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. Pee-so-Tum

    My grandmother is full blooded Shawnee. omg I have no issues with the Washington "Redskins" name. It makes me proud that the american indian name is displayed! Give us a break "Save your people?" Suzan Shown Harjo I'm not one of "your" people. Regards, W. Bluejacket (native american indian)

    April 7, 2013 at 9:48 am | Report abuse |
  2. Hmmmmm

    I am part Apache, most of the people trying remove mascot names are a bunch of malcontents. They go from one issue to the next. Rey are consumers , not producers.

    April 7, 2013 at 9:47 am | Report abuse |
    • StillKillingEm

      I'm glad you feel that way. I've always thought Apache was the hottest word in the English language – connotes courage, majesty, steadfastness, honor, strength, dignity. Can't imagine why any Native American would be offended by all this. To me these names are a tribute to heritage and culture. This PC stuff is getting scary.

      April 7, 2013 at 11:57 am | Report abuse |
  3. brsinai

    This is beyond stupid. The term "redskin" is not even used anymore and it is only ever associated with a sports team. When it is used, it is not used as a pejorative, but simply to describe the other team. Everyone has to have some sort of agenda, today, no matter how ridiculous.

    April 7, 2013 at 9:46 am | Report abuse |
    • John Brunner

      So true.

      April 7, 2013 at 9:53 am | Report abuse |
    • th

      you don't get it because your a racist, Right?

      April 7, 2013 at 10:38 am | Report abuse |
  4. Timmy

    Navajo white is the name of a shade of paint. But perhaps that is offensive to Navajos. Why not go onto a rez and ask one, "Hey, are you Navajo white?"

    April 7, 2013 at 9:46 am | Report abuse |

      not the same tranny

      April 7, 2013 at 9:55 am | Report abuse |
  5. BFD

    OK, then change the name to the Washington Native Americans.

    April 7, 2013 at 9:45 am | Report abuse |

    Whether the speaker or actor considers something he or she has done as offensive is irrelevant. If an entire group feels offended, than the action or word is offensive. The Golden Rule, shared by all great religions, would condemn the action. If these criteria apply, the only moral thing to do is to change the name.

    April 7, 2013 at 9:43 am | Report abuse |
  7. coyote

    I think its because we grew up loving and revering the Indians and we just expected them to know that. that Indians were fierce warriors and if we took their names for our teams we were tapping into that age old strength. we never meant to insult anyone and we are sorry you are insulted, as a 1/8th black foot I must say I am not at all insulted.

    April 7, 2013 at 9:43 am | Report abuse |
  8. dirksterdude

    I don't consider it offensive or racist at all. Then again I'm not a Native American. When I think of the term Washington Redskins or Cleveland Indians I think of warriors going into battle taking on there enemies or rivals. That is why it has never occurred to me to associate it with racism along with too much political correctness that has come into our society.

    April 7, 2013 at 9:43 am | Report abuse |
  9. msanders2

    People of Bohemian descent have seen the adjective "bohemian" become part of what the press and the public use to describe an alternative lifestyle, frequently in a less than complimentary way and never in a realistic way.

    They are apparently either smart or busy enough to not have the time to seek to have the adjective "bohemian" be banned from our media and conversations.

    April 7, 2013 at 9:42 am | Report abuse |
  10. j franklin

    Disappointed but not surprised at how insensitive we can be. It's only when an issue affects us personally that we seem to give a damn

    April 7, 2013 at 9:42 am | Report abuse |
    • dirksterdude

      If people never knew it was an issue then why would they care?

      April 7, 2013 at 9:47 am | Report abuse |
    • Yasharal

      Exactly. These people think its about 'nationailty'. Its about using 'SKIN COLOR' to name a team! It's about some of the 'images' they use as mascots. Vikings and Saints are not skin colors. Even Indians. But "RedSkin" is. They will never understand. People of color helped build this country too. Until they understand what its like to always be singled out by skin color, instead of character...they won't understand the point. If this was supposedly and 'honorable' thing, than why not make the whiteskins? Or Chief Wahoo could have been more 'honorable'....whatever...

      April 7, 2013 at 9:52 am | Report abuse |
      • logikflux

        Giant's is so demeaning. I prefer vertically inclined.

        April 7, 2013 at 11:09 am | Report abuse |
  11. will

    By this logic, people over 6'5" should be mad at the Giants and P.E.T.A should boycott The Dolphins.

    April 7, 2013 at 9:41 am | Report abuse |
    • Coral

      Would you feel offended in anyway if an all-native american team was called the whiteskins? Im not trying to start an argument. But what you're saying is really offensive. There is no team out there called the "blackskins, yellowskins, whiteskins" just have a little common decency for the point theyre trying to make.

      April 7, 2013 at 9:54 am | Report abuse |
  12. Andy

    Must we pacify every person that is easily offended in our society? This story is about another pusher of the victim mentality that paralyzes so many people from actually doing something useful with their life. Let's ban the "Buccanneers"-Pirates are people too. Let's ban the "Saints"-too religious. And the "Lions"-horrible images of circus animals being mistreated, and the worst of all? The "Dolphins"-those poor mammals that get blended up in our tuna!!!!

    April 7, 2013 at 9:41 am | Report abuse |
  13. Timmy

    I suppose if we weren't using any Indian symbols they'd say that was racist as well.

    April 7, 2013 at 9:40 am | Report abuse |
  14. Yasharal

    Edomites will never understand and will continue to make excuses for their evil. Your days are numbered...

    April 7, 2013 at 9:39 am | Report abuse |
    • Dennis

      Evil?...maybe misguided or uninformed.Certianly not evil!

      April 7, 2013 at 10:13 am | Report abuse |
  15. Boring Media Hype

    We are witnessing the destruction of America folks. We used to be governed by the rules of majority but that no longer applies. We are all now the slaves of the few special interests that force their beliefs upon us one at a time until we're all bound to them. Fight back...fight back hard or don't complain about the consequences later.

    April 7, 2013 at 9:39 am | Report abuse |
    • katty wompus

      Elvis already destroyed America.

      April 7, 2013 at 9:55 am | Report abuse |
    • magickalwolrld

      How do you know that that the majority does not agree? I am a white woman who happens to think that "Redskins" is very offensive. The country now has more Latino and African Americans than Whites, so it would not surprise me at all to find that the majority of Americans would agree that it is offensive. I don't , however think some of the other Native American team imagery such as the Chhicago "Blackhawks" is offensive, nor is their logo. I think it is a nod to honor that tribe. I think there has to be some reason involved, not just a end all mentality.

      April 7, 2013 at 9:59 am | Report abuse |
  16. gager

    I love redskin peanuts. Opps, did I do a unpolitically correct like.

    April 7, 2013 at 9:39 am | Report abuse |
    • logikflux

      Is that a euphemism?

      April 7, 2013 at 11:11 am | Report abuse |
  17. ellen

    People put way to much importance on words. They're not cheering for the name, they're cheering for the team.

