President Barack Obama recently stated that if he were the owner of the Washington Redskins that he would consider changing the team’s nickname. The Redskins responded to the president by pointing out polls he may not be aware of, showing a majority of the Native Americans asked, saying that the name ‘Redskins” doesn’t offend them.
But it seems as though the Redskins are suggesting by their response that if you’re not Native American, then you have no right to take offense to the name. If this is what the Redskins are suggesting, then I would say their suggestion is off base. And even though there are some Native Americans who aren’t offended, others have come out publicly voicing their opposition to the name.
And I’m not saying that the Redskins should change their nickname for politically correct reasons. I’m saying that their response to the president is not a logical argument, because any reasonable person can surmise that you don’t have to be a Native American to be offended by the Redskins name. Many people of many different nationalities and ethnic backgrounds are offended by it.
And the fact that they aren’t Native American doesn’t mean they have no right to be offended. This is not a post debating whether or not the name should be changed. That post is coming soon. But this is a post challenging the Washington Redskins suggestion that if you’re not Native American, that your offense to the name isn’t relevant.
Redskins owner Daniel Snyder has stated that as long as he’s owner, the name will never change. But I think the Redskins should still be concerned with the amount of controversy this issue creates for their franchise. And they should take into account the fact that anyone might be offended by something about their team, regardless of whether they are a Native American or not.