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Wow, sometimes one actually learns something, and sees an insightful word on ESPN!

You need to understand that George Preston Marshall, the man who bought the rights to an NFL franchise with three partners and started the Boston Braves in 1932, was an avowed segregationist. You have to understand the franchise was renamed in "honor" of a man raised by white parents who adopted a Native American persona (scholars say he was impersonating a Sioux man). And when the team relocated to D.C. five years after it was founded, the city was controlled by Southern white politicians.
 

Folks cut from the same cloth as the asshole trying to poke holes in a 102-year old American's immigration status may think the call to rename the team political correctness gone wild.
However, we must remember that the Washington team was the LAST NFL team to integrate...in 1962.

In addition...

Marshall didn't finally sign a black player because he was no longer a racist.
The NFL had signed a big TV deal the year before, and then-commissioner Pete Rozelle was encouraged by the other owners to talk to Marshall; no doubt they were afraid his bigotry would tarnish the image of the league. The federal government was also involved, as the team's new football stadium was built on federally controlled land. So the Kennedy administration required Marshall to abide by federal law.
This is the history of the franchise that has clung to the name "Washington Redskins."
 
(Boy "they" must've hated Kennedy!)

There have been pickets and protests, but Roger Goodell, NFL Commissioner, has stated  "I think Dan Snyder (the team owner) and the organization have made it very clear that they are proud of that name and that heritage."

But what is that heritage, oh gutless corporate stooge?

The heritage is a racist owner, who propped up a white guy as a fake Sioux mascot.

The moment the DC mayor took some backlash, he immediately backed off any renaming effort.  I lived in DC for a few years in the 80s.  The fans there are rabid and loony...and the very visible core are old white men who dress in mardi gras style ladies dresses and call themselves the Hogettes, holdovers from the 80s' team with their great offensive line, the hogs.

Why should the team owner and the league commissioner have to be forced to do the right thing?  What the fuck is wrong with them?  Why can't they look at the true history of the name and simply do what is right?  (Disclaimer: I am Jewish)  I cannot imagine what Daniel Snyder would do with the team if it was named the Hebes or the Kikes (thank you, Meteorblades for that imagery).  Would they continue that proud Hebe tradition, and have a mad crazy Hasid doing a pregame dovening dance at midfield, defiantly spiking a lulav at the 50?  Or would Snyder just fucking change the fucking name?

What is the cost of action on this one?  

You should also know the following:

Recently, the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian held a symposium entitled Racist Stereotypes and Cultural Appropriation in American Sports, and as you can imagine, the use of "Redskins" was a major point of contention.
"Honors like that we don't need," said Robert Holden, deputy director of the National Congress of American Indians.
And when you look at the true, repulsive history of the name "Redskins," the word "honors" should be the last thing that comes to anyone's mind.
 

Just in case you need a little more, here's the fight song, which they actually put on the TV screen every week during telecasts in the 80s, with a little "follow the bouncing ball" so we could all sing the fuck along:

Note:  The original lyrics were written by Corinne Griffith, wife of the notoriously-racist owner, George Preston Marshall. (I don't know if she is related to the horribly racist renowned filmmaker DW Griffith.)

*Note that in the original version by sweet Corinne, "fight for old DC" was actually "fight for old Dixie".

Hail to the Redskins!
Hail Victory!
Braves on the Warpath!
Fight for old D.C.!
Run or pass and score -- we want 'em heap more!
Beat 'em, Swamp 'em,
Touchdown! -- Let the points soar!
Fight on, fight on 'Til you have won
Sons of Wash-ing-ton. Rah!, Rah!, Rah!
Hail to the Redskins!
Hail Victory!
Braves on the Warpath!
Fight for old D.C.!

*Note:  If you decide to read the article on ESPN.com, do yourself a favor and avoid the comments.
Hint:  the top comment when I was there was from a username:  Fox_sports_is_better_then_onesided_ESPN.
"I thing this article offended more people then the crap this so-called journalist is writing about. I think that most people simply accepted the Redskin name LIKE 80 YEARS AGO!"

