Redskins: racist slur, or serious respect? Or maybe it’s something else…

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OK, maybe this subject has been beaten to death, but…WAKE UP, HORSE!

Even if you know squat about football, you’ve likely heard about efforts by…well, it seems like just about everybody…to get the Washington Redskins to change their name. On the surface, this sounds just too politically correct NOT to agree with, right? Because after all, if you’re not politically correct, then you might as well have “RACIST” tattooed on your forehead.

I was a little kid when The Brady Bunch was still on Prime Time television (FTR: Jan ended up being the smoking-hot one). During the final season was an episode called “Kelly’s Kids“, dealing with a white couple adopting three boys of different races and their next-door bigot who expressed her non-approval (yes, back then we called most racists “bigots”, because back then “racist” was a slur reserved for actual racists). Perhaps the following prop was only meant to be subtle commentary to enhance the show’s positive message: Todd Lookinland’s character wore a Redskins jacket during the episode. But basically, the entire premise of the episode was about love and acceptance, regardless of color.

And as the years went on and I got past my screen crush over Eve Plumb (um…ok, still have the screen crush), I never once considered the team name “Redskins” to be racist. Referring to Native Americans as “redskins” in a negative tone of voice…absolute racism bigotry. Team name…never a thought. But now I’m being told that the team name is racist, so I need to get with the program.

But it didn’t stop there. Now the Kansas City Chiefs offends, even though the team name was borne after a white man. And the person who is offended by the Chiefs, and also got the trademark canceled for the Redskins, has an interesting conundrum to deal with: her own tribe named and root for the Red Mesa High School Redskins. And the tribe is not inclined to change the name. Irony much?

The most eloquent and eye-opening article about this whole situation that I have read so far comes from Kerry J. Byrne of coldhardfootballfacts.com, who happens to be part Irish, part Native American. And he believes the Redskins name must be saved. Not “should”, but “must”.

Then I noticed that the Washington Redskins were the third most valuable NFL franchise, valued at approximately $1.6 billion as of 2013. Changing the name would have serious financial consequences for one Dan Snyder, which explains why he doesn’t want to change the name.

So where am I going with this? Pretty simple: we have one person who apparently doesn’t want to lose on his investment in an NFL team, we have a few select people who apparently want their 15 minutes of fame, and we have a large chorus of people who apparently feel the need to weigh in on the controversy in order to give the impression that they’re not racists…some of whom want your vote in the next election.

In other words, this is just a pissing match. And while Dan Snyder may look like he’s soaked right now, he may come out of this whole ordeal smelling just fine.

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