I want to make a couple of quick points about a pending announcement of a name change for Washington’s National Football League team.
First, I’ve never really gotten all that fired up about team nicknames depicting Native Americans … except for the Redskins.
Indians, Braves, Warriors, Chiefs, Black Hawks, Aztecs, Seminoles. They don’t bother me. Then again, I am of Southeast European heritage so I don’t have a particular dog in that fight, if you get my drift. About the closest name I can come up with that depicts my own heritage might be the Spartans, which is what they call teams associated with Michigan State University and San Jose State University. It doesn’t bother me in the least. OK, I digress.
The name Redskins, though, has annoyed me. I find the term to be one of those weird throwback terms you heard in 1940s Western films, when some toothless gunslinger would refer to “them redskins over yonder.”
Then again, the Native Americans depicted in those films would mention doing battle with “pale faces,” or “white eyes” or whoever.
The name will change. As I write these words, I do not yet know what the NFL team will call itself. I’m glad Washington’s pro football franchise is moving on from that name.
As for the rest of those team nicknames, well, to be brutally candid, they don’t bother me.