There has been considerable enthusiasm behind the effort to have the “Washington Redskins” Football Team change its name. But Dan Snyder, the Owner, says that it is not going to happen. Ever! President Barack Obama has weighed-in–definitely against the current name–and, perhaps, the whole issue might be getting more media coverage since it is taking place in the Nation’s Capital.
The Atlanta Braves and Cleveland Indians, both Professional Baseball Teams, don’t seem to be getting anywhere near the notoriety that the Washington Football Team has received. In fact, some sportscasters, such as Bob Costas, have tried to refrain from calling the Team by the mascot’s name. Oddly enough, the caricature of the indian’s “Chief Wahoo” on its logo–as being a loopy-looking Indian–just doesn’t seem to get any play in the national media.
Over the last thirty years, several Universities–such as Stanford and St. Johns–have changed their Team names. Sone states have retained their various Team’s names; but, they might re-name their mascots. Frankly, though, how do you delete the names of “Ute” in the the University of Utah, or “Illii” for the University of Illinois. Yes, the term “Fighting” in front of Ute or Illii might cause some concern; but, haven’t the Indian Wars been over since 1890, at the Massacre of Wounded Knee?
When the discussion shifts over to Colleges and Universities, the name of the Florida State Seminoles always comes to the fore. Several decades back, there was some demand expressed by various elements; but, the Seminole Tribe of Florida came to FSU’s defense. Quite some time ago, the Student Body held a poll–unsuccessfully. One of the potential replacement names actually was: “Crackers”. Now, can you imagine what type of blow-back that would have caused? Maybe the Clan would have protested.
The University has formed a Partnership with the Seminole Tribe of Florida. The Seminoles in Oklahoma don’t necessarily go along with the names; but, remember that the Oklahoma State name is “The Cowboys”. So, if (that) OSU plays FSU, who will the Oklahoma Seminole Tribe route for?
The linked article from the NY Times, I believe, represents this issue–Redskins versus Seminoles–fairly accurately, http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/24/sports/ncaafootball/amid-rising-discord-over-indian-images-florida-state-has-harmony.html?pagewanted=2&src=recg&pagewanted=print. Think about it: Redskins is quite a derogatory name (no way around it); but FSU represents the Seminole tribe as being proud of its heritage. And, the Tribe consults on various Seminole-related issues and the University, in turn, provides a number of scholarships to Tribe Members.