Dec 23, 2012; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Washington Redskins helmets along the sidelines prior to the game against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field. The Redskins defeated the Eagles 27-20. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

The Redskins name is defined by more than Racism

I keep hearing opponents of the Washington Redskins name pointing out that the word “Redskin” is a racial slur and how the dictionary defines it as such.  But if the word Redskin is only a racial slur then wouldn’t the Redskins be slurring themselves by calling themselves that name?  Who would want to slur themselves?

If Redskins owner Dan Snyder wanted to slur Native Americans out of hate, then why would he call his team the Redskins?  Wouldn’t he call them the “Cowboys”?  Yes, for those who live only by what a dictionary says, one of the definitions of the word cowboy is a fighter of Indians.  But just like the word cowboy, the word redskin can have more than one definition.

And opponents of the name can defy the logic all they want to, but it’s customary for people to name athletic teams after something they admire or aspire to be like.  It makes absolutely no sense to name your team after something that you hate or detest.  There’s no logic to it.

If there was such a desire to slur or offend Native Americans then why were there so many sports teams with Native American centric names?  Today in America, Native Americans are admired for many things culturally and one of those things was their fighting spirit in defending their land.

Many Native American tribes were known for being great warriors.  And the pride and courage they showed in fighting for their land is very admirable and easy to understand for people not just in America but around the world.  It’s the simple concept of freedom that so many people can relate to.

And I’ll concede that the word Redskin has been or is used by some people as a racial slur.  But the Washington Redskins and their fans aren’t using the word that way.  The Redskins use the name not to offend anyone but to emulate the fighting spirit of the great Native American warriors who fought against the white settlers and yes “politicians” who forced them from their land.

I like the fact that the team aspires to the qualities of Native Americans.  It’s something to be proud of.  Unlike teams that aspire to promote the qualities of pirates and plunderers like the Raiders, Buccaneers, and Vikings.  Maybe those politicians in Minnesota who want to ban the word Redskins should look up the word Viking in the dictionary.

And then try to explain why that name is PC acceptable and Redskins isn’t?  I would much rather have my team emulate Native Americans than a people best known for raiding and killing like the Vikings.  But maybe the perception in this twisted politically correct environment we live in is that the using a particular word is considered by some a worse crime than killing.

When I became a Redskins fan as a child I had no idea the word was a slur.  I grew up knowing the word was the name of the team I loved to cheer for.  And most Redskins fans don’t use the word as a slur.  It means something positive.  The team name, colors and tradition became a way of life for me like many Redskins fans.

Only later did I come to learn the word was considered a slur by some.  But the fact is as I pointed out before, one word can have multiple meanings to different people.  So I don’t care what the dictionary says.  When I hear the word Redskins it doesn’t evoke thoughts in me of racial hatred for Native Americans.  Such thoughts wouldn’t even occur to me.

When I hear the word Redskins I know what it means to me and it transcends the dictionary answer.  I define it as tradition, I define it as admiration for Native Americans, and I define it as the life long love of football.  However, some people in this world only want to focus on what divides us.

But this is the one fact that those people simply can’t comprehend.  Redskins Nation is made up of people of all races including Native Americans.  And the word Redskin isn’t tearing those races apart, it’s what brings us together.  HTTR!

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