The Washington Redskins

Do you find the name offensive?

What if they where the white, black, yellow, green, grey,
or purple skins?

Personally, no. But I understand its offensiveness to others.

as for:

Well, “Purpleskin” has never to the best of my knowledge been used as a racial pejorative. “Redskin” has. If the team were the “Greymeats” and their mascot and symbols were chariactures of a redneck honkey mofo, I would be a little annoyed. Ditto for “Yellowskins” if their mascot were a stereotyped oriental.

Greymeats :confused: ?!

It’s a racial epithet. It’s offensive. The management of the 'Skins have their heads up their asses. The Redmen (nee) changed to the Orangemen, and it didn’t seem to affect the team. Forcryinoutloud, the Washington Bullets changed to the Wizards because of the implied violence. I’m sure the New York Niggers, or California Kikes, or Washington WOPs would go over real well. Part of the problem is, since the near-genocide, the Native Americans really don’t have much of a voice, do they?

Yeah, and changing the name to the Wizards did a hell of a lot in making DC safer… :rolleyes:

Missed the part where changing the name from Bullets to Wizards was about making D.C. safer. I just assumed it was about sensitivity.

As a guy who works in DC on Indian affairs, hell yes, it’s offensive. And horribly ironic, too. It was DC’s job to protect the land and the sovereignty of the Indians, and they failed so miserably that millions of Americans, Indian and other alike, are experiencing the repercussions.

I hope that someday a casino-rich Indian tribe buys the team, keeps the name, and offers free beer in the second half to any spectator who just signs this simple little piece of paper.

As someone who happens to be part Native American, no it doesn’t offend me mainly because I haven’t seen people pretending to be natives and being deliberately ignorant to how my ancestors (I’m but a small part native, btw) lived and continue to live.

I can, however, see how someone might take offense at it. I just don’t happen to.

RE: WOPs, niggers, kikes etc . . . those are names which in my opinion are being deliberately insulting. I don’t find the word “redskin” to be insulting to my ancestors. As such I don’t have a problem with it.

However, I do have a problem with this country’s history of “toleration” of minorities (or in this case, majority).

This came up in the 1995 World Series when the Braves played the Indians. People got upset over the use of the word “brave” and the depiction of the Cleveland mascot. Do I find these team names offensive? No, but that may be in part because I’m not Native American. Would I be offended if there was a team called the Yellowskins? Maybe, a little. But who would name a team after a race they wanted to vilify? If anything, isn’t it more complimentary to name a team after something?

I completely agree that it’s wrong to use terms that are deliberately insulting. However, I don’t think it’s any better to be super-sensitive to terms that might not be intended to be racist.

This is quite true. As a matter of fact, it’s the reason why I have no problem with the word “oriental” as opposed to “asian”, unlike some of my contemporaries. Prefer “asian” if you like, but don’t make a big stink about something unless it’s intended to be derogatory.

I have no problem with “Redskins”. If I were starting a team, I wouldn’t name it that now, but I don’t think it’s a problem warranting a name change.

And the dispute over “Packers” is one of the dumbest things I’ve ever heard…

I was hoping that this was a thread about how the $kins were ruining the game due to Daniel Snyder’s spendthrift ways.

A little OT: I don’t know why this is, but my parents and other people their age say “Oriental”, but my friends and I all say “Asian”.

I haven’t heard- what was the dispute about?

The sad truth is, no matter what you name your team, SOMEONE will find it something to dislike about it.

Like the Tampa Bay Devil Rays…good grief, it’s an * animal, * for chrissakes :rolleyes:

I think that “Oriental” being somehow not politically correct is a fairly recent development. Can’t pinpoint when I first became aware of this, but I don’t recall it being an issue in college (15 years ago–yikes)


PETA (People for Ethical Treatment of Animals) are protesting this name because of the association with meat packers.


They’re running out of stuff to protest.

It’s my impression that the term “redskin” orginated as, and was principally used as, a pejorative. That sort of makes sense to me: terms that isolate some ethnic or religious group’s physical differences (think about it for about 10 seconds and I’m sure you can come up with a few) tend not to be terms of affection. Am I wrong about “redskin”?

I always make a distinction, though, between words like “redskin” and “brave.” “Brave” absolutely has a Native-American connotation (which is not a bad thing, correct?), but was chosen because it implies strength and courage, just like any other variation on “warrior.” To me, a Native American should be as offended by the term “brave” as an Englishmen should be for a team named the “Knights”–which is to say, not at all. Does that make sense?

Bottom line (for me): Chief Wahoo and the Redskins cross the line. “The Braves” does not. Simply calling a team “The Indians” (divorced from any of that Chief Wahoo nonsense), well, I’m not really sure (the Philadelphia Italians?..the Chicago Lithuanians?).

Bingo, Bob.

Think about how many American sports teams have used Indian names in the past. Indians were–and to some still are–worthy opponents, and elicited a certain admiration among the general populace.

But Redskin was not an admirable term. Check out Scalp Dance, by Thomas Goodrich (through the always respectable Stackpole Books). The soldiers who met the Indians in the field didn’t call them redskins. They used, primarily, the innumerable other words associated with Indian warriors. Redskin appears to me to be reserved as a slur, except when used in rarified government-to-government negotiations (I’ve seen some transcripts where Indians use the term “redskin” to refer to all North American Indians, because more often than not Indians did not define all Native Americans under a collective term; many tribal names translate into “the human beings” or “the real people”, thus excluding such a collective term).

Nobody’s going to name them the Washington N***ers. You don’t name a team to insult some group; you give a team a name because you think it’s a cool name.

Maybe someone else thinks of ‘Redskins’ as pejorative, but I’m certain that whoever initially named them the Redskins, back in their Boston incarnation, didn’t do so out of a low opinion of either (a) Native Americans, or (b) the patriots at the Boston Tea Party who masqueraded as NA’s, depending on who the team was named after.

These days, regarding the team name ‘Redskins’ as a pejorative against the American Indians is getting to be as much of a stretch as regarding use of ‘welshing’ on a debt as pejorative against persons from Wales. The language is full of fossils of old prejudices that have passed by, and this one’s almost there. Three generations ago, if you had American Indian ancestry, you generally didn’t want that known. Now having Indian blood has a certain cachet.

I can’t see how it’s making anyone’s life worse that the Redskins are called the Redskins. Let 'em be.

So it’s okay for me to say “I Jew’d him down on the cost of that TV.” I don’t think so.

I agree with your notion of antiquated origins, but
just because something is rooted in ignorance doesn’t mean it has to remain there. And if I think a name is “cool”, that doesn’t mean the person to which I refer feels the same. I have no doubt the the namers of the team had only the positive aspects in mind, but it’s still a slur.

DRY wrote:

Oh. I thought the dispute might have come from the gay male community.
<ducking and running>