(Words fail me now).

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (15+ / 0-)

    Buy Aldus Shrugged : The Antidote to Ayn Rand, and tear Ayn and the GOP new orifices. ALL ROYALTIES BETWEEN NOW AND MARCH 1, DONATED TO THIS SITE, DAILYKOS!! @floydbluealdus1

    by Floyd Blue on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 06:13:42 AM PST

  •  I've been saying for years (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    oortdust

    They should change their emblem to an Irish guy laying in the Sun. :)

    I'm no philosopher, I am no poet, I'm just trying to help you out - Gomez (from the song Hamoa Beach)

    by jhecht on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 06:19:06 AM PST

  •  Excellent diary (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    oortdust

    The NFL has a culture that is backwards and racist.  I not only think that the name Redskins be purged, but that the NFL itself should be banned.

    We should focus our energies on the arts and fight for higher teacher salaries instead.

    •  We should fight for higher teacher (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Progressif

      salaries instead of watching NFL football? Is that what you are saying?

      •  Yes (0+ / 0-)

        Professional sports are a blight on our society.

        Instead of watching the SuperBowl, I read a book.

        •  And you actually feel superior to (0+ / 0-)

          everyone who enjoys watching sports, because you are reading a book? How wonderful it must be to be you.

          •  Politics as sports. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            doc2

            I feel that activists could get a lot out of watching sports. If you get your compulsion toward competitiveness out in a place it's appropriate, that compulsion is less likely to come out when cooperation would be more beneficial.

            We're doing an anti-Westboro Baptist documentary. Help us here.

            by Geiiga on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 06:38:32 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Different strokes for different folks. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              nominalize

              We all like different things, we all try to make our lives more enjoyable by having hobbies and interests, and most of us realize that our choices are no better or worse than the choices others make. Only an narcissist would feel that his or her interests are superior to those of others. Progressives are people who are supposed to celebrate human diversity, not people who are dogmatic and believe that their own concept of entertainment should apply universally. That's just stupid.

              •  I respect diversity but not conservative diversity (0+ / 0-)

                I think the world would be a lot better place if Limbaugh and Fox News were banned.

                I don't object to sports fandom necessarily, but it has spawned an industry within itself to the point of obsession.

                Hopefully by banning Hank Williams Jr's song from the football TV show will make less teabaggers watch football and they'll pursue more enlightened interests like reading about Charles Darwin or make them want to visit The Louvre in Paris.  Perhaps by doing that, they will become progressives.

                •  What kind of liberal are you, (0+ / 0-)

                  the Soviet kind? We don't ban things in this country because we don't personally like them. You really need to do some deep thinking as to what kind of society you'd like to live in, because a society in which you personally get to decide what the rest of us watch or listen to is one that would represent a major step back in human enlightenment.

        •  I myself avoid the Superbowl and read a book... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Progressif, Roadbed Guy

          ...a book about FOOTBALL!!!!!!

          Buy Aldus Shrugged : The Antidote to Ayn Rand, and tear Ayn and the GOP new orifices. ALL ROYALTIES BETWEEN NOW AND MARCH 1, DONATED TO THIS SITE, DAILYKOS!! @floydbluealdus1

          by Floyd Blue on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 06:40:39 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  thank you! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Progressif

      I am a huge football fan, but it is tough sometimes to look past the owners and their obvious politics, and rush getting a short-lived job on espn, and maybe becoming an owner, dennis miller in the booth, etc.  I find college football even harder to take, especially with the dominance of the SEC.  I was a moderator for a few years on a sports information (as in, "for imformation purposes only") website run by a handicapper.  As in most gambling activity, NFL and college football dominated the discussion, especially the SEC.   It was a raucous fun time, but I had to quit when Barack Obama rose in 2007, and the ugly racism of probably half of the members was on full display constantly!!!

