Washington “Redskins”: More Than Just a Legacy

Legacy of what, is the question

Native+American+Tony+Gonzalez+leads+a+protest+outside+Levi%27s+Stadium+in+Santa+Clara%2C+Calif.%2C+comparing+the+usage+of+the+word+%22Redskins%22+by+the+Washington+football+team+to+a+racial+slur+on+Sunday%2C+Nov.+23%2C+2014.+%28Karl+Mondon%2FBay+Area+News+Group%2FTNS%29

Courtesy Tribune News Service

Native American Tony Gonzalez leads a protest outside Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif., comparing the usage of the word "Redskins" by the Washington football team to a racial slur on Sunday, Nov. 23, 2014. (Karl Mondon/Bay Area News Group/TNS)

Zaria Swain, Editor in Chief

Which do you think is more important,the prolonged legacy of a team name or the discriminatory history behind it?

The Washington Redskins team name has caused a major controversy between die hard fans and patriot Native Americans. Both parties have strong opinions , but only one has concrete facts to support their argument .

Fans argue almost everyone in Washington loves their Redskins. They see it as just a name,but not just any name: a name that they have grown up knowing their entire life. This to me is irrelevant because lots of people grew up around cultures, traditions, and beliefs that they continue to spread from generation to generation, this does not make them right.

Daniel Marc Snyder, sole owner of the team, says the team name was given to represent pride, honor, and nobility, but “Redskins” by definition is a contemptuous term used to refer to Native Americans (contemptuous meaning scornful). Just because discrimination toward Native Americans is kind of lurking in the shadows does not mean the issue is non existent. It should be treated the same as any other racial slur. If there was a team called the New York N******, there would be much more support for the activist and this should be treated no differently. Native Americans are a proud people and it shouldn’t be a huge problem to just change the name to something less offensive that could please both the fans and the Native Americans. They should not have to suffer due to the ignorance of the team owner and the team’s supporters.

The fans and administration of this team should come together on this issue and try to make the name something Native Americans who live in Washington could be proud to represent.  Although many of the fans argue that their are others teams that have Indians as their mascot they fail to understand that team names such as the The warriors do not carry the same negative connotation that a name like Redskins carries.

Please note: the opinion(s) above are solely those of the author and do not represent the views of the entire WarriorInk staff, the teachers or administrators of Indian River High School, or the district Board of Education.