The debate over whether the Washington Redskins should change their name rages on. But now the argument is starting to branch out into other areas as well. Native American activist Amanda Blackhorse stated that not only should the Redskins lose their trademark on the name, but that Redskins fans should stop wearing Native American head dresses and war paint.I don’t think the Redskins use the word as a slur, as you don’t name your team after something you don’t admire. To many fans I think the word “Redskins” makes more reference to a football team than to a racial slur. But Politicians are always quick to champion issues that have racist overtones because they believe they can make political traction with them.
I’ve also pointed out that the Redskins losing the trademark on the name could end up backfiring on those who are opposed to it. Because without a trademark even more people will use the name to earn a profit off of it. So whether the name is a slur or not is debatable, but I can understand how Native Americans would be offended by fans wearing head dresses.
However, Native Americans weren’t the only people to wear war paint though. Several other cultures and warrior tribes did that as well. But fans wearing Native American head dresses does seem some what disrespectful to Native Americans. Like a person wearing blackface imitating an African American is offensive, a person imitating a Native American can offend as well.
I’m sure most fans who wear the head dresses don’t mean any offense by it. It just another way of being a fan and supporting the team. But the head dresses have great spiritual significance to Native Americans, and fans simply using them to pretend to be an “Indian” should probably stop doing it.