      Buy Aldus Shrugged : The Antidote to Ayn Rand, and tear Ayn and the GOP new orifices. ALL ROYALTIES BETWEEN NOW AND MARCH 1, DONATED TO THIS SITE, DAILYKOS!! @floydbluealdus1

      by Floyd Blue on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 06:38:17 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Well, at least they didn't call themselves (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Kevskos

    something * really * crazy like The Bullets.

    In the meantime, sadly the most obvious blandly inoffensive names (e.g., Capitals, Nationals) have been grabbed up by others.

  •  The majority doesn't know how a minority feels. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    oortdust

    White folks who don't get it, and I used to be one, will point to the Boston Celtics, Notre Dame Fighting Irish, or Minnesota Vikings and give something along the lines of "Those nicknames don't offend me, so why should the Redskins offend anyone?"

    It takes some consideration and empathy to see why minority-named teams are different. The historical perspective is helpful to achieve that. Thanks.

    We're doing an anti-Westboro Baptist documentary. Help us here.

    by Geiiga on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 06:33:48 AM PST

    •  Funny thing about the Celtics (0+ / 0-)

      The first team called the Celtics was from New York and played in a league (the ABL) that was founded by George Preston Marshall.

      That team was made up of mostly eastern European and Jewish players.

      In the beginning, the universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry, and is generally considered to have been a bad move. -- Douglas Adams, The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy

      by boriscleto on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 07:07:32 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Nail on the head (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Cassandra Waites, Oh Mary Oh, Geiiga

      In my city, there is a college for Native American students (Haskell Indian Nations University), and their teams are named the Indians.  This doesn't bother anyone, so it's fine.

      When it's your own heritage, it's easier to say the name is an honor.  Minnesota has a large Scandinavian population, Boston has a large Irish one, and Notre Dame adopted Fighting Irish out of defiance, to honor the fellow Catholic (then) underdogs of American society.  In any of these cases, if the populations in question had been upset about it, the names would have been stricken before they were adopted.

      But when you're using someone else's heritage as a caricature, you might just offend those people, and since you're not offending yourself, you don't see the problem. Especially when you're a majority and they're a minority (think the Lion and the Mouse).

      That's why the Redskins, Braves, and most other such names should be removed.  The NCAA rightfully requires schools using Native names to clear it with the people whose names they're using.  The Seminoles allowed Florida State to keep the name "Seminoles", while the Sioux did not allow North Dakota to keep the "Fighting Sioux".  The reasons vary, but importantly, it's not up to us, it's up to them.  I think that is the true source of the butthurt among conservatives trying to keep these names.

      Conservatives need to realize that their Silent Moral Majority is neither silent, nor moral, nor a majority.

      by nominalize on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 07:16:05 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  And actually, the original native mascot uses (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Oh Mary Oh, Geiiga

        were by definition cases where no one who actually claimed native descent was there.

        It started back in the boarding school era, and the names would not be even half as widespread as they are without them.

        The boarding school kids would play against a non-native school, and it would be 'The Indians' or something similar versus either the other school's name or mascot. Because they wouldn't let the native kids keep their cultural athletic games, 'at least we aren't letting them on our team, just playing them', and when there are only so many schools around sometimes you take whatever opponents you can get.

        Then, the impromptu games would start once the boarding school kids were gone back to their schools, and sometimes the kids at the other schools they'd played would pick names like 'The Indians' for one side - and 'after all,' the logic would have gone, 'didn't our school team play them last year?'

        And then official mascot selection votes would have started having those names as options. Or someone who grew up watching or playing games against the boarding schools would think 'that was a good name, why don't we use that?'

        The offensive mascots wouldn't have happened if the boarding schools hadn't been there or someone hadn't decided to play the boarding school teams against the other schools.

        Prayers and best wishes to those in Japan.

        by Cassandra Waites on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 07:34:06 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  NFL hypocrisy: Arizona, MLK Day, & the Super Bowl (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Progressif, tmservo433, oortdust

    The NFL threatened to move the Super Bowl from Phoenix (actually Tempe) unless Arizona made Martin Luther King Day a state holiday. OTOH, they let the NFL Washington team keep using that offensive name.

