As a dad I find it really hard to focus on the important things, like 10 hours of non-stop football on Saturdays and Sundays. It's REALLY annoying... I kid of course. For full disclosure here are my sports allegiances: Boston Red Sox, Tar Heels basketball, Georgia Bulldogs football and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. I am also a staunch supporter of the return of the Charlotte Hornets! I'm always objective, it just turns out the TRUTH is always on my team's side. I can't help it.
Some people call me a Half-back, I refer to myself as a Hybrid. One parent from the north, the other from the south resulting in my love for sweet and unsweet tea. Just like most Americans, sports are my escape. Those who cannot do (anymore), critique and debate. So I share my love of sports with you all. GO DETROIT!
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By Tank Spencer
If you haven’t seen Bob Costas’ take on the Washington Redskins nickname controversy, you may not want to if you’re a supporter of the name. It might make your head explode. On Sunday Night Football at halftime, Costas does these feature commentaries about “deep” issues in sports. Mostly they are entertaining, but this week’s made me throw things at the television.
Over the years the nicknames “Redskins” and just about every other Native American themed team has come under fire for being insensitive and offensive. Every time the argument is made, it dies a slow death and we get back to sanity. I believe that is the case here as well. Many of the calls for change come not from Native Americans, but Costas and other “we should be ashamed’ whites. They apparently feel Native Americans SHOULD be outraged, so they push and push until finally people stop listening.
The arrogance of this is baffling. I feel you need to feel a certain way and therefore, you need to agree or at least entertain my idea. A survey by the Annenberg Public Policy Center of Native Americans has shown that 90% of them don’t find the term offensive. Have the times changed so much from 2004, that now it is unacceptable? No. Besides that, the team was not named out of ill will. The original team has a Native American head coach and four Native American players who were included in the naming decision. They started as the Boston Braves and then changed to the Boston Redskins.
In his segment, Costas mentioned “Ask yourself what the equivalent would be if directed toward African-Americans, Hispanics, Asians or members of any other ethnic group?” Really Bob? The Blackskins? When have you ever heard such a name said or written? This is just an outrageous comparison that bears no root in honesty or truth.
The fact is, the origin of the word “redskin” is highly debated. I like to believe this one:
Redskin is first recorded in the late 17th century and was applied to the Algonquian peoples generally, but specifically to the
Now is that a fact? Who knows? I do believe no harm was meant and very little is taken by the name “Redskins.”
I also agree with owner Daniel Snyder’s letter last week explaining why the name has not changed. "
If you don’t want to take a white man’s word on this, fine. However, our friend and WWNC HS football color commentator Shawn Crow is a member of the Cherokee Nation. He said in The Sports Tank this week that he takes no offense and he knows few who do. He said it’s not offensive until the word is preceded by an adjective like “dirty” or “lying.”
It can’t be helped that a select few are offended by the name. For the sake of common sense, the team should not change the name. We should not set societal standards on the wishes of the vast minority.