    April 7, 2013 at 9:35 am | Report abuse |
    • magickalwolrld

      So then it would be okay in your world to have a team called, for example, the Pihiladelphia "Ns-word" if people were cheering for the team? That is not a logical argument.

      April 7, 2013 at 10:02 am | Report abuse |
  18. billy poole

    They want to use our tax dollar to pay for the cost to change that.

    April 7, 2013 at 9:35 am | Report abuse |
  19. woodie

    The word redskin does seem a tad racist. But then again, non-whites are the most racist people in America.

    April 7, 2013 at 9:35 am | Report abuse |
  20. Diggs

    I find it astonishing that native Americans continue to try to wipe their race from all vestiges of American life. Instead of being honored they are being erased by their own hand.

    April 7, 2013 at 9:35 am | Report abuse |
    • Ashley DeLoach

      I'm sorry... honored? Yes ignorance and genocide! Yay!

      April 7, 2013 at 9:51 am | Report abuse |
  21. WannaMontana

    As a Saints fan, should I be offended at the religious inference. Well I'm not! Its now just a name. Get over yourself. Go Saints and go Redskins.

    April 7, 2013 at 9:34 am | Report abuse |
    • recklesss

      Because it's not a slur. lol it's pretty sad when you try to make a point and don't understand what a slur is

      April 7, 2013 at 12:26 pm | Report abuse |
  22. Dave

    Meh, How about the negative Nordic stereotypes that Minnesota's team is perpetuating with their racist name? Or that 49ers mascot running around hooting and hollering like a maniac? My great(x4) grandfather was a part of the Gold rush & I don't appreciate their portrayal of him.

    April 7, 2013 at 9:34 am | Report abuse |
    • honestwagner

      The only difference here is that 49er is not used to describe race/ethnicity and viking not widely understood as derogatory.

      April 7, 2013 at 10:43 am | Report abuse |
    • recklesss

      See you don't even understand what a slur is. You keep trying to make comparisons but you don't seem to grasp the issue. Redskin is a slur. Viking is not. If they were called they rapers and pillagers then you would have a point

      April 7, 2013 at 12:25 pm | Report abuse |
  23. JustThat

    I guess we need to write to the New York baseball team too. After all, the word "Yankee" may be offensive to some Northerners.

    In southern California is a team I'm sure atheists are offended by. The Angels should change their name, too

    And in Houston there's a baseball team which offends people who are still wondering where our flying cars are. That should be changed, too.

    Yes, I'm kidding.

    April 7, 2013 at 9:32 am | Report abuse |
  24. James Robinson

    I think that society is going to the extreme. Being politically correct to the point we lose our ability to rationalize things. Sadly, there are people who simply spend their time trying to find things to "fix". The Redskins portray the Indians as fierce warriors. There is no negativity in the way the franchise portrays or has the mascot act. Miss Harjo needs to move past her experiences as a child and let it be. It would be like me holding a grudge against anyone that was of a certain ethnicity just because of how 1 particular young classmate use to treat me.

    April 7, 2013 at 9:31 am | Report abuse |
    • Ashley DeLoach

      Has our culture gotten so used to offending people and not caring about correctness and other people, that if it doesn't offend you it's okay? There is absolutely nothing wrong with being "politically correct", it's just...correct.

      April 7, 2013 at 9:49 am | Report abuse |
      • James Robinson

        being nice is one thing. being overly sensitive is not. we have an approach that everyone is right if their feelings are hurt. sometimes you will get offended. doesnt mean the other person is wrong. it just means you see things differently.

        April 7, 2013 at 10:29 am | Report abuse |
  25. AGeek

    "Just because you're offended, does not mean you're right."

    April 7, 2013 at 9:31 am | Report abuse |
    • WannaMontana

      exactly, ... she needs to get over herself

      April 7, 2013 at 9:42 am | Report abuse |
    • Redskins Fan

      Bingo! We have winner!

      Hail to the Redskins!

      April 7, 2013 at 9:45 am | Report abuse |
  26. becky schulz-donnelly

    I find it offensive for fat chicks to eat their McDonalds in front of me. Oh, are some offended? Fine call me skinny and big nosed.....I don't care. Something will always offend someone and this columnist offends my eyes. Ignorant...heck yeh, but so is all this. Campaign for cancer, not changing something that doesn't matter.

    April 7, 2013 at 9:31 am | Report abuse |
    • logikflux

      I am also offended by fat people eating Mcdonald's. Let's form an alliance.

      April 7, 2013 at 11:14 am | Report abuse |
  27. ryan

    Who cares....crybabies need to worry more about toughening up americas youth and teach them skills to make a good living instead of raising generations of whiners who think mediocrity is exceptional

    April 7, 2013 at 9:30 am | Report abuse |
  28. rukia

    Last time Washington DC had to change a team name; we lost the Bullets and gained the Wizards. Just terrible man. I hope it never happens again!

    April 7, 2013 at 9:27 am | Report abuse |
    • hollistergrant

      I agree! The Bullets is a much better name than the Wizards. People renamed the team after a lot of gun homicides. I think the team went downhill after the name change, too.

      April 7, 2013 at 9:45 am | Report abuse |
      • recklesss

        Rex Chapman was one of you best players. They were horrible as the bullets

        April 7, 2013 at 12:38 pm | Report abuse |
  29. Scott

    How is using a word more offensive than the idea that censorship is acceptable?

    April 7, 2013 at 9:25 am | Report abuse |
    • recklesss

      It's called evolution of a society. We advance and realize the mistakes we make like using derogatory terms. It's not censorship you can say what ever you would like. This is about a team representing a state and our nations capitol that is named a slur. Of course it's not offensive to you because it's not directed too you. Do you get decide what is offensive to every culture?

      April 7, 2013 at 9:50 am | Report abuse |
  30. shing

    It's senseless how non native americans think they have a right to conclude what's not offensive when it comes to using cultural symbols.

    April 7, 2013 at 9:24 am | Report abuse |
    • Kenneth

      There is but only one symbol from history I would find offensive. That would be the Swatstika. I am not jewish, but when it comes to such hatred to attempt genocide of a whole race. Thats just too much. Now I will tell a joke of a R-word, then one of a mexican then a black then an even bigger one of a white person. Yes I am caucasion (to be politically correct and not offend anyone here). If you cannot laugh at yourself. Your gonna die unhappy.

      April 7, 2013 at 10:02 am | Report abuse |
  31. Mike Payne

    This is sort of like the Illini with the "Dancing Chief" - Or whatever they call it.

    One day VERY SOON at an Illini Game - I am going to show up in a Pope Costume as "The Dancing Pope" - And Hop, Twirl, and Dance around sprinkling and bestowing God's Blessings on everyone.


    April 7, 2013 at 9:23 am | Report abuse |
    • oranjellojones

      Mike folks dress up like Clergy and go to parties, get drunk and act like complete fools all over the world every Halloween. Google "Pope costume" and you'll get pages of examples to buy. Where's the Catholic outrage? That was a weak point.

