Imagine if you are a fan of the Washington football club. They are, apparently, going to have to change their name. “Redskins” is deemed racist by white liberals who are determined to outlaw anything they consider offensive. The fans don’t care, the large majority of Native Americans don’t care, the only people truly offended are those who take it upon themselves to be offended for you. A few years ago a bureaucrat in the trademark office tried to get the name banned. That failed.
But recently, with the general fervor surrounding the Black Lives Matter movement, the Redskins have been determined to be “racially insensitive.” I don’t know how a black man dying in Minneapolis led to this, but there you have it. Two large corporate backers, Fed Ex (for whom the stadium is named), and Nike (of sweat labor) have pressured team owner, Dan Snyder, to change the name. George Preston Marshall, who founded the team has had his statue taken down.
So if you’re a Redskin fan and have delayed buying a new BMW because you’ve purchased stadium seat licenses, tickets, bobble heads, blankets, towels, jerseys, helmets, pen and pencil sets, and big head posters all emblazoned with the Redskins logo, you’re out of luck. If you’ve got a van painted in Redskin red and gold and outfitted with outdoor television, grill, and refrigerator, then you’re going to have to start over. If you have an outfit with head dress, moccasins, and fringed buckskins you’ll have to get rid of them. Also no more war paint on your face.
This is a very dangerous precedent that was started, I think, on the West Coast (naturally) when the Stanford Indians changed their name to Cardinals. This is the bird, of course, since they wouldn’t want to seem religious in any way. I suppose they could have changed it to “Flowering Shrubs,” or “Herbal Cures” so all in all it doesn’t seem so bad.
One of the greatest moments in sports was the World Series in which the Atlanta Braves were playing. One of the rallying cries for the Braves was the “tomahawk chop” in which the fans would raise and lower their arms to an Indian beat. Ted Turner owned the Braves at the time and was married to Jane Fonda. Jane was clearly uncomfortable doing the chop but she also enjoyed being married to a billionaire. She chopped. But in her defense, she didn’t look happy about it.
The Cleveland Indians are going to have to make a decision about their mascot and the Chicago Black Hawks are just so wrong on many different levels. The Texas Rangers are too pro-cop, and the Utah Jazz just doesn’t make sense. The Sacramento Kings are royalist, Angels are too pro-religion, the Kansas City Royals are pro-feudalism, the Edmonton Oilers are anti-environmentalist, the Hartford Whalers must go.
One of the top college football programs in the country is the Oklahoma Sooners. Unfortunately, Oklahoma means “Red Man,” so the whole state may need a name change. I don’t know if Kanye West has made this a part of his political agenda, but it should be. The pro basketball team is named the “Thunder” and this seems kind of safe like the Miami “Heat” or the University of Miami “Hurricanes.” There have also been teams named the “Tornadoes” but as far as I know, no team has been dubbed the “Humidity.”
Assuming that Washington keeps the name “Washington” (slave owner) there seem to be any number of appropriate nicknames. Bureaucrats would work although it may be impossible for them to leave their committee meetings (huddles). Swamp creatures would also seem to sum up that crowd, plus they could change their colors to a day-glo green with orange.
My favorite would be the CYA’s. The Village People could be resurrected to sing “C..Y..A..it’s fun to play for the C..Y..A..s.