  •  the name originally had NOTHING to do with (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Oh Mary Oh, oortdust, Kevskos

    Native Americans, but as I have written numerous times, was when the team was in Boston and was barred from using the name of the National League Baseball Team, the Braves, whose name came from December 16, 1773 -  the Boston Tea Party.

    Marshall was a racist.

    Glad to see that you wrote on the Sally Jenkins article.  Had no one done so I had planned to post something - people should read the entire piece.  It is superbly written.

    "We didn't set out to save the world; we set out to wonder how other people are doing and to reflect on how our actions affect other people's hearts." - Pema Chodron

    by teacherken on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 06:58:40 AM PST

    •  Thanks for commenting, teacherken. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Oh Mary Oh, oortdust

      I wish you and your wife all the best.  I have had some similar circumstances the last few years with sickness in the family, and FMLA issues.

      When I lived in DC in the 80s, I watched most of the games on tv, and I couldn't believe they would put those lyrics on the screen and encourage the singalong.  It was kinda sickening.

      Buy Aldus Shrugged : The Antidote to Ayn Rand, and tear Ayn and the GOP new orifices. ALL ROYALTIES BETWEEN NOW AND MARCH 1, DONATED TO THIS SITE, DAILYKOS!! @floydbluealdus1

      by Floyd Blue on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 07:13:24 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Another WaPo article today on the name (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Kevskos

    Sally Jenkins this time. It's interesting to see columnist after columnist come out against the name.

    •  That's a terrific article! (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      oortdust, Kevskos

      Wow, I would hate to be in her crosshairs.  She snarks the same way I do.

      I am not even kidding about this:  my guess is that Danny Snyder is right now meeting with lawyers to see if can somehow sue her for what she wrote about him.  I bet he is, whether the suit is ever filed or not.

      Buy Aldus Shrugged : The Antidote to Ayn Rand, and tear Ayn and the GOP new orifices. ALL ROYALTIES BETWEEN NOW AND MARCH 1, DONATED TO THIS SITE, DAILYKOS!! @floydbluealdus1

      by Floyd Blue on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 10:59:58 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Corinne Not Related to D.W. Griffith (0+ / 0-)
    Griffith and his young actress wife, Linda Arvidson, whom he had married in 1906, then turned to the new motion picture industry for their livelihood. Griffith began his work in motion pictures near the end of 1907 by playing the lead in Rescued from an Eagle’s Nest, directed by Edwin S. Porter for the Edison Company and released in early 1908.
    ….

    Separated from Linda Arvidson for twenty-five years, he finally divorced her in 1936 and married Evelyn Baldwin, a young woman who had played a supporting part in The Struggle, but that marriage also ended in divorce. There were no children from either marriage.

    -- gildasattic.com

    Corinne Mae Griffith (November 21, 1894 – July 13, 1979) was an American film actress, producer and author. Dubbed "The Orchid Lady of the Screen,” she was one of the most popular film actresses of the 1920s and widely considered the most beautiful actress of the silent screen. Shortly after the advent of sound film, Griffith retired from acting and became a successful author.
    ….

    Griffith was married four times. She married actor and frequent co-star Webster Campbell from 1920 to 1923, producer Walter Morosco from 1924 to 1934, and the owner of the Washington Redskins football team George Preston Marshall from 1936 to 1958. During her marriage to Marshall, she composed the lyrics to the Redskins fight song "Hail to the Redskins" which became one of the most famous football anthems.

    --en.wikipedia.org

    "Facts are meaningless. You could use facts to prove anything even remotely true." -- H. Simpson

    by midnight lurker on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 12:02:26 PM PST

    •  thank you checking that out. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Kevskos

      I saw she was in show biz, so I thought, hey maybe......

      Buy Aldus Shrugged : The Antidote to Ayn Rand, and tear Ayn and the GOP new orifices. ALL ROYALTIES BETWEEN NOW AND MARCH 1, DONATED TO THIS SITE, DAILYKOS!! @floydbluealdus1

      by Floyd Blue on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 01:00:25 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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