During last night's Redskins-Cowboys Sunday Night Football broadcast, Bob Costas did a commentary regarding the name of the Washington Redskins. Here is a link to the transcript : http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/dc-sports-bog/wp/2013/10/13/bob-costas-on-redskins-name-its-an-insult-a-slur/
The debate over whether or not teams should change their Native American mascots has been going on for years. Many schools and franchises have opted to make the switch, including the University of Massachusetts Minutemen (a much better fit than the Redmen) and St. John's University Red Storm (prior to 1994 they were also the Redmen), while others, including the Redskins and Cleveland Indians, remain steadfast in their approval of their names. Some teams, including the Florida State Seminoles, have chosen to keep their name because the Seminole tribe has given their approval. However, the difference between calling a team "Seminole" or "Sioux" or "Blackhawks" is vastly different than "Redskins" or even "Indians." The former are accurate names of a people; the latter are inaccurate terms once used to describe a race by an uninformed majority and therefore should not be used as the names of sports teams.
Owner Dan Snyder sent out an email last week to Washington fans, telling them why he believes his team should keep the name "Redskins." In it, he writes: "The name was never a label. It was, and continues to be, a badge of honor." In the email, Snyder is trying to gain support for one of the major arguments against changing the Redskins moniker which is, "most Native Americans aren't offended by it." To that I say phooey. I am not all about the "PC movement," but I don't agree with using derogatory terms as names of sports teams just because it's been that way for so many years. If a team was called the "Washington Crackers," even though I might not be personally offended as a white person, I would still not agree with the name, because it is a derogatory term about a specific race.
The term "redskin" was never a term of affection, and therefore using it as a team name is no longer OK. Just because the team has had its name since 1933 doesn't mean they should get to keep it. Today, using the term "redskin" in any way other than referring to the Washington football team is seen as taboo and derogatory. For that fact alone, the name "Redskins" must change.
I am 30, and growing up we called Native Americans "Indians." However, the times have changed and "Indian" now refers to the people who are actually from India. Calling Native Americans "Indians" is not only offensive, it is completely inaccurate. Many people of an older generation can't get used to this change, but just because they don't want to change or don't agree with it doesn't mean the change isn't right. I liken it to referring to any Asian person as "Chinese," any Hispanic person as "Mexican," or any Eastern European as "Russian" – you may not mean to offend, but you are affronting those you are calling the wrong nationality.
Calling a Native American an "Indian" or a "redskin" is no longer "OK" in our society, and to still use those terms as the moniker for a sports team is distasteful and just plain wrong.