse |
  76. Tim

    I like how reasonable people are posting on here. Agree with everyone above.

    April 5, 2013 at 1:15 pm | Report abuse |
  77. Michael Mattson

    In Alaska, a small high school off the road system uses the mascot "half-breeds". True story. Aniak Halfbreeds. And they love it.

    April 5, 2013 at 1:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • really...

      Great story. Who loves it?

      April 8, 2013 at 12:07 pm | Report abuse |
  78. Fiona

    It's kind of funny - possibly telling - that this woman with so much professed pride in her heritage blondes her hair.

    April 5, 2013 at 1:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • What If...

      I think it is grey from dealing with people like you

      April 5, 2013 at 2:50 pm | Report abuse |
  79. Hop

    The caricatures I'm not so big on (like the grinning Indian)....but if it's a more "honest" representation (like hockey's Blackhawks or Washington's logo), then it's cool. You don't name your team after something weak or stupid (unless you're the "Ducks").

    April 5, 2013 at 1:12 pm | Report abuse |
  80. Steve Phelps

    VIKINGS! BUCCANEERS! RAIDERS! FIGHTING IRISH ... nuff said. Its only racist if it isn't 'white" 😛

    April 5, 2013 at 1:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Fiona

      As an Irish person, I do get offended by the wide use of Irish stereotypes and slurs - the drunken Paddy, the inane leprechaun, etc.

      April 5, 2013 at 1:20 pm | Report abuse |
      • Kevin

        You need to develop a thicker skin to the use of words. I'm Irish and I don't mind a bit that they call us mick or paddy. But then again, who gives a rat's a.. what others think. Live your life and enjoy the day. Let's a have a drink and start a fight.

        April 6, 2013 at 9:28 am | Report abuse |
    • ME II

      I don't know why don't you ask the vikings, buccaneers, and raiders... if you can find some.

      April 5, 2013 at 2:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Don Black

      Yes because whites got to do the naming. Were the Seminoles consulted when their name and culture was misrepresented by Florida State? Any of the nations contacted to find out if they might be offended by the term Redskin? Or, were the Apache contacted to see if they might be offended if a weapon of war was named after them? No, because if they had it might be different, or it might not. The point is Native Americans should have a say in how they and their culture are portrayed to the nation and the world.

      April 7, 2013 at 1:10 pm | Report abuse |
  81. PC BS

    Illigal imigrants, Chicago and now the Redskins. What's next – removing the cheetah off of flaming hot cheetos?

    April 5, 2013 at 1:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Missy Yvonne

      Yours is the first post that actually made me laugh out loud. Thanks.

      April 5, 2013 at 2:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • James E Mahler

      But only if cheetah is on break like in the commercial, lmao Thanks for the laugh PC BC.

      April 5, 2013 at 3:11 pm | Report abuse |
  82. dre

    Wow this country has become way to sensitive, everyone nowadays is looking for their 15 min of fame by complaining about something or finding some sort of reason to sue someone. Enough, this is ridiculous, stop whining so much about every little thing.

    April 5, 2013 at 1:03 pm | Report abuse |
  83. Scott

    I've never considered Redskin to be an offensive word because my skin IS red. The truth never offends me. The N-word is not a descriptive term based on some trait and is clearly derogatory. Does it offend the African American community to be referred to as Black? There is no judgment implied in the word red unless someone tries to convince me otherwise. Then I tell that person to get a life.

    April 5, 2013 at 1:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • What If...

      What if someone told you they don't allow WHTIESKINS in their store; would you be flattered? (assuming you're white).

      April 5, 2013 at 2:49 pm | Report abuse |
  84. Average White Guy

    I NEVER thought any mascot was offensive, I dont understand their point as it being offensive and not honoring or flattery.
    I think the Chicago Blackhawk is the best logo in sports, and could certainly relate to a native american based mascot over something like the Fighting Irish !!!!

    April 5, 2013 at 1:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • C M Bennett

      I am Celtic and Cherokee. My spouse is Celtic and Seminole. I hold a degree from FSU. This whole discussion is absurd!
      Fighting Irish, Boston Celtics; Minnesota Vikings; Dallas Cowboys; FSU Seminoles; etc. are all revered Team Mascot Names. Fellow Native Americans; Irish and Scotts, both Celtic Peoples; etc., feel honored. Peace!

