By virtually any metric, the NFL will look drastically different this year.
Assuming there even is a season, fans should probably brace for empty stadiums, lots of Black Lives Matter paraphernalia, rampant national anthem protesting and maybe even a Colin Kaepernick sighting.
But no team could undergo a more drastic change than the Washington Redskins.
After a deluge of pressure from the government and corporate sponsors, including Nike, FedEx, Amazon and PepsiCo, the Redskins announced Friday they will be reviewing the team’s name.
“In light of recent events around our country and feedback from our community, the Washington Redskins are announcing the team will undergo a thorough review of the team’s name,” the franchise said. “This review formalizes the initial discussions the team has been having with the league in recent weeks.”
— Washington Redskins (@Redskins) July 3, 2020
The Redskins name, which has been in use since 1933, appears to be well on its way out.
So too is the team’s iconic logo and any other imagery related to Native Americans, according to a report Wednesday.
ESPN reporter Adam Schefter tweeted that a league source told him that there will be “no Native American imagery” in the franchise’s rebranding.
In their discussions about a potential new name, Washington is planning to have no Native American imagery, per a league source.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) July 8, 2020
Presumably, then, if the franchise changes its name to the Washington Warriors — a strong possibility, according to reports — there will be no arrows, feathers or anything of the sort on the uniforms or helmets.
To be fair, if the Redskins are going to drop the name they’ve had for 87 years, it makes total sense that they would also distance themselves as much as possible from anything Native American-related.
What doesn’t make total sense, however, is what’s driving all of this vitriol against all things Redskins.
But neither those women nor the vast majority of people who seem to have a massive problem with the Redskins team name is Native American. You know, the group of people who this ostensible slur is targeting.
In fact, no matter how you want to tally it, there simply isn’t a majority consensus of Native Americans who find the football team’s name offensive.
As bizarre as it is to kowtow to feelings that don’t even constitute a majority, this is hardly the first time that a sports team has bent the knee when it comes to Native American imagery.
The Cleveland Indians, amid similar outcries, changed their team logo