Chief Staff Writer
The Washington Redskins are one of the most valuable franchises in the NFL, whose fan base have helped them become one of the best known organizations in professional sports. They rank second in average game attendance so far this season, and their famous fight song ‘Hail to the Redskins’ can show anyone that they take serious pride in the tradition of their team. However, this strong tradition fans feel is being threatened by a nationwide controversy regarding the name ‘Redskins,’ which is perceived offensive to Native Americans by some people.
As one could imagine, Redskins fans and members of their organization stand strongly behind their name; which they’ve had since 1933. When asked about this issue, owner Daniel Snyder stated he will “never” change the name, denying any notion of it being a derogatory term. Several fans feel the same way about their mascot.
“I can see where they’re coming from, but as fans we are proud of our team’s name. People can also view it as paying tribute to them,” says Nick Matzelevich (’14).
Another common point fans seem to make is that the name doesn’t have negative intentions as an ethnic slur. To them, the term ‘Redskin’ isn’t being used to offend or degrade Native Americans.
“It doesn’t intend to be racist, because we are only portraying them as warriors, which we look at in a positive way,” Haley Economakis (’14) explained.
While the name has periodically gained attention in the past, the demand to change the name has escalated drastically, enough that NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has spoken publicly about it. While Goodell did not mandate any changes, he stated that the league should listen to the fans if they are offended.
The choice ultimately seems to be up to Dan Snyder and the Redskins organization, who appear to have no intentions of changing the name anytime soon.