Two members of the United States congress sent a letter to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, asking him to support a name change for the Washington Redskins. Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) and Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.) wrote the letter, and they characterize the Redskins name a racial slur, and stated the NFL is on the wrong side of history.
The Redskins responded to this letter by suggesting the senator and the congressman had better things to do than to worry about the name of a football team. Citing the many social problems the politicians should be helping Native Americans with, instead of trying to change the Redskins name.
I have previously stated I thought the Redskins should change the name, not because it’s offensive, but because it’s a distraction. The more the Redskins dig in to defend their name, the stronger the opposition will rise up to fight it. Every year this goes on, the bigger a distraction it will become.
And it’s like I said, it’s not really about the name being offensive. You can debate that topic forever, and neither side would win. It’s about this issue being a distraction from the focus of the Redskins being on football, and on politics. The Redskins can bring up all the polls they want to, but none of that will make this issue go away, or make the opposition stop fighting to change the name.
When politicians start threatening to examine your tax exempt status, that should tell you the fight is only beginning. And belittling politicians could only serve to strengthen their resolve. Maybe the Redskins are right, that politicians should have more important things to do than worry about their name. But the fact is they are worried about it.
And the Redskins should be worried too. I think the Redskins and the NFL believe if they just maintain their stance, that this will all just go away. But as long as the team is named Redskins, this issue isn’t going any where.