there is nO winning this debate

Sometimes Blog of Team takes break from meat fights and Sidney Ponson .gifs for long enough to tackle things that approximate serious topics.

This winter we’re seeing more articles devoted to pressuring the Washington Redskins into changing their name. And we’re seeing the Redskins push back.

So, OK, the narrative still is clothed in the mantle of debate. There’s ostensibly still a debate. But here’s the point:

For the Redskins there is no winning this debate. Anyone with any sense can see the name “Redskins” is at least arguably racist. So the debate never goes away no matter how many court cases you win.

The world is moving on, moving away from racism. In doing so it’s also moving away from things that are “vaguely racist,” and “arguably racist” and “possibly racist.”

It really doesn’t matter any more that the Redskins’ ownership can obfuscate the matter, blunt the criticism or otherwise rationalize their failure to take action.

What matters now is the ability to see the larger point and take a step in the right direction by changing the team’s name.

The racism “debate” aside, here are two secondary points that bear mentioning:

  • If owner Dan Snyder thinks the pressure is on now — and judging by his spin campaign on Redskins.com, clearly he does — he likely also has guessed at the onslaught of opprobrium that is to come if the team makes another serious Super Bowl run under the Redskins name. If he has guessed at that, well, he’s right: It will get terribly ugly
  • Snyder’s argument that changing the name would be a bad business decision is flawed. The franchise’s financial viability has withstood two decades of almost unfathomable blundering by management and it remains a cash cow. A proper re-branding would likely have the opposite effect, advancing Snyder’s financial interests. (Washington Americans has a nice ring to it.) As others have pointed out: Now would be a great time for the move because the team is adopting a new roster that includes a superstar quarterback. The argument that longtime fans won’t like such a move (which is related to the business argument) also is flawed: I’ve been a fan since the 1970s and the older I get, the more the name bugs me

It’s funny how, sometimes, the easiest decisions are the most difficult to make.

5 Responses to “there is nO winning this debate”

  1. Hans Bungle Says:

    Glad to hear you weigh in on this one. Name change is long overdue — “tradition” is usually an excuse for continuing to do something you know you probably shouldn’t be doing. They need to bite the bullet and do it already. Ten years after they finally do, we’ll all be shocked by how long it took.

  2. Sponsort Says:

    In the great family tradition, and in recognition of the import of this issue, I give you: The Washington Flapdoodles.

  3. Zev Says:

    What did that bartender tell us? Lose the logo and stick a potato on the helmet. End of story

  4. brO Says:

    Good read. I’m with Sponsort. The Washington Flapdoodles. Make it happen.

  5. The Wayward O Says:

    I’d go to bat for keeping the logo but opinions differ. Warriors also wouldn’t be a bad name.