      April 7, 2013 at 9:28 am | Report abuse |
      • recklesss

        But they aren't endorsed by a college or pro sports team.

        April 7, 2013 at 9:52 am | Report abuse |
  32. Ralph

    These articles are relevant for what and are published for what purpose.

    April 7, 2013 at 9:21 am | Report abuse |
  33. JimInMS

    I'm of Irish descent, and I am not the least bit offended by the mascots "Fighting Irish" or "Celtics". They don't diminish me or my heritage in any way. Even if you say "Fighting Irish" reinforces a stereotype, so what? I'm not so sensitive that I feel like Notre Dame is calling me hot-tempered. Some people are just looking for something to complain about.

    April 7, 2013 at 9:21 am | Report abuse |
    • Andy

      Oh sure, you're not offended NOW, but wait until you get some drinks in you! 😉

      P.S. I have a fair amount of Irish ancestry myself.

      April 7, 2013 at 9:33 am | Report abuse |
  34. Ryan Reinhart

    This is the stupidest thing I have ever heard!! Anything to get on the news people should really get a life!!!!

    April 7, 2013 at 9:20 am | Report abuse |
  35. Ralph

    These articles are published and relevant for what.

    April 7, 2013 at 9:18 am | Report abuse |
  36. Joe

    Don't stop at just some team names. Imagine the shame you bring to patriots everywhere by having them as a team name. And angels, there must be a special place in hell waiting for their fans. LOL

    April 7, 2013 at 9:17 am | Report abuse |
    • Brandon

      And what the hell is a seahawk?

      April 7, 2013 at 6:46 pm | Report abuse |
  37. Connie Montana

    Please, I prefer to read about a worthier passion to dedicate oneself too. This is an NFL sports team and a traditional mascot. Let us move on to real issues like hunger, unemployment, addiction (in Native Americans too), and homelessness.

    April 7, 2013 at 9:17 am | Report abuse |
  38. Andy

    There was never any legislation about the "N" word. Among other things, it would be a clear-cut violation of the 1st Amendment. I don't mind efforts to "raise awareness and consciousness" (how I hate that phrase) but litigation and especially legislation to try and accomplish your goals is particularly disgusting. Some people out there say things you don't like, so you try and shut them up, FOREVER, under threat of law? Real nice.

    April 7, 2013 at 9:17 am | Report abuse |
  39. MeanNoHarm

    If it doesn't offend you, then good for you. It offends other people consistently. Let us just be kind to each other. I am sure that there are things that offend you as well, and in such cases others should be kind to you as well. Not being able to be compassionate is not a sign of toughness, but quite the opposite. Lets just be kind.

    April 7, 2013 at 9:17 am | Report abuse |
    • oranjellojones

      It offends a a monumentally small minority consistently, just like Harry Potter books do...the same type of goofy fringe nuts. Changing the name makes as much sense as banning Harry Potter Books. It does NOT offend the Indian community consistently, they show that by voting in poll after poll after poll to the tune of over 85% that they AREN'T offended and DON'T want it changed.

      April 7, 2013 at 9:23 am | Report abuse |
  40. Rick

    I always thought Red Skin was a potato.

    April 7, 2013 at 9:16 am | Report abuse |
    • Meki60

      it is to sensible people, it is the liberals that cause these dumb problems.

      April 7, 2013 at 9:17 am | Report abuse |
      • rkdres

        I'm not a Liberal, and yet I find it offensive.

        April 7, 2013 at 9:24 am | Report abuse |
      • recklesss

        Way to prove your prejudice

        April 7, 2013 at 9:53 am | Report abuse |
  41. Alex

    Right or wrong, you can not force a private organization to change it's name. The Washington Redskins are a private franchise. They have freedom of speech. The name they use as well as their logo and other images are speech. The government has no right to make them change.

    April 7, 2013 at 9:15 am | Report abuse |
  42. looker12

    Dayumm! Now what am I supposed to do with that 10 lb bag of redskin potatoes in my pantry??

    April 7, 2013 at 9:15 am | Report abuse |
  43. beyondtired

    The team has been established since 1932, and we are just now hearing about this! Grow up, I don't think personally that there is much in life that doesn't offend someone. Such as football team names, or who likes guns and who don't. Yes back in the day slurs were more common practice, and in some cases still are today. Sorry for her mistreatment by the store owner, but seriously go after a team name, what makes her any different than the store owner who was biased against her!

    April 7, 2013 at 9:14 am | Report abuse |
    • recklesss

      This has been a issue since the teams inception. Just because you were ignorant too it doesn't mean it didn't happen.

      April 7, 2013 at 9:55 am | Report abuse |
  44. jcvet33

    The govt. controlled politically correct America has become a pathetic place. What's next castrate all of the white males?

    April 7, 2013 at 9:14 am | Report abuse |
    • recklesss

      See you see this as an attack against white people and it's not everyone can be racist. It's not exclusive. The fact that you take it as an attack on white people makes it seem like you think that this is a white issue, and it's not. This has nothing to do with you being white. Why do you have to turn this into a white thing?

      April 7, 2013 at 9:58 am | Report abuse |
  45. oranjellojones

    Point of fact no it's not. It's the biggest myth in all of this. It has NEVER ...I repeat NEVER had a pejorative connotation. It was term the Indians used to describe themselves originally and the team was named Redskins by a Lakota tribe member by the name of Lone Star Dietz. The entire premise of this argument is based on a massive lie born out of unrivaled revisionist history. Do a little research if you're going to get so worked up and judgmental. The head of the Smithsonian Linguistics department put this to bed recently with an extensive study of the word. Furthermore, it's top 3 among names Indians on reservations name themselves! It's NOT racist and NOT offensive to anyone who actually pays attention to facts and history, certainly not the 90% of reservation respondents and tribal members who were polled in all 50 states and stated clearly that not only was it NOT offensive but they would be upset if it were changed.

    April 7, 2013 at 9:12 am | Report abuse |
    • hollistergrant

      Lone Star Dietz was the coach in 1933. George Preston Marshall bought the old Boston Braves football team in 1932 and renamed them after they left the Boston stadium they shared with the baseball team of the same name. Marshall named the team the Redskins in honor of Dietz, who was Sioux or part Sioux. So the team was the Boston Braves, then the Boston Redskins, then the Washington Redskins. The team was originally named in honor of the coach.

      April 7, 2013 at 9:42 am | Report abuse |
      • oranjellojones

        I've been told that Sioux is the name given that tribe by the French and that many find it offensive. The true name is Lakota. That wiki entry is slightly off from what I've read. Dietz who was coach at the time was actually the one who came up with the name. Marshall is given credit but it was Dietz who actually came up with the idea.

        April 7, 2013 at 10:37 am | Report abuse |
  46. jcvet33

    The politically correct govt. controlled America has become a pathetic place.

    April 7, 2013 at 9:12 am | Report abuse |
  47. wakeup88

    Political correctness is tyranny with manners, a terrible ploy used to control the masses

    April 7, 2013 at 9:10 am | Report abuse |
  48. Mark

    What's next? Because something else will be next. I suppose we shouldn't have animal mascots either because of the exploitation of these defenseless living creatures. Will it ever stop?

