What do sports teams who are—or used to be—named after Apaches, Braves, Indians, Mohawks, Redmen, Warriors, etc. have in common?
People who love to manufacture stories and narratives that accuse others of being hateful find them very offensive.
I’ll tell you what: I could not care any less about what a football team chooses to call itself, barring that they aren’t named after things like Nazis. (This applies to any sport, but I’m just going to say football from here on out, okay?)
Do you know why that is? Because when a football team decides on a name for itself, it is because that name is intimidating and gives the players an idea of what kind of attitude they need to play with, or it is because they are paying homage to someone or something.
No football team has ever named itself after a certain people or culture just so that fans, players and coaches could have a laugh at someone else’s expense.
It’s been decades since the last world war and 9/11, so I feel like everyone has forgotten what real problems are.
There must be something hidden in the human condition that causes so many people to long for victimhood. After all, we’re talking about football here, and people try their hardest to make it about racial hatred and disrespect.
There’s no denying that Native Americans have suffered much oppression in American history, but there’s no sense in labeling football organizations racist for naming teams after them.
The teams who do so are simply doing it out of respect for Native American people and culture because they were and are tough people that embody the spirit football coaches want to see in their players.
How is that wrong or racist? It isn’t. It’s wrong and racist to advocate for the renaming of teams named after Native Americans because you are erasing them from society.
Look at the company Land O’Lakes who removed the iconic Native American woman from their packaging.
How is that better? Whose life was improved by that spineless executive decision?
I want to live in a world where different people and cultures are celebrated, but instead, I have to hear about how racist I am for enjoying seeing “racist” advertisements that “feed into stereotypes.”
Native Americans existed. It’s as simple as that. There is absolutely nothing wrong with naming teams after them or using their likeness to advertise as long as it is done in a tasteful manner, and that goes for any race and culture.
People should come together over the celebration of our own unique cultures. Instead, we have those who feel the need to be offended for people who sometimes aren’t even from the same cultural background.
We don’t need self-appointed gatekeepers to tell us when we’re being racist for calling a team the Redskins. That’s not racism.
If we let those people have it their way, they will erase POC culture from popular culture while fans in stadiums simply yelling their team’s name will be condemned for their bigotry.
Somebody play Frank Sinatra’s “Send in the Clowns,” I guess.
Written by Zach Edmondson, sports editor. Graphic courtesy of Gracie Lucas.