      April 5, 2013 at 4:42 pm | Report abuse |
  85. Cameron

    This all does seem a little ridiculous. And noone seems to have mentioned that she and her huband co-produced "Seeing Red, " a bi-weekly radio program on WBAI-FM in New York City, which was the first regularly-scheduled Indian news and analysis show in the United States. So for her Indian news show she can use red, short for redskins, or at the very least a term to indicate they are neither white nor black, but complains about a football team and other schools?? Get over yourself. Find a real cause for NAs.

    April 5, 2013 at 12:57 pm | Report abuse |
  86. NorCalMojo

    What a ridiculous argument. People don't name teams after things they hate or deride, they name them after things they admire and want to emulate. Modern Native American activists are destroying their own legacy with their eternal whining and attention seeking.

    April 5, 2013 at 12:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • ME II

      If you respect them ... then why are they offended?

      April 5, 2013 at 2:33 pm | Report abuse |
      • Steve

        The voice of a few doesnt equate to them speaking for all.

        April 5, 2013 at 3:50 pm | Report abuse |
  87. Kevin, CO

    Let's rename them the Washington Gridlock.

    April 5, 2013 at 12:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Yeah!

      That would be awesome!

      April 5, 2013 at 2:00 pm | Report abuse |
  88. seamus sims

    Arguments based on what fraction of our society finds something offensive are fairly weak. Ethics by consensus can be eroded quite rapidly and silently as we found out with the genocide of the 20th century. If we claim to embrace certain values then we have to embrace the consequences of those values, even if they are horribly inconvenient and unpleasant– like changing the mascot of an athletic team. Do we claim to hold values that uphold the dignity of humanity? If so, then we have to face the simple historical reality of native American genocide as part of our history and put our big boy pants on and deal with it. Not having native American mascots is a very small part of that.

    April 5, 2013 at 12:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Don Black


      April 7, 2013 at 1:13 pm | Report abuse |
  89. Jeff from SD

    It's actually worse than the "N" word. You do not hear of Native Americans calling each other the "R" word, going out on TV or radio singing the "R" word. Black Americans do it every day.

    April 5, 2013 at 12:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • billy

      The N-word would never be a team name. The N word is way worse.

      April 5, 2013 at 1:01 pm | Report abuse |
      • billy

        Btw, I am a 'black american' and i never use that word, so its probably best not to generalize Jeff

        April 5, 2013 at 1:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sara

      Please...you must not be Native American nor black.

      April 5, 2013 at 1:09 pm | Report abuse |
  90. Dale

    Why is it that minorities always feel that we need to ban every nickname? If I, as a white man, went overseas and was the minority in any other country, I would be referred to as any given nickname they call "white people". Honestly I don't care. I embrace it. I'm not ashamed I'm white and maybe thats something minorities need to figure out.

    Don't be ashamed of who you are. Look down upon the people who cannot over come their prejudices.

    April 5, 2013 at 12:53 pm | Report abuse |
  91. Native

    I grew up on a reservation and most of my family still lives there. I can't imagine anyone from my tribe ever giving a damn about this. If you're native american and your biggest problem in life is professional sports logos, you are indeed very very lucky.

    If this lady wants to spend her life "helping" native americans, there's at least 1000 better things she could be working toward. Additionally, natives are very proud of their heritage and I don't know any that would consider Redskin to be offensive, even if it were hurled at them personally. They'd say "damn right i'm a redskin and i'm proud of it".

    That being said, if a new team came out named the "BlackSkins", there would be riots all over the country.

    April 5, 2013 at 12:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • 9erFan

      then there you go. By your own admission it should be changed. I like Chieftans.

      April 5, 2013 at 12:54 pm | Report abuse |
      • Native

        I never said it should be changed. I said natives don't care one bit either way. Except for this lady of course, who seems far too sensitive.

        April 5, 2013 at 1:02 pm | Report abuse |
      • Jerry D

        Can you read? He said no one would care. Its not an issue to them, The name is not offensive.

        April 5, 2013 at 7:16 pm | Report abuse |
  92. Bukoo

    I'm curious, which group of people is it that decided to degrade the race of the Native American (As well as other races) who are the true owners of this country? This same brutal insensitive group that came to America and slaughtered Native American men, women and children and killed massive amounts of buffalo and other animals, not for food but for sport and money. And now with stupid mascots and the derogatory names this same group of people who have never had any sensitivity or reverence for land or man continue their brutality throughout the world. SHAME ON YOU AND IT'S VERY CLEAR WHERE THE REAL PROBLEM IS.