    April 7, 2013 at 9:10 am | Report abuse |
    • drwdrw123

      The Political Correctness Police are trying to put a muzzle on the foundations of this country's freedom of speech and freedom of expression. What we need in this country is more intelligent dialog. Not everyone tossing insults back and forth like school children. Still we assemble into groups and parties separating ourselves even further. Conservative, liberal, left, right, middle, far left, far right, democrats, republicans, independents etc.... Would be nice to have "The Logical Party"

      April 7, 2013 at 9:34 am | Report abuse |
  49. Tsi-dwa

    Do these teams not have a powerful white person they can name their teams after, How about the "Cleveland Whitetrash"? or "Washington white Supremist's"?

    April 7, 2013 at 9:07 am | Report abuse |
    • Sam Adams

      Cleveland whitetrash would be a step up for many, but since Cleveland is 85% minority, it's not really appropriate.

      April 8, 2013 at 9:14 am | Report abuse |
      • Sam Adams

        It's the Cleveland suburbs or surrounding counties that are 90% non-minority.

        April 8, 2013 at 9:15 am | Report abuse |
  50. usmc1148

    Aren't we all so sensitive!!! Makes me nauseous. Next, we'll make the N.O. Saints change their mascot name so that the atheists, agnostics, islam, and jews aren't offended.

    April 7, 2013 at 9:07 am | Report abuse |
  51. No more P.C.

    As a white guy, I am all for naming a team the "Carlsbad Crackas". Then, we can all be equally offended, and then end this silly legislation and whining.

    April 7, 2013 at 9:06 am | Report abuse |
  52. Dean

    More ridiculous liberal garbage. It's a football team; get over it and move on to things that're actually important.

    April 7, 2013 at 9:06 am | Report abuse |
  53. No more P.C.

    I am really tired of people trying to legislate EVERYTHING. It makes we want to start using the word on a regular basis just to buck the system.

    April 7, 2013 at 9:03 am | Report abuse |
  54. Doug

    African-Americans say they preferred to be called "black." People of European descent are called "white." So what's wrong with native Americans being called "red?" "Blonde," "brunette," "ginger," "bald," "blue-eyed," "brown-eyed," and "hazel" aren't offensive.

    April 7, 2013 at 9:03 am | Report abuse |
    • alj

      The words in your list were never used to demean, degrade, terrorize, or prohibit freedom, as I believe the word you have no problem with was used.

      April 7, 2013 at 9:27 am | Report abuse |
  55. jchammer

    I don't think you'll find indigenous peoples hanging out by the wigwam using the traditional greeting "Wasss up Redskin!"

    April 7, 2013 at 8:59 am | Report abuse |
  56. Karsten

    If using the word gay is offensive then the r word is definitely offensive. Native Americans have a small voice and not many supporters they go unheard. GBLT lobby has more advocates and represent such a small part of the population and a slang term has been virtually banned.

    April 7, 2013 at 8:59 am | Report abuse |
  57. Bill_T

    Why don't we spend our time worrying about the really important problems in the world.

    April 7, 2013 at 8:57 am | Report abuse |
  58. tcp

    Wrong R-word Ms. Harjo. Don't co-opt the R-word cause please!

    April 7, 2013 at 8:52 am | Report abuse |
    • Jokesterer

      The lesson here is if you don't want a bunch of crap named after you causing you to whine about it centuries later, don't lose the war.

      April 7, 2013 at 8:58 am | Report abuse |
    • Kabimima

      Exactly! The families if the developmentally disabled have been fighting for years to stop the use of the word retarded as it is now used as a slur and indiscriminate insult. It is often referred to as the R word. When I saw the headline and then realized that this was about a football team, I was saddened to see what this article was really about.

      April 7, 2013 at 9:38 am | Report abuse |
  59. imagineif

    Take a moment and imagine if Chief Wahoo from the Cleveland Indians was instead an african man with black face with giant white smile, a charicature of an african tribesman chucking a spear. What would be the response to this? It would be unthinkable. On the other hand, I grew up loving the Redskins and never knew what it meant. But, I had a romantic view of their representation of Native Americans. These mascots were not to be laughed at or made fun of but to be respected as warriors. But, with awareness of insensitivities and racism whether we're aware of the offense or not its time to move on and replace these names out of respect to Native American people. If any name must go first it is the Redskins because it is like n-word and not respectful at all. In the past white men were paid for the amount of Redskins (scalps) they turned in. Let's consider this history and make a change.

    April 7, 2013 at 8:51 am | Report abuse |
    • cherokeechief

      @imaginei Thank you, your comment sums it up nicely.

      April 7, 2013 at 9:01 am | Report abuse |
      • str8shot

        The modern day "white man" is sick of hearing the whining of the present day, unemployed, lazy, no-good, decendents of people who suffered 200 years ago...get over yourselves, geez! Any by the way, I'm offended by the term "white-man" and the negativity that is aimed at us as a people. As for the "native americans", quit crying...your nations were defeated in a war and it's over...we're not going back any more...time to move on..........

        April 7, 2013 at 9:20 am | Report abuse |
    • bert

      i understand what your saying but they need to stop all the BS laws to control this supposedly FREE country. if the team wanted to put a black face throwing a spear, they should be allowed. might loose a lot of fans but that would be there choice. When did this country stop being free and all about not offending anyone.

      April 7, 2013 at 9:16 am | Report abuse |
    • oranjellojones

      No it's NOT. It is nothing like the "N" word. That word was rooted in pejorative use...Redskins never has been. That's revisionist history. Folks like you can spout this lie for another several decades like Harjo has been but it won't make it any more true. It was a term Indians referenced themselves with and it was a term an Indian (Lone Star Dietz) used to name the team. Facts DO matter especially when a legislative action is being called for, whether Harjo likes it or not.

      April 7, 2013 at 9:19 am | Report abuse |
    • imagineif

      I really can't believe how violently people feel against showing some sensitivity. I'm not sure if we need legislation about this but common curtesy, respect, awareness, and sensitivity improves the world for all. Be the better person and out the respect for the Native Americans you think your mascot is emmulating and you say you love find a better way. Change can be voluntary not legislated. This doesn't have to be a big deal. Just do the right thing. I love the Redskins and as a kid loved singing their song when they were playing the Cowboys. I never meant any harm and neither do most people routing for their teams. But we can do better because we are smarter and better than this. I am Cherokee descendent of family who walked the Trail of Tears but I'm also a descendent of Pennsylvania Rangers who killed Native Americans to protect the settlers. We all have our own family histories that helped to build our country and our social morres. You know what's great about our country is we keep moving further and further from racism. Taking one minute step further shouldn't be such a big deal. I don't get it.

      April 7, 2013 at 10:29 am | Report abuse |
    • Sam Adams

      They would still close to last place in the baseball league. Same for the Cleveland Browns.

