The controversy surrounding the nickname of the Washington Redskins continues to be a hotly debated issue.
National Football League Commissioner Roger Goodell recently defended the Redskins moniker by calling it "a unifying force that stands for strength, courage, pride, and respect." These comments were made in response to a request by the Congressional Native American Caucus urging the Washington organization to change its nickname.
Now, Native American author Mark Anthony Rolo calls Goodell's defense of the name "cowardly" and writes that it is time to retire the offensive nickname altogether. Additionally, Rolo also states that he believes the real motivation behind keeping the name has to do with the potential loss of revenue.
Goodell's offensive reply is not only cowardly, but it is also an antiquated defense reminiscent of those who refused to recognize other pop culture stereotypes such as Little Black Sambo and Frito Bandito.
Goodell's refusal to take the right stand has more to do with money than "honoring" the Native American warrior spirit. But concern over losing fan devotion to the Redskin name and image, and profitable merchandise, television and ad revenue should not be factors in the decision whether or not to rename the NFL team.
The use of Native American mascots has been on the decline in recent years as colleges and high schools all across the country have succumb to pressure to change any offensive references. However, the Redskins have refused to give in.
It is likely just a matter of time before the franchise eventually decides to change their name. Until then, they should expect to receive a barrage of scrutiny.
Via Denver Post