    April 5, 2013 at 12:46 pm | Report abuse |
  93. LOOK IT UP!

    RED.SKIN-n. Offensive Slang
    Used as a disparaging term for a Native American.
    usage: This term is rarely used today. It is perceived as insulting to Native Americans

    April 5, 2013 at 12:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tom

      It's on the internet it must be true! The truth is it's a loud minority of actual Native Americans that are offended.

      April 5, 2013 at 12:47 pm | Report abuse |
      • 9erFan

        its's actually in the dictionary...you know, that's a book...ever use one?

        April 5, 2013 at 12:51 pm | Report abuse |
  94. Tom

    I like the name The Washington Hogs or maybe The Washington Razorbacks. The Hogs was the nickname of offensive line during the 80's and early 90's. It has a lot of team history.

    April 5, 2013 at 12:42 pm | Report abuse |
  95. Joe

    The "R" word is equivalent to the "N" word.......the NFL and Mr. Snyder should finally do something about it.

    April 5, 2013 at 12:41 pm | Report abuse |
  96. Lemme Guess

    Cherokee right?

    April 5, 2013 at 12:40 pm | Report abuse |
  97. Umm

    How about naming them after an indigent Tribe that lived in the lands that Washington(D.C.) currently resides?

    Makes more sense then you know being racist....

    April 5, 2013 at 12:35 pm | Report abuse |
  98. Don Jones

    We treated the native americans far worse than we did the slaves. Some tribes that were farmerrs were exteminated methodically, and in general we did our best to eliminate at great cost.

    April 5, 2013 at 12:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • washingtonredskins

      White people put the black people to work, they just shot the indians!

      April 7, 2013 at 8:27 am | Report abuse |
  99. jxb7076

    bottom line: if the majority of the subject group thinks it's racially, or culturally insensitive – then it's offensive and any use of an offensive term should cease. how would the majority of white americans feel about terms like "washington rednecks", as oppose to washington redskins – and use images of klans in white sheets? The klans certainly had a fighting spirit equal to, or greater than that of the native americans. how would the majority of african americans feel about terms like "washington homeboys", or asian, mexican, german, italian americans being represented in culturally demogatory terms at the national level. such terms dimish the contributions of these groups in the building of america and subconsciously set a presidence of racial superiority among the groups using such terms. It is different if a black man calls himself the 'n' word as oppose to some other group. however, if the black man want the cultural respect he think he deserves then even he should refrain from the use of the negative term.

    If the offended groups are unable to eliminate the use of the negative terms in public sports then perhaps they should patent the term, making it an issue of intellectual properties and capitalize on its use. If they took this approach they would have greater success towards eliminating the culturally offensive use of the names. This approach would force schools and professional sports organizations to pay the offended groups, or be heavily fined. Just a thought.

    April 5, 2013 at 12:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dan

      But the vast majority of the group supports the team name... So by your own argument, I guess it's ok then now?

      April 5, 2013 at 12:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • SoCalGal62

      I agree - patent the term and force folks to stop using derogatory verbage. I don't understand why anyone would need to use that kind of language in the 21st Century. Maybe I'm naive, but I'd like to think we're beyond that as a society. The N-word, the R-Word the W-Word, J-Word, C-Word... you name it... are all meant to be demeaning and hurtful and anyone using it then saying they didn't mean to be offensive is lying. How about we all just practice some come sense and decency for once? Our society needs to start practicing the virtue of being respectful towards others.

      April 5, 2013 at 12:45 pm | Report abuse |
      • me

        Removing the word from usage does not remove any underlying racism.

        April 5, 2013 at 12:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Evangelicide

      "Washington Rednecks..." "Klan hoods..."

      That's quite possibly the most awesome thing I've read in months!

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

      "how would the majority of white americans feel about terms like "washington rednecks", "

      Dude... no one would care.

      April 5, 2013 at 12:54 pm | Report abuse |
  100. Umm

    Want not just name them the Washington Rednecks?

    April 5, 2013 at 12:32 pm | Report abuse |
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