      April 8, 2013 at 9:17 am | Report abuse |
  60. patheistchurch

    I think political correctness is one of our finest inventions. Sometimes we concentrate so much on the prejudices of your grandfathers that we don't realize we are are still prejudiced.

    We would never allow an African slave or Jewish concentration camp survivor to be made in to a sports mascots or name a sport team with on of their slander names. African slaves and Jewish concentration camp survivors show an amazing quality of human perseverance in the face of slavery and genocide to trivialize something like that shows enormous disrespect to those peoples and a susceptibility of history repeating itself.

    Just because you grew up watching 'Redskins' football games and never even gave it a thought, doesn't mean it isn't totally hurtful derogatory.

    Just because it was on TV for years doesn't mean it isn't racist.

    Just because it doesn't hurt your people doesn't mean it wont one day happen again to your people.

    All people at one point in time have been treated no better than the native people of this country. Many of our fore fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. came here because, their ancestors killed for religion beliefs and they were owned by royalty in conditions hardly better than slavery and because they didn't learn from their own history, history repeated itself and they committed the same evils they escaped.

    We have a discussion and realization now of one of your short comings. What we do because if it defines us.

    April 7, 2013 at 8:51 am | Report abuse |
    • cherokeechief

      @patheistchurch Bravo!!! And you forgot to also mention the Church played a big role in murdering the Indians early on, as the Papal Bull speaks for God and declares that,"Indians are beasts of the forest, and can be slaughtered as such." But if the Indians are indeed men, can save their souls, hence Indian boarding schools, kill-the-indian-save-the-man. History people 101.

      April 7, 2013 at 8:59 am | Report abuse |
      • Rancho93179

        cherokeechief, I sympathize with your quest and the bad early history of America. But could you stand up to the fact that you really aren't "Indians". You are native Americans. Indians is incorrect. So please stop it. Indians are from India...you Americans. Its very offending to us. Thanks.

        April 7, 2013 at 9:23 am | Report abuse |
      • patheistchurch

        thanks i worked hard on my post. the christian church's hands have been covered in blood shortly after it's establishment thanks i worked hard on my post.

        the Christian church's hands have been covered in blood shortly after it's establishment in Rome. Europeans Christians rejecting the non Jesus liken nature of the church experienced genocide much like the American Indians. they had to exodus to north America to be free from persecution.

        then shortly afterward came up the concepts such as Indians having no soul, Indians have are animals and should be killed as such. Then to show how superior they were they forced the Indians to reject the religious belief just as their religion belief were rejected, which forced them to come here in the first place.

        I'd imagine they thought was the right proper thing. Just like it to OK to slander Indians today

        April 7, 2013 at 9:42 am | Report abuse |
    • Easygoing7

      I have German Descent. I would not be offended of they called them them a name related to Germans. Political correctness is the biggest bunch of crapola and has no benefit!!!

      April 7, 2013 at 10:38 am | Report abuse |
      • recklesss

        So WW2 losers isn't offensive? What about the fascists? The Nazi's? The insecure?

        April 7, 2013 at 12:45 pm | Report abuse |
  61. Greg Clapton

    Here are the changes:
    NFL: Washington Politicians, Kansas City Fountains
    MLB: Cleveland Rockers
    NHL: Chicago Wind

    April 7, 2013 at 8:50 am | Report abuse |
    • Greg Clapton

      MLB: Atlanta Peaches

      April 7, 2013 at 8:53 am | Report abuse |
    • Phil

      Washington Corrupters would be a more accurate reflection of reality.

      April 7, 2013 at 9:00 am | Report abuse |
    • recklesss

      Washington Debt

      April 7, 2013 at 5:54 pm | Report abuse |
  62. Jay in NC

    And now that indian eagle fathers, drums, and clothes are considered religious, they have banned themselves from visiting schools or performing on gov. land.

    April 7, 2013 at 8:45 am | Report abuse |
  63. cherokeechief

    Must be a slow news day. Well, I will always root for the Washington Redskins to beat the Dallas cowboys, lol.

    April 7, 2013 at 8:45 am | Report abuse |
    • ed dugan

      This woman is a poster child for the absolute stupidity of Policiticl Correctness. Why doesn't she just shut up and go away? And why would any responsible news organization give her 2 lines?

      April 7, 2013 at 8:52 am | Report abuse |
    • CJRP

      The Redksins over the Cowboys? No way! But the Redskins will do great next year. It will be an exciting line up next year for the Redskins. Can't wait to see move Redskins football. Go Redskins! (except when they play the Cowboys, that is!) Love those Redskins!

      April 7, 2013 at 8:55 am | Report abuse |
  64. red2616

    I wonder what would happen if an NFL team called its self the Caucasians? What kind of uproar that would occur.There are Latino college funds, African Americana College Funds, BET channel but that is NOT racist, Magazines but ZERO 100% Caucasian editorials or Team a names because that would be RACIST! Funny how that wrks. I am just playing devils advocate here. Don;t name call or get ticked, just think about it. Oh and do you know ANYONE that was an actual slave or was involved back in the day? Again, just interested.

    April 7, 2013 at 8:44 am | Report abuse |
    • Rich

      I agree 100%

      Speaking of which...why is it OK for someone black to call another black the "N" word or even a H O but when someone white does it it's racist?

      April 7, 2013 at 8:59 am | Report abuse |
    • Not Offended

      I live in Minnesota and I'm of Scandinavian heritage, yet I'm not offended by the fact that there's a sports team called the Minnesota Vikings. I don't even mind the fact that some Vikings fans in the stadium will wear those dumb helmets with the horns and the fake blond braid. Surely if may skin color was in the minority these would be" highly offensive" symbols, right?

      April 7, 2013 at 9:15 am | Report abuse |
    • recklesss

      Fist while caucasian is not a slur naming a team is offensive (remember when all teams were the caucasians?). Second shows like BET are because we tried to erase their culture. Also groups like the NAACP is for disadvantaged groups. Caucasian is not a disadvantaged group. Hope I cleared up your ignorance

      April 7, 2013 at 12:49 pm | Report abuse |
  65. bailas

    Soon, "R"-Neck will be as bad a word as "R" or "N" words.......

    April 7, 2013 at 8:43 am | Report abuse |
    • Jay in NC

      No, white males will always be fair game.

      April 7, 2013 at 8:46 am | Report abuse |
      • recklesss

        No give it twenty years and you'll be a minority and then you can complain all you want

        April 7, 2013 at 12:50 pm | Report abuse |
  66. Joat

    I just want to ask all of the offended out there: When was the last time you thought about Native Americans? When was the last time you went to a Native American museum or reservation? When was the last time you cracked a book about Native Americans? When was the last time you even thought of these people in any sense but the "cowboys and Indians" motif of a Hollywood movie?

    I'd argue that the presence of these sports teams with their names reminds us that Native Americans actually are part of our culture and might be worth our time and interest. While their names have historical connotations, it is the rare person who uses "redskin" as a racial epithet in our culture. It is far better to embrace some element of Native American culture and tradition into modern American society, rather than resigning the culture, history, and traditions of thousands of tribes to the history books and the confines of obscurity.

