The initial news dropped just before 4th of July weekend that the Washington Redskins would “look into” changing their name due to mounting pressure from corporate sponsors, specifically Nike and FedEx (FedEx owns the naming rights to Washington’s stadium). Today they made the announcement official that they will be retiring the name “Redskins”.
This is not a complete surprise as the name has been under siege for as long as I can remember but the owner, Dan Snyder, has said concretely in the past that he would not change the name. This was further solidified back in 2016 when a Washington Post survey found that 9 in 10 Native Americans do not find the name offensive. But, the politically correct woke mob did not back down and kept up with the attacks. Today they won their war.
Snyder decided now amidst all the civil unrest, and mainly corporate pressure, to go back on his claims of never changing the team name. And this morning the Washington football team gave a press release claiming that they will officially undergo this process. The official name is still TBD.
I don’t completely blame them for changing the name. Redskin can definitely be seen as a derogatory term and there is no reason for the football team to continue to deal with this headache when they can easily just change it, apologize, and move on. Sure, it can be seen as them “bending the knee to the mob”. And obviously it hurts to get rid of the tradition of the Redskins franchise that has been around for 87 years. When there is real data to support the not changing name, too, I could see why it took them this long. But from a pure business decision in 2020 the switch makes sense.
The Redskins name is entirely different than that of the Indians or Chiefs, in that regard. If those teams choose change their name then is every nickname offensive? The Indians realized that their Chief Wahoo logo was problematic, and they rightfully changed that. But the actual nickname? Couldn’t that then pave a way to make a name like the Cowboys, or even the Patriots, to be offensive as well? If not then I’m open to a conversation in discussing why that is the case.
Plus, Washington has the marketing machine of the NFL behind them so it’s not like the value of the franchise will take a huge hit in itself. Sure, they will need to pivot the brand but there are definitely profitable paths to take. When you parlay that with all the new merchandise that they will sell, it honestly is a pretty good proposition for Snyder and Washington.
It’s just ironic, and hypocrital, that the pressure came from a company like Nike that we knowingly accept contracts factories with the worst working conditions imaginable. Nike has become the global powerhouse it is today because of their offshoring strategy to any and all costs plausible. They have no real regard for ethics or responsibility towards their workers. Their “corporate wokeness” is transparent in this respect and we just accept that while they continue to lecture their customers about doing the “right thing”. They pay legitimate slave wages and employ child labor. It also angers me that Nike has manufacturing plants all over the world, but not in the United States. It’s a prime example of talking without doing and only caring about shareholder profits rather than their corporate responsibilities.
Anyways, for thinking about the new name that Washington should pick, my choice is the Responders. I say this because then they can still use the awesome #HTTR hashtag and it keeps some form of that tradition alive. And the Responders can be an ode to the first responders of Police and Firemen who don’t hesitate to act when danger arrives. They constantly risk their lives to keep us safe. Cops are under attack right now and if a huge corporation like the NFL gave them support it could help unify us while restoring law and order. I think that the team in Washington DC should have a patriotic name and one that is fully supportive with America’s ideals.
Another name I saw that I actually really do like is the Washington Redtails. This would also be a cool nod to the African American fighter pilots who battled in World War II. That name would be very in touch with the times and I could definitely get behind it. It would be a great way to unify us around our diversity and patriotism. It can be a reminder to the truest, realest forms of evils in this world. The NFL loves to flaunt the red, white, and blue when they are in a PR hole so one of these names could be a savvy way to squeak out of it while also actually doing good for the country.
I just hope that they don’t pick a high school mascot name like the Bulldogs or something. I want to believe the NFL is too smart for that but I also can see them just picking the least controversial name ever. Get creative, please.