Sports teams’ names have been coming under fire for a while now, with the Washington Redskins arguably taking the most flak.
It seems that their name – which they take pride in; which their fans proudly wear on shirts, hats, jackets, socks, etc.; which is screamed enthusiastically from stands and couches alike whenever they play – is offensive to Indians. Oops. I mean Native Americans.
Personally, I don’t get how the name is offensive at all. Forget the love and loyalty the brand inspires (ok, yes, and animosity from their rivals, but that’s beside the point). When was the last time you heard “redskins” used for anything other than the Washington D.C. football team?
I mean, really.
As slurs go, it’s archaic, rather like scallywags. And who wouldn’t want to name a sports team “The Scallywags”? How fun would that be!
Or not, as that might hurt an actual scallywag’s feelings. And if even one scallywag gets upset, then we need to take it seriously. That’s according to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, who says, “We have to listen. If one person is offended, we have to listen.”
Now, I’m all for taking peoples’ sensibilities into consideration. If I’m inviting a vegetarian over for dinner, I’m not going to cook with meat. If I’m in a Muslim country, I’m not going to wear shorts and a tank top. And if I’m in Baltimore, I’m not going to proudly proclaim my Steelers fandom. (Though that’s mainly because I don’t want to be shot.)
But there’s a point where changing your life to accommodate other people gets a bit ridiculous.
For example, there are people who are afraid of the color black. It’s called melanophobia. Does that mean I should stop wearing my black work slacks, my black-background t-shirts or that awesome dress I look so good in?
While I feel sorry for melanophobics, that is their irrational issue they need to deal with, not mine. So I’m not going to change the color of my wardrobe one bit.
Getting up in arms by the term “Redskins” in this context is just as silly and, quite possibly, something those offended need to talk to a shrink about as well.
It’s oversensitive silliness like that – and the fawning accommodation of such, as in the case of Roger Goodell – that is contributing to the breakdown of American liberties every year.
If we keep changing to suit “one person” here and “one person” there, we’re not going to have the choice to change much longer.