In one of the stupidest actions in U.S. congressional history, 50 U.S. senators signed a letter to the Washington Redskins football team, with the following message:
“Today, we urge you and the National Football League to send the same clear message as the NBA did: that racism and bigotry have no place in professional sports. It’s time for the NFL to endorse a name change for the Washington, D.C., football team.”
Thankfully, I am able to report that neither of Virginia’s U.S. senators, Mark Warner and Tim Kaine, signed onto this name-change extremism.
But both of Maryland’s U.S. senators, Barbara Mikulski and Ben Cardin, were among these 50 – to their shame – and to the embarrassment of many of their fellow Marylanders.
Redskins President Bruce Allen, son of former Redskins coach George Allen, responded in a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, which included the following:
- “More than a decade ago, one of the foremost scholars of Native-American languages, Smithsonian senior linguist Ives Goddard, spent seven months researching the subject and concluded that the word ‘redskin’ originated as a Native-American expression of solidarity, by multi-tribal delegations that traveled to Washington to negotiate Native-American national policies.”
- “The Redskins’ logo was designed in 1971 when my father was head coach.”
- “The highly respected Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania surveyed Native-Americans nationally and reported that an overwhelming 90 percent of respondents said the name was not offensive. More importantly, Native-Americans continue to embrace and use the name and logo.”
- “A national survey by the Associated Press confirmed that 83 percent of Americans said they are in favor of keeping the Washington Redskins name. We hope you will join us; Native-Americans deserve our support.”
Did Maryland’s U.S. senators (and their fellow 48 name-change demanders) come up with any alternative team names?
Not to my knowledge.
Do they possibly believe that there would be much public approval for the “Washington Native-Americans”?
How on earth can anyone imagine that anyone else who owned a professional football team, which depends on public support in attendance and TV/radio audience, believe that selection of the Redskins moniker was done for any reason other than a commendation of American Indians?
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