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Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Redtails?

One of the most covered topics on the Redskins recently has been the possibility of a name change.  While I see this as an unlikely occurrence it is still an issue that should be addressed.  First, let me state that, given the information I have on the subject, do not see a reason to change the name. I understand that it can be seen as a racist term but looking into the origins of the term redskin shows that it does not have to be.  For those who do not already know, the origin of the term "redskin" does not come from the practice of bounty scalping.  The real origin is from Native Americans themselves. IVES GODDARD has written about the topic in more detail than I'm willing to go into but if you wish to read more you can look up his paper or read this piece by Bill Poser.
This, however, is only one part of the equation as to why I do not believe the name needs to be changed. The second part being that as far as I can find the changing of the name from the Boston Braves to the Boston Redskins was in honor of the coach at the time who had Native American heritage, William Henry "Lone Star" Dietz. This shows that the intention of the franchise being named the Washington Redskins is in no way meant to be derogatory or degrading. Further, nothing in the fight song or logo of the Redskins' shows anything but praise and honor for the name. 
Now I understand that despite all of this intentions are not everything and that there is a valid argument for the changing of the name.  And in the case that despite the protesting of myself, many Redskin fans, and Dan Snyder the name must be changed I see only one name that I could support.  That name is the Washington Braves.  This would allow the color scheme and logo to remain the same and, seeing as the fight song already uses the word Braves, the fight song could be kept as well.  Further, the change to Braves has its roots in history, because the Redskins' original name is the Boston Braves.  Ultimately, I don't see the need to change the name and I do not expect it to happen anytime soon.  However, I see the name Braves as a reasonable answer to the problem if needed.

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