    April 7, 2013 at 8:42 am | Report abuse |
    • AnnieMiami

      I highly recommend to all a visit to the National Museum of the American Indian on the Mall in D.C. It's a great place to begin to tune into what's true about tribal cultures, past and present. 'Til you can get there, check out the website.

      April 7, 2013 at 11:44 am | Report abuse |
    • recklesss

      I like how you try to push your ignorance on all of us. Just because you ignore them doesn't mean everyone does. Come to milwaukee in our public museum we have lots of exhibits dedicated to native americans

      April 7, 2013 at 12:51 pm | Report abuse |
  67. Bill

    Too bad. North American natives are widely respected. They have been recognized for their bravery, skill, integrity and respect for their environment. We should be proud to promote their legacy. Redskins,or even Indians are NOT derogatory terms in my circles.

    April 7, 2013 at 8:41 am | Report abuse |
    • MTD

      Great point Bill. However, there is no such thing as "North American Natives". It simply appears they arrived here first.

      April 7, 2013 at 8:43 am | Report abuse |
      • recklesss

        North American Founders?

        April 7, 2013 at 12:52 pm | Report abuse |
  68. Joe

    What is wrong with a team called the Whiteskins or Blackskins? THERE'S NOTHING DEROGATORY ABLUT IT. Atlanta and Washington fans LOVE the Native American reference.!

    What a stupid and meaningless thing to be upset about. In truth, I am a liberal Democrat, and I'll line up and protest just about any inequality, but this is absurd.

    April 7, 2013 at 8:40 am | Report abuse |
  69. Tony

    Let Susan Sown Hardo (or whatever the hell her 3 names are–nice ego complex) keep fighting. The article says she's been fighting for "decades," and it doesn't seem to have made a damn bit of difference. On the flip side of that coin, lets get rid of "Soaring Eagle" Casino in Michigan, or any other indian reference that EARNS THEM MONEY, TOO. Turnabout is FAIR PLAY.

    April 7, 2013 at 8:40 am | Report abuse |
    • Joe M.

      Excellent point Tony. They want to control the word "Indian", so that only they can make money off of its use. It has nothing to do with it being derogatory. It's simply a way for some people to feel powerful and to rake in donations, which they then use to pay their likely bloated salary. Without fighting for this ridiculous cause, how would she earn a living? Probably flipping burgers at McDonald's. With that kind of perspective, it's easy to understand why she is so adamant about this.

      April 7, 2013 at 8:47 am | Report abuse |
      • cherokeechief

        "Excellent point Tony. They want to control the word “Indian”, so that only they can make money off of its use. It has nothing to do with it being derogatory. It’s simply a way for some people to feel powerful and to rake in donations, which they then use to pay their likely bloated salary. Without fighting for this ridiculous cause, how would she earn a living? Probably flipping burgers at McDonald’s. With that kind of perspective, it’s easy to understand why she is so adamant about this." – A little jealous there eh? lol

        April 7, 2013 at 8:51 am | Report abuse |
    • Jay in NC

      In Washington State there is a casino, no lie, Angel of the Winds Casino.

      April 7, 2013 at 8:51 am | Report abuse |
    • recklesss

      So you are actually suggesting that we take away the little land we let them keep in the first place? Yeah that sounds fair

      April 7, 2013 at 12:53 pm | Report abuse |
  70. red2616

    Local tribes are not getting $$$ for it. That is why it is a big ordeal. It is all about the money!

    April 7, 2013 at 8:39 am | Report abuse |
  71. Texastbone

    My heritage is Native American, specifically Cherokee. However, I was very offended when the NCAA forced a change in my former university mascot from the term Indian. There was nothing "hostile or abusive" about the way the term was used. Honor, respect, and cultural significance through tradition and practice was the manner in which our school and teams referenced the word Indian. That was lost when a broad brush painted a term of respect as racist. Shamefully!

    April 7, 2013 at 8:38 am | Report abuse |
    • CurmudgeonTx

      I, too am mostly Cherokee...got a little Sioux as well. I think it is ridiculous to think it offensive that a team has chosen an 'Indian' name to represent them, and a Native American mascot. That is celebrating and paying tribute to our culture rather than insulting it. I think there are just some people in the Tribes that are showing their greed. It is sad.

      I have never taken a cent or an inch of land even though I am able to should I choose it as a Tribal member. I think it is long enough past the time our ancestors were harmed that we should be getting on with our lives and quit pining for the past. It is almost as bad as the middle east all this bickering and whining over things that will NEVER be as they once were.

      April 7, 2013 at 8:45 am | Report abuse |
    • red2616

      I a Cherokee and Black. I am not offended at all. If you are offended you either have nothing to do or are not mart enough to understand what a REAL problem is.

      April 7, 2013 at 8:46 am | Report abuse |
      • cherokeechief

        "I a Cherokee and Black. I am not offended at all. If you are offended you either have nothing to do or are not mart enough to understand what a REAL problem is." -Speak for yourself.

        April 7, 2013 at 8:50 am | Report abuse |
  72. GaryO

    She thinks the "r" word is the same as the "n" word, but she is wrong. The "r" word is nothing more than an objective physical description of the race's skin color. The "n" word is not an objective description of anything. In fact, African Americans are generally OK with being referred to as "black", which is an objective description of their appearance. I think the "r" word is much closer to "black" than it is to the "n" word.

    April 7, 2013 at 8:36 am | Report abuse |
    • Joe

      Agreed. Well said.

      April 7, 2013 at 8:42 am | Report abuse |
    • BC

      Careful with those intelligent comments.

      April 7, 2013 at 8:58 am | Report abuse |
    • samikep

      This might be the most uneducated post of the day. You might want to look up black in Spanish...

      April 7, 2013 at 9:12 am | Report abuse |
  73. John Little Feather

    Every time I see a African American wearing a Washington Redskins jersey I wonder what they would think if they saw me wear a Mississippi Blackskin jersey?

    April 7, 2013 at 8:36 am | Report abuse |
    • Joe

      First, there is nothing racist in the words Mississippi Blacks,ins. Second, I am from Hattiesburg and African-American and I WOULD LOVE IT – A TEAM HONORING MY HERITAGE! Lastly, I would not feel it necessary to take a madeup name to prove my "blackness" and heritage pride.

      April 7, 2013 at 8:48 am | Report abuse |
  74. MTD

    Hey Suzan, how about changing it to the "Washington This Block In the Middle of A City is Now a Reservation So We're Gonna Build a Casino Scammers". Or how about the "Cleveland I'm Still Getting Paid For Something That Happened To My Ancestors Rip Off Artists". Would that be more accurate?

    April 7, 2013 at 8:35 am | Report abuse |
  75. Mike

    There are much better names than Redskins or Indians or whatever. Plus think of the extra money the team would make on jerseys, hats, etc sales. Be creative. Screw tradition and follow common sense.

