The Washington Redskins are at battle again over whether the team name should be changed, but it doesn’t look like a resolution will come anytime soon.
Washington Councilman David Grosso says the time has come to make a decision regarding the team’s name, owing to its “racist and derogatory” meaning.
“We have to change it, and I’m calling on [owner] Dan Snyder and the NFL to step up and do the right thing,” Grosso said.
Grosso has even come up with a replacement idea: the Washington Redtails, after the Tuskegee Airmen.
“You can still sing the song and everything,” Grosso said. “Hail … to the … Redtails.”
Grosso has drafted a resolution, which he plans to unveil soon and states that “Washington’s name has been dishonored by association with the word ‘Redskins’. Because it is well known in America and in nations afar that American Indians have experienced utmost suffering and disrespect over the years.”
The Redskins’ name has actually been under review by the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board since 2006, when a group of Native Americans filed a case claiming the term “redskin” was disparaging to American Indians. Before that, the team went through a 17-year long case brought before the Supreme Court over the name that they ultimately won, so even if Grosso manages to convince the right people that things have to change, it could take years to be put into effect.
Coincidentally, a Pennsylvania school board was implored recently by a woman with Native American ancestry to change the name of their school team from the Redskins, as well. Donna Boyle says the board has shunted her case to the side before, but the time has come for change.
“I don’t understand the promotion of a racial slur,” she charged. “It may not seem important to you but it is to those across the country who have Native-American blood in their veins. The school district will survive a mascot change.”
Substitute teacher Donald Gallagher agrees with Boyle and spoke to the board on her behalf regarding the change.
“You not only harm youngsters the public trusts in your care–reason enough to end the old mascot policies–but this dispute also damages the reputation of your community,” he said.