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Indians Indians Archive Redskins, Indians, And What's In A Name
Written by Jeremy Klein

Jeremy Klein

wahoo-logo2Last week, Peter King of The Monday Morning Quarterback and Sports Illustrated made headlines when he announced his decision to refrain from using the name ‘Redskins’ when referring to the Washington Football Franchise. He’s not the only one to make this decision; Bill Simmons of Grantland also refrained from using the name in his recent NFL power rankings, although he did so without any type of announcement or proclamation. The controversy regarding the name ‘Redskins’ hits especially close to home for Clevelanders, as they also root for a team with a name based on Native American nomenclature that is supposedly steeped in tradition.


First off, let’s get the obvious out of the way. ‘Redskins’ is an offensive term. It is disparaging of an entire race of people. Or, at the very least, the people in charge of deciding its disparaging nature, mainly Daniel Snyder and Roger Goodell, are unqualified to decide on such matters being that they are not affiliated with the oppressed party.

Also obvious: the name is not changing anytime soon. Not as long as Snyder and Goodell are making the decision.

Fortunately, or unfortunately depending on your proclivities, the Washington Football Franchise will in all likelihood outlive the duo. This is why eventually the name will change. Many fans will be upset by this, and understandably so. The franchise under the name ‘Redskins’ has a rich history of success. Fans will claim that the name isn’t intended to disparage Native Americans, that the team is a part of the fabric that makes up the D.C. Metro area, and that it will feel awkward those first few months or years under a new name.

But you know what, tough shit. Overt racism isn’t defensible by context.

I root for the Cleveland Indians, who have been called that for longer than the Redskins have been around. They too have become a part of the community; you can’t watch a game nowadays without being reminded how Cleveland is supposedly a #tribetown (Hint: It’s not). Hell, they even made a couple movies about the team.

The Indians also have possibly the most offensive logo in sports, and the new logo is nothing compared to the old logo. If you know anything about Native American relations, you know that name ‘Indians’ itself is a misnomer and often considered offensive

The name is going to change. And it will be disappointing and awkward and everyone will wish they were still the Indians. Or the Redskins. Or the Braves.

But in the long run we will all be better for it. Nobody wants to be remembered like this guy or this guy, which, while extreme, is quickly becoming the legacy Snyder and Goodell are poised to leave behind.

It’s time people kick their love of these antiquated team names to the curb and embrace change. Surely everyone will be able to find love again.

Jeremy Klein is an unabashed Cleveland Sports fan who is psyched that the Browns are tied for first place in the AFC North. You can follow him on Twitter @PapaBearJere.

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