    April 7, 2013 at 8:35 am | Report abuse |
  76. JustSaying

    I think she probably believes that changing the name will help her team get to the Super Bowl.. It doesn't work like that Suzan.. it takes talent.. hard work..dedication. On a more serious note.. how does she even know about the Redskins.. Did they pass by the stadium on a hunt? Is there mobile broadband available to these nomadic tribes?

    April 7, 2013 at 8:33 am | Report abuse |
  77. Here Here

    Those are all good suggestions for team names. Especially Whiteskins

    April 7, 2013 at 8:33 am | Report abuse |
  78. Rush

    I agree that the name Washington Redskins is very archaic and old-fashioned and should no longer be used in the 21st Century. They should start calling themselves the DC Redskins or the Beltway Redskins.

    April 7, 2013 at 8:32 am | Report abuse |
    • JustSaying

      lol nice

      April 7, 2013 at 8:34 am | Report abuse |
  79. idb

    This country is made up out of people coming from all over the world. Something to be proud of. Hence "E Pluribus Unum" (out of many one). Unfortunately, by trying to fight racism, the opposite is happening. Instead of treating people equally no matter what skin color of gender, Liberals are trying to make several groups stand out. This creates more racism, not less. Worse, it creates racism towards people that have not been discriminated against by those that have. Worse, even illegal aliens, simpel law breakers, now claim that their crimes should be counted under the flag of racism. This trend needs to stop. Instead of focussing on differences the focus needs to be on the unity that made this country great. There is no room for racism. And yes, positive racism is still racism and therefore unacceptable.

    April 7, 2013 at 8:32 am | Report abuse |
    • Krj9

      Liberals. Of course. It's all the liberals fault. Anything bad at all is the liberals fault. Grow up

      April 7, 2013 at 8:42 am | Report abuse |
  80. hollistergrant

    Lots of U.S. states (like Indiana) were named after Native Americans or have ties to their language. Will the courts ask them to change their names?

    April 7, 2013 at 8:32 am | Report abuse |
  81. ThoughtPolice

    I suffer from depression and I am offended by the U of M's use of the word "Blue". Every time I hear fans shout "Go Blue"!, I feel as though they want me to suffer more than I already do. How much more do they want me to sink?? And if that's not enough mudslinging, I can't even step into the city of Pittsburgh. Those fans are so damn insensitive toward people missing body parts! I wouldn't dare go to Columbus, OH. The people in that town have zero sensitivity toward nutty people.

    April 7, 2013 at 8:28 am | Report abuse |
    • Tony

      BWAHAHAA!!! As a Michigan Graduate, I'm offended by the colors Green and White (MSU) and Scarlet and g..ggrey (I can HARDLY even TYPE the colors of those animals, they are so enraging). Now I need anger counseling. because I see red when I think about ohio state (<-lower case emphasized).

      April 7, 2013 at 8:36 am | Report abuse |
  82. JustMe

    I'm wondering why the store clerk called her that, she doesn't look particularly dark or Native American to me.

    April 7, 2013 at 8:26 am | Report abuse |
    • recklesss

      So now she doesn't look "Native" or "Dark" enough for you? Way to point out your prejudice

      April 7, 2013 at 8:41 am | Report abuse |
  83. Irish Pride

    Who really cares... Can we stop being so sensitive? I'm probably more Irish than she is native american and we were discriminated against, and guess what, so was every other race and culture. You dont see mee crying about people calling the drunk car the cops use the patty wagon. I take pride in the fact that Nortre Dame is the "Fighting Irish" even though it boost a hot temper sterotype. We need to stop being so damn sesitive in this country. If the worst thing in your life is the name of a sports teams mascot then I would say your doing pretty good for yourself.

    April 7, 2013 at 8:24 am | Report abuse |
    • Here Here

      You are right on the mark. Everyone needs to get over themselves. Get on with life and worry about the real things not some petty name calling.

      Sticks and Stones will break my bones but nasty words will never hurt me. People like Suzan S Hajo need to get off the playground and become adults.

      April 7, 2013 at 8:32 am | Report abuse |
    • Redskin Fan

      Unbelievable. I'm 36 and I've been a fan my whole life. Not until someone told me it was considered offensive did I even realize. Words have the power you give them. No one thinks of hate when they hear the team name anymore. The team is not trying to put you down if your a native American. Think about intent. Do you really think all the people on the Redskins and their fans hate Native Americans? RELAX!

      April 7, 2013 at 8:32 am | Report abuse |
    • originalnancy412

      First it's PADDY wagon, an insult. But what call it the Jamal wagon there would be riots. I think of Indians as brave people. The fact they covered their faces with red ochre to go into battle. My ancestors used blue, and went to war naked. Any more word restrictions we will be rendered mute.

      April 7, 2013 at 9:00 am | Report abuse |
    • Not Offended

      Well said!

      April 7, 2013 at 9:22 am | Report abuse |
  84. hollistergrant

    The US military has named some helicopters after Native Americans, like the Apache, the Sioux, the Chickasaw, the Shawnee, the Mojave, the Osage, the Lakota, and more.

    April 7, 2013 at 8:23 am | Report abuse |
    • NW1000

      Then the Military hates Indians too, are racist, and should be forced to rename their equipment.

      How about the "Cuddly dolphin attack helicopter."

      April 7, 2013 at 8:25 am | Report abuse |
      • JustMe

        I'm wondering, as far as saving and protecting the culture, where do the casinos and payday loan businesses come in?

        April 7, 2013 at 8:29 am | Report abuse |
  85. ACooke108

    Teams came up with names like Redskins, Indians and Braves because they represented a positive reference. No team would name themselves something negative, like the Washington Wimps. It's a compliment. The analogy is they were great and fierce fighters on the battlefield. Hello?

    April 7, 2013 at 8:23 am | Report abuse |
    • NW1000

      NO; clearly, as the whiny, nosey do-gooders have told us, the fans HATE their teams, and name them racist names so others will hate them too.

      April 7, 2013 at 8:26 am | Report abuse |
  86. Arenaboi

    to be offended is to be bothered by something else someone, or a group of people has said. Obviously changing the name of the Redskins if OFFENSIVE to a LOT of people. So why are your feelings more important than the people who love the team, and love the name, and don't associate it with ANY negative feelings towards Native Americans? Everyone is SO offended by everything lately, and I say OH WELL

    April 7, 2013 at 8:23 am | Report abuse |
  87. bruopiner

    Will you please put this to rest!!!! There is nothing wrong with the Redskins name. If the name was up for selection today, it wouldn't and shouldn't pass the muster, but it isn't. As the author is proud of her heritage, we Redskins fans are proud of the Washington Redskin heritage, too. We aren't indian haters, we just like the name that we are familiar with.

    I'm not a big Daniel Snyder fan, in fact, I am not a Daniel Snyder fan at all, but, I hope that he holds firm on this.

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

      History or pride of a name or act is not justification for racism.

