Bob Costas, famed American sportscaster, spent two minutes during half-time Saturday night delivering an opinion piece on the name of the Washington Redskins. His message was clear: it’s racist and needs to change.
Costas spends the first 90 seconds painting the picture that many teams with Native American related names have changed them, even in situations where Native Americans didn’t mind. He says that some of the names are acceptable (Braves, Chiefs, and Warriors), some are iffy but can be used if appropriately handled (Seminoles, Chippewas, Black Hawks) but that one absolutely isn’t: “Redskins.” He says:
Redskins can’t possibly honor a heritage or a noble character trait. Nor can it possibly be considered a neutral term. It’s an insult, a slur, no matter how benign the present-day intent.
It’s fair to say that for a long time now, and certainly in 2013, no offense has been intended. But if you take a step back, isn’t it easy to see how offense might legitimately be taken?
Tim Graham over at Newsbusters felt Costas was out of place mocking him saying “the majority is wrong. Leftist “diversity” cops are kings. Bob Costas thinks he is the wisest, most sensitive man in all of sports.”
President Obama and other more left-wing oriented commentators have said that the name ought to be discussed more thoroughly, at the very least.
Dan Snyder, owner of the franchise recently maintained “After 81 years, the team name “Redskins” continues to hold the memories and meaning of where we came from, who we are, and who we want to be in the years to come,” and has indicated that the name will probably never change.
The second to top YouTube comment suggests
“Redskins offends Native Americans…. and the “Giants” offends short people, the “Vikings” offends Scandinavians and the “Saints” offends atheists. Get over it.”
In any case, the name will likely continue to be a source of controversy in today’s politically-charged atmosphere, but some will simply wish to not be bothered with the issue during their football game:
— Austin Kellerman (@AustinKellerman) October 14, 2013