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Tim McDonald

Is "Redskins" a Slur or an Honor? Hint: It's a Slur

By June 20, 2013

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Daniel Snyder

The prickly issue of the Washington Redskins' insulting nickname would be much worse if team owner Daniel Snyder didn't justify it in such a sensitive and understanding way.

"We'll never change the name," Snyder told USA Today after the issue re-surfaced recently. "It's that simple. Never. You can put that in capital letters."

Thank you, Mr. Sensitive. There are some other words I'd like to put in caps, but I won't.

Remember, this is the same guy who sued season ticket holders who couldn't pay up when the recession hit, even though he said there were 200,000 on the waiting list.  The same billionaire who changes coaches like power ties.

Anyway, it's ironic that the nickname was supposedly meant to "honor" head coach William Henry "Lone Star" Dietz, who probably wasn't even a Native American.

I won't beat this dead horse into submission again.

But, I will point out that NFL team nicknames - their origins, history, purpose, changes, everything about them - can be very interesting. More on that here.

- Getty Images



June 20, 2013 at 10:55 am
(1) JT says:

You should find out the origin of the name Redskin before you declare it a slur. In fact ask some tribal leaders where it came from if you get the time.

June 20, 2013 at 3:35 pm
(2) keith says:

I find it real funny how the only people who deem the name redskins a slur or whatever are mostly white or is a former and bitter D.C. mayor who messed D.C. up.I’ve yet to hear or see an native american complain.

June 24, 2013 at 8:03 pm
(3) amki says:

I suspect that “redskins” was originally intended as a slur, although why someone would choose something that he felt to be a slur as a name for his team doesn’t seem sensible.

However, I think that connotation has probably long since been forgotten, and I think that the debate about it should be forgotten, as well.

June 24, 2013 at 11:31 pm
(4) warrior32746 says:

McDonld- If you a sports writer, write about sports. Who cares about the PC view from you.

June 25, 2013 at 7:51 am
(5) Frank Cherney says:

Well, they call me white. Should I start feeling insulted? Redskins to me denotes an Indian who has fighting spirit and conducts himself (herself) with honor. A Redskin to me is someone who stands up for his justifiable rights. Why would a football team want to connote something negative about their trademark name? Because they would want to intentionally lose?

June 25, 2013 at 10:58 am
(6) Martha Cole says:

I would be proud if a football team were named for me.

June 25, 2013 at 10:47 pm
(7) michael lee says:

Though not football nickname
there are several lacrosse teams in Ontario Canada with names like the Brooklin Redmen, Whitby Warriors kitchener Braves ,Burlington Chiefs etc Those nicknames are there to honour the inventors of the beautiful game of lacrosse-the first nations people-it is not a slur but respect. Ironic is that the Native team from the Akwesasne reserve is called the ‘Indians”

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