      April 7, 2013 at 8:40 am | Report abuse |
  88. thefacts

    the moment that they have to change their name im going to force the Yankees to change their name as well

    April 7, 2013 at 8:22 am | Report abuse |
    • NW1000

      ONLY if the media figures out that the Yankees were white republicans who beat the white democrat confederates.

      April 7, 2013 at 8:23 am | Report abuse |
  89. junkme2e

    As a person of northern European descent, I am deeply offended by the Minnesota Vikings. No, really- I can see the objection to Native American sports mascots that look like leftovers from minstrel shows, but I never thought of them like that until it was pointed out to me. How about "Warriors" without reference to ethnicity- that would fit the home of the military industrial complex. Perhaps the Washington team should be renamed "First Americans"- hey, that is not bad!

    April 7, 2013 at 8:21 am | Report abuse |
    • Jay in NC

      Junkme2e, you are white. It is a shame but no one will protect your rights.

      April 7, 2013 at 8:56 am | Report abuse |
  90. Jokesterer

    "Central" News Network is offensive to news networks on the periphery.

    April 7, 2013 at 8:21 am | Report abuse |
  91. Really?

    I'd just like to point out that Stanford dropped it's Native American mascot in the '70's, and did not follow the lead of OU in 2005. This writer needs to be taught how to do actual research, and report actual facts. Getting both sides of the story for fair, balanced reporting would be nice too. But that's asking a lot.

    April 7, 2013 at 8:21 am | Report abuse |
  92. Murf

    When I think of all the problems facing native Americans I can help but wonder if this issue is very high on the list. If she were truly concerned about Native American issues perhaps she should volunteer at a reservation. Lobby politicians to honor past treaties, Campaign to locate business' on reservations etc..
    Everything is offensive to someone. That doesn't mean everybody has to change to please everyone else.

    April 7, 2013 at 8:19 am | Report abuse |
    • NW1000

      Clearly, this is the most horrible thing on earth.

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

      I know what you mean, and why can't a black person sit Quietly at he back or the bus. It"s so nice and warm back there??????

      April 7, 2013 at 8:26 am | Report abuse |
  93. Jokesterer

    What do you call liquor bottles by the side of the road?

    April 7, 2013 at 8:19 am | Report abuse |
    • NW1000

      The Government Paths to Prosperity Garbages.

      April 7, 2013 at 8:21 am | Report abuse |
  94. Arenaboi

    well here is a list from Wikipedia of all the sports teams that are based on Native American names...looks to be over 100, so you better get changing and FAST

    April 7, 2013 at 8:18 am | Report abuse |
    • Juliett

      I feel a name like The Braves or The Indians would be a team using a name in honor of those people it's named for. But a name like The Redskins is derogatory like naming a team The Jiggaboos or The Chinks. We have The Vikings here and I'm guessing that as Viking is not a derogatory name but more like Spartans or Pirates people of Norse, German, Dutch etc. decent whos ancestors could have been Vikings are not insulted by The Vikings name. I'm German and I'm not insulted at all, but if you called a team The 3rd Reich or The Nazis I would be very insulted.

      April 7, 2013 at 8:27 am | Report abuse |
      • Arenaboi

        well that's the problem right there. That you would get personally "insulted" over the name of a sports team is exactly what's wrong with this country. You all need to find real causes to get up in arms for. And if you're all that thin skinned that sports team names personally insult you, you need to get some thicker skin and stop getting upset over such trivial things. Only in America do I hear of so many of these stupid PC issues. It's like a country of whiny 5 year olds ready to go running to their mothers and cry.

        April 7, 2013 at 8:32 am | Report abuse |
  95. Robert

    The major TV stations in Oklahoma City call Potawatomi County (also spelled Pottawatomie and other variations) "Pott" county, which shows the ignorance, and disrespect of many of their news and weather people. (Or maybe "Potawatomi" is too hard for them to say?)

    The prejudice will likely always be there, just like it is today toward other nationalities But just like using the "N" word will likely get you into a courtroom, the "R" word should as well. Maybe that will help break the stereotyping. Yes, the team name "Redskins" should be banned, after all, there aren't any teams called the "N" team.

    April 7, 2013 at 8:18 am | Report abuse |
    • NW1000

      EVERY county, river, etc...named after Indians is RACIST and must be renamed immediately.

      April 7, 2013 at 8:20 am | Report abuse |
      • hollistergrant

        Many U.S. states were named after or have some ties to Native Americans. The state of Indiana, for example.

        April 7, 2013 at 8:30 am | Report abuse |
  96. Ed D

    So what about the other athletic teams that single out groups of people and cultures? The Cowboys, Yankees, Padres, and Candiens to name a few pro mascots and nicknames that could be offensive to some groups. And there are plenty others out there. I think people need to take themselves a little less seriously and lighten up a bit. It's getting a little rediculous.

    April 7, 2013 at 8:16 am | Report abuse |
    • NW1000

      Well, Cowboys are racists who practiced genocide on the Indians, so they have to go;

      Yankees beat the Confederates, so they can stay;

      Canadians are foreigners so they don't count.

      April 7, 2013 at 8:19 am | Report abuse |
      • wahoo1969

        Yankees also killed the Natives and spread west, killing more...

        April 11, 2013 at 9:09 pm | Report abuse |
  97. recklesss

    Just because something isn't offensive too you doesn't mean it's not offensive. Don't you think it's a little insulting you deciding what's offensive to another group of people? It's a derogatory term, similar to the N word. See now if you're Irish you can decide if "Fighting Irish" is a slur. However you can't decide something is not offensive to another group..

    April 7, 2013 at 8:16 am | Report abuse |
    • Kenneth

      This is completely ridiculous. Someone wanting to be center of attention. They want God out of the Pledge of Allegiance. They want indian characture removed and mascots changed. I bet the teachers union are reving up to get Charlie Brown taken off of TV as if portrays Teachers and other adults as speaking with just BLAH. BLAH. BLAH. These attacks are not because they are offended. These people doing this are racist and do not want others wearing things that represent them. Our rights are being chisseled away by so called people using the argument that it offends them. How many native Americans watch these game. How many native American casinos broadcast these to bet on. This is all a show of support. Its time people did not worry about what others are doing. Just watch after yourself. If you are so concerned of how others see you. What have you done wrong.

      April 7, 2013 at 9:57 am | Report abuse |
  98. Jokesterer

    What about the Indian history of incessant tribal warfare, pre-battle torture rituals, and cannibalism?

    April 7, 2013 at 8:15 am | Report abuse |
  99. larry

    Washington Casino Royals

    April 7, 2013 at 8:14 am | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      Perhaps a change of name to the "DC Lottery" would be more appropriate. After all they like to say lots of people win when they play and the football team should be able to win lots as well..

      April 7, 2013 at 8:22 am | Report abuse |
  100. Gant

    Only in America do conquered people have a say in anything. Fascinating.

    April 7, 2013 at 8:12 am | Report abuse |
    • Here Here

      No kidding

      April 7, 2013 at 8:39 am | Report abuse |
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