If you've ever stopped to realize that one of our NFL teams is called the 'Redskins,' then you know pretty well that it's actually very offensive to a lot of people.
And yet, it has not changed.
Well, it looks like Representatives of the Oneida Indian Nation finally got NFL executives to sit down and talk about the situation and how detrimental a racial moniker like that is for their community AND the NFL as a whole, and the even asked the league to sanction Washington Redskins owner Daniel Snyder for continuing to use a team nickname and mascot that "promotes a dictionary-defined racial slur."
Honestly, it's INSANE that this hasn't been changed yet!
One thing that did come from the officials was that they asked for all team owners to meet with Oneida leaders the week of Super Bowl XLVIII. They also asked that Daniel Snyder and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, visit Oneida Nation homelands in upstate New York.
Which is pretty disappointing for those that are extremely offended by the team's name, which was apparently 'defended' by the executives at times. There is NOTHING to defend! Traditions terms that were born in racism never grow out of being racist and even with the backlash of fans who have no clue about what it is to hear an offensive word like that used as a team name, we'd expect everyone would get used to a new name VERY QUICKLY.
Anyone who thinks a sport's team's traditional racist name is worth defending (even for heritage sake) is WRONG.
Here's what one spokesperson from the Nation said:
"We are very disappointed. This is the beginning of a process. It's clear that they don't see how this is not a unifying term. They don't have a complete appreciation for the breadth of opposition of Native Americans to this mascot and name."
And here's what NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said:
"We met at the request of Ray Halbritter of the Oneida Nation. We listened and respectfully discussed the views of Mr. Halbritter, Oneida Nation Wolf Clan Representative Keller George and their colleagues, as well as the sharply differing views of many other Native Americans and fans in general. The meeting was part of an ongoing dialogue to facilitate listening and learning, consistent with the commissioner's comments earlier this year."
PR bullshizz, just change the name!
The Oneida Nation even conducted a study to prove that the team's name was harmful — and here's what it found:
• The Redskins contribute to "prejudice and discrimination" against Native Americans by using the team name and mascot, which would be considered harassment or bullying in a workplace or if used interpersonally.
• Tests have shown that the presence of Native American mascots results directly in lower self-esteem and lower mood within this population, as well as increased negative associations of Native Americans among non-Native American groups. Importantly, these effects occur regardless of whether the Native American mascot is considered "offensive."
• Racial slurs, racial harassment and racial bullying have been associated with poor mental health among Native American children, adolescents and adults, according to study author Michael A. Friedman, a clinical psychologist specializing in how social environment can influence mental and physical health.
"Native Americans are the only group in the United States subjected to having a racial slur as the mascot of a prominent professional sports team. The Washington football team, whether it intends to do so or not, is contributing to prejudice and discrimination against Native Americans by persisting in using the 'R-word.' With the help of the National Football League's $9 billion a year global marketing machine, this behavior not only repeatedly exposes Native Americans to a harmful stereotype, but also implicitly condones the use of this term by non-Native Americans, which if performed on an interpersonal level would possibly constitute harassment or bullying."
And that's just a part of the 30 page report!
Flat-out: 'Redskin' a dictionary-defined slur and takes nothing more than common sense to realize it's offensive. This is the easiest big decision in the world.
Just because a name is an 81-year-old 'cherished' part of a team's heritage doesn't mean that it's right. In fact, everyone should be embarrassed that their heritage — filled with amazing athletes and incredible sportsmanship — all resides under the blanket of racism, whether or not anyone 'means it that way' anymore.
It's time to start a NEW heritage that you can be 100% proud of another 81 years from now!
[Image via AP Images.]