Should the Redskins change their name? Some members of Congress certainly think so.
The Los Angeles Times reports that 10 members of Congress have sent an open letter to Redskins owner Dan Snyder asking him to change the name of the NFL team. Many view the name as offensive to Native Americans as the term “redskin” could be seen as a racial epithet.
The letter sent to Snyder, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, and others says that the term “redskin” is just as offensive as other racial slurs:
“Native Americans throughout the country consider the ‘R-word’ a racial, derogatory slur akin to the ‘N-word’ among African Americans or the ‘W-word’ among Latinos. In this day and age, it is imperative that you uphold your moral responsibility to disavow the usage of racial slurs. The usage of the “R-word” is especially harmful to Native American youth, tending to lower their sense of dignity and self-esteem. It also diminishes feelings of community worth among the Native American tribes and dampens the aspirations of their people.”
Will the letter work? Well, it can’t hurt. Earlier this month, Washington Councilman David Grosso announced it was his intention to change the state’s NFL team name to something more respectful. His idea was the “Washington Redtails,” named after the Tuskegee Airmen.
There are presumably countless other ideas floating around so Snyder won’t have any trouble picking a new name if he decides to change it. That being said, we’re probably not going to see a change anytime soon.