The Washington Redskins have fielded intense fire from bureaucratic long nines in recent months. It wasn’t heat generated from roster rotations, personnel changes or distinct player contract extensions — though, fans would have justifiable grounds for expressing fiery displeasure regarding select changes that have been administratively solidified this offseason.
The seething heat stems from those on Capitol Hill, who are strongly encouraging the club’s administration to employ immediate and permanent changes to the team’s name. The pressing politically correct motion for the Redskins’ ownership to change the team’s name comes in the wake of former NBA Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling‘s racially charged comments he made in a recorded conversation to his girlfriend. The NBA brought its resolute gavel of power down hard on Sterling for his irresponsible and misplaced words with a lifetime ban from the league and a pecuniary suffocating fine of $2.5 million. Without the leverage of such a testy and deliberately prolonged racial soap opera, those who wield political power have no case.
That doesn’t keep the U.S. government from rumbling. A reported 50 senators drafted, signed and dispatched a letter to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, advising him to employ the same tactics the NBA fired at Sterling to discourage future unprofessionalism at the national level.
“Today, we urge you and the National Football League to send the same clear message the NBA did: that racism and bigotry have no place in professional sports,” the letter said, per USA Today. “It’s time for the NFL to endorse a name change.”
Oh, gee. Thanks so much for the cue and executive clearance. You’d think the Redskins’ front office had its head in the sand. The club will get on that right away.
Goodell drafted an executive response to the political parties involved, citing in essence that “the name is a unifying force that stands for strength, courage, pride and respect,” according to ESPN.com.
To his credit the NFL’s, commissioner now has a backbone — something he sorely lacked during the Spygate Scandal. Redskins President and GM Bruce Allen echoed Goodell’s sentiments in a separate letter to Senator Harry Reid, citing “the word ‘redskin’ originated as a Native American expression of solidarity by multi-tribal delegations that traveled to Washington to negotiate Native American policies,” per Washington CBS Local. “The highly respected Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania surveyed Native Americans nationally and reported that an overwhelming 90 percent of respondents said the name was not offensive … and a confirming 83 percent of Americans said they are in favor of keeping the Washington Redskins name.”
To suggest that the Redskins age-old nickname harbors a racially patronizing connotation holds about as much water as citing that Speaker of the House of Representatives John Boehner is a radical bigot for disliking Mexican food. We have become the nation of the highly offended and quite frankly, enough is enough. This juvenile dispute has more than drained itself. We’re done. Congress really needs to step off before they fry their credibility and start to be collectively disliked.