The Washington Redskins have been under a large amount of criticism about their mascot. Although the team has been around since 1932, the mascot is offensive to Native Americans. Those who have been offended by the name have attempted to make it very clear that this is the case. Just watch this.
The Redskins are under pressure from the Native Americans to change the name and have been so for many years now. The commercial above was sponsored by the National Congress of Indian Americans, who seek to raise awareness about racism and other issues.
Washington has always been known to be a place where criticism is amplified and opinions have an affect on the whole country, and this inability to change the name has caused issues for both the organization and the NFL.
The organization offered an explanation for their refusal to changing the name in February of last year. They argued that since there were several high school teams with the same mascot, then it was acceptable for them to keep it as well. The issue with this explanation, however, is that it does not necessarily make sense that a professional football organization should be waiting for high school teams to initiate a social change, and it should in fact be started by the Washington Redskins organization.
Months later, Redskins owner Dan Snyder offered a better explanation. He alluded to the rich history and tradition that the organization represents and argued that to change the name, would also change the way that the organization is viewed and respected. He also added that those who are offended by the name should be considerate of the great history that the name represents.
This explanation is far from satisfying for those campaigning for change, and this still remains an issue. The organization’s stubbornness has caused a lot of controversy recently and is beginning to be something that they must deal with soon.
It is likely that the organization is scared of the effects that changing the name will have on the fans, even though there have historically been several successful name changes in the NFL. The change from Titans to Jets for the New York football team was sparked by a decision that the new name would be better received by the fans, and is now completely adopted by fans.
Although this scenario is very different for several reasons, it will be interesting to watch how it turns out.
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