The Associated Press took the occasion of an interview with President Obama on Friday to try to re-ignite a long time, political correctness fight. With portions of the Federal government shutdown and a looming fight over the debt ceiling limit, the AP decided that in their given time for an interview with the president, they would get his take on the possibility of the Washington Redskins changing their name.
Wow. With the government bumping up against a debt ceiling limit, questions remaining about Syria, and issues surrounding the rollout of his signature healthcare legislation, the AP decided to ask the president about whether or not he would support a name change of the Washington Redskins.
As a typical politician, Obama did not strongly say either way, but told the press that he would support a name change.
The Redskins’ team attorney, Lanny Davis, a long time democrat and former member of the Clinton Administration, issued the following statement through the team’s official website:
“As a supporter of President Obama, I am sure the president is not aware that in the highly respected Annenberg Institute poll (taken 2004) with a national sample of Native Americans, 9 out of 10 Native Americans said they were not bothered by the name the “Washington Redskins.” The president made these comments to the Associated Press, but he was apparently unaware that an April 2013 AP poll showed that eight out of ten of all Americans in a national sample don’t think the Washington Redskins name should be changed.
“We at the Redskins respect everyone. But like devoted fans of the Atlanta Braves, the Cleveland Indians and the Chicago Blackhawks (from President Obama’s home town ), we love our team and its name and, like those fans, we do not intend to disparage or disrespect a racial or ethnic group. The name “Washington Redskins” is 80 years old – it’s our history and legacy and tradition. We Redskins fans sing ‘hail to the Redskins’ every Sunday as an expression of honor not disparagement.”
Again, I will reiterate, with all the turmoil currently going on in Washington, why did the Associated Press take this time to bring this issue up?
This has been an issue perpetuated by some in the media. Certain online websites have decided to refrain from using the Redskins name when referencing the team. Peter King of SI.com, among them. David Whitley of FOX Sports jumped on the story. The NBC owned site, Profootballtalk.com has been closely following and supporting this name change idea for as long as the idea has been floated. Mike Florio, an attorney, decided to parse the words from Lanny Davis this evening. Just in case we were too stupid to understand what Davis actually said in his statement. King appears with Florio on NBC Sports frequently.
Florio tries to make the argument that if just one person is offended, then a name change consideration should be on the table, despite two polls showing an overwhelming support of the current name.
Hey, why stop with the Redskins, let’s just let the irrational wave of political correctness continue to move through the NFL and several teams need to have a name change.
The Kansas City Chiefs have to go as soon as the Redskins are forced to change their name. Didn’t Cowboys kill Indians? Dallas’ name must go. The New York Giants and Tennessee Titans have names offensive to short people. It’s only right to change the name. The Oakland Raiders and Tampa Bay Buccaneers are images of Europeans which plundered the Caribbean. How much plundering did the Vikings do? The name New England Patriots might be offensive to some Brits after the American Revolution. With the NFL pushing for expansion to London, we can’t offend them.
Does anyone know how much environmental damage gold prospectors did to the environment? The 49er’s name has to go. Speaking of the environment, what is the carbon footprint of a Jet or a factory making steel? Steelers and Jets are offensive.
Atheists living in New Orleans might be offended with the team name Saints.
Why is there a feline bias in the NFL? There are three teams named after cats, Panthers, Lions and Bengals, but no team named after the canine community.
It’s a ridiculous argument isn’t it?
While polls show overwhelmingly that this is a non-issue, many in the media will continue to brow beat the Redskins. I am by no means a Washington Redskins fan, but I applaud Daniel Snyder for standing pat and not caving to the whims of a select few. Where does this media pressure end? Snyder made the money to buy the Redskins franchise. What happens when the politically correct crowd gets done with sports franchises? Will your company and it’s name be targeted next?
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