For years, many have called on the Washington Redskins to change their name. The name has been labeled as racially insensitive and offensive to Native Americans. Despite long-term protests of the name, though, no actions or legislative measures have gained any traction.
In January of 2013, Washington Post columnist Mike Wise said only superstar quarterback Robert Griffin III could force the Redskins to change their name. Well sorry, Mike, but RGIII doesn’t seem to be on board with the cause.
RGIII sent out a tweet today branding calls for a Redskins name change as the “tyranny of political correctness.”
“In a land of freedom we are held hostage by the tyranny of political correctness,” his tweet reads.
The tweet was likely sent out in response to the latest DC Council proposal calling for a Redskins name change. The proposal, backed by council member David Grosso, advocates for the Redskins to change their name to the “Washington Redtails”, the name of the Tuskegee Airmen.
“Washington’s name has been dishonored by association with the word ‘Redskins,’” the proposal states. It continues to say that residents “should not tolerate commercial or other use” of a name that “dishonors any person’s race.”
Grosso says “Redtails” would be a convenient name replacement for the Redskins, noting that “you can still keep the feather” in the team’s logo.
Grosso’s proposal echoes a growing sentiment against the Redskins team name. Washington DC mayor Vincent Gray said that if the Redskins ever want to return to DC – they’ve played their games in Landover, MD since 2007 – the team will have to change their name. The National Congress of American Indians spends money every year lobbying for a Redskins name change. Last month, lawmakers introduced a bill in congress that would strip the Redskins of their trademark to the name under pretenses that the name is derogatory and offensive towards Native Americans.
Grosso’s suggestion was put forth in the form of a non-binding resolution. As such, it is more of a litmus test for the opinions of other council members than a piece of enforceable legislature. Even so, the Redskins are beginning to face growing levels of public dissatisfaction towards their name.
Owner Dan Snyder and General Manager Bruce Allen have been defiant towards name change suggestions in the past, calling them “ludicrous” among other things. But if public opinion on the name continues to move in the direction it has for the last several decades, Snyder and Allen may be forced reconsider their position sooner rather than later.
One last thing. Even as a lifelong, diehard Redskins fan, I can understand the criticism of the name. But if we’re going to do this whole name change thing, we better do it right. And Redtails is not going to cut it. I’m not saying I have any better ideas at this time, I just know we’ve got to do better than that. But for now, Hail to the….Somethings. It’ll be interesting to see how this whole thing plays out.