With Dan Snyder out and new ownership at helm, Josh Harris, changes are sure to come to the Washington Commanders.
Magic Johnson is also a part of that new ownership that helped fund the $6.05 billion to purchase the organization.
In July 2020, the Washington Redskins football team announced that they would be retiring their team name and logo.
Over the years, there had been growing criticism and calls for change due to the derogatory and racist nature of the name. However, some are pushing for the team to return to the original name, Washington Redskins, claiming that it is a celebration of native people.
In this blog post, we will explore why it’s not okay for the Washington Football Team to go back to the original name of “Redskins.”
Where It started
To understand the controversy, we need to look at the history of the Washington Redskins name. The team was founded in 1932 and named after its original owner, George Preston Marshall. Marshall chose the name as a way to tie the team to its geographic location, as many Native American tribes resided in the area.
However, it wasn’t until the 1960s that the team logo and mascot featuring a Native American Chief were introduced.The use of Native American imagery in sports has been a contentious issue for decades. Many argue that these images and names are offensive and harmful to Native American communities, reinforcing negative stereotypes and erasing the complex and diverse cultures that exist across different tribes.
On the other hand, some argue that these names and symbols are a way to honor Native American culture and represent strength and resilience.
We’ve heard Magic Johnson hint at it. We’ve heard Josh Harris out-and-out say it. And now Ron Rivera – who has been knee-deep in trying to steer this wobbly ship of a franchise – is now alluding to it as well, opening up the concept of the “new” Washington team nickname actually being the “old” Washington team nickname.Sports Illustrated • Mike Fisher • Ron Rivera Alludes to ‘Redskins’: Nickname Option for New Owner Josh Harris?
The Washington Commanders Should Stay Away From their Past
Racist Connotations: The word “redskin” has long been a derogatory term used against Native Americans. It was used to describe the skins of indigenous people that were traded as products of genocide. It is a term that is deeply rooted in a long history of discrimination and oppression. Although some may argue that it was used to honor the Native American culture, it is still a racial slur that has no place in sport or society.
Harmful Stereotypes: The use of Native American imagery and stereotypes in sports teams has led to harmful misrepresentations of the community. By using the name “Redskins,” the football team is perpetuating harmful stereotypes of Native Americans in society. It creates an inaccurate portrayal of Native American culture and reinforces harmful stereotypes, which is not something to celebrate or honor.
Supporting Native People: Returning to the name “Redskins” is not celebrating Native people; to the contrary, it’s a move towards ignoring their voices and concerns. Many indigenous activists and leaders have spoken out against the use of the name, and it’s essential to listen to their voices. The Washington Football Team should instead seek to collaborate with indigenous communities to come up with a name and logo that honors and respects their culture, traditions, and values.
Business Sense: The Washington Football Team does not necessarily lose anything by changing its name, but instead, it gains an opportunity to show that it supports inclusivity and respects all people. It’s no secret that brands and organizations that genuinely stand for social causes are more popular with consumers and are more likely to succeed in the long run. Inclusiveness and diversity are essential, and companies that embrace these values and act proactively are more likely to gain loyal consumers.
It’s high time that we all recognize the harm and offensiveness of the “Redskins” name and respect the opinions of the Native American community.
Instead of reverting to a name steeped in a history of oppression and racism, the Washington Football Team should embrace a new name and logo that welcomes and celebrates all communities.
Change is hard, but making the effort to be more inclusive, respectful, and aware of the marginalized only brings us closer to becoming a better society. So let’s embrace this opportunity and make a significant change for the better.