NFL Washington Redskins

Tipping the Scales in the Washington Redskins Name Debate

Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Hail to the…..racism?

No, I’m not just trolling Washington Redskins fans, I’m saying that chant/song becomes harder hear listen to every time as more information is dug up about the origins of the franchise’s nickname. It’s now sounding more ludicrous than it did just as a fan of an opposing team.

In my younger more impressionable days growing up in the D.C. area, I held the opinion that it was only offensive if you think of it that way, and an incredible force of capitalism was banking on this brand and name-recognition so don’t break it. Recently I began pondering the valid points of both sides of the debate, but still felt rather indifferent.

Now, after reading the following article earlier today I’ve decided — in my humble opinion — that it’s game, set, match in favor of this name needing to go. This excerpt is among many in the piece about former Redskins owner George Preston Marshall that tip the scales definitively.

“Most famously of all, Marshall was the last owner to accept a black player—fully 15 years after the ban was lifted,” wrote The Daily Beast’s Michael Tomasky, please do read the whole thing to see where I’m coming from. “And his team drafted an African-American then (in 1961) only because it was forced to by the government—the then-new stadium that we call RFK Stadium today was built on Department of Interior land, which permitted the Kennedy administration to order the lessee (the team) to adhere to federal nondiscrimination policies.

“In other words, Marshall wasn’t merely a standard-issue racist of the time, like H.L. Mencken or countless others. He was diseased. He seethed with hatred of nonwhite people. And “Redskins” is his handiwork. Because “Braves” wasn’t quite descriptive enough.”

If this is accurate, then the debate about this identity being built on incredibly racist principles and motives is decided. Hopefully the organization doesn’t take changing their name as an admission of guilt or assault on their identity. Pretending there isn’t anything wrong with “Redskins,” especially after reading that Daily Beast article, is just intellectually offensive among other things.

Thomas Emerick is a Senior Writer for Follow him on Twitter @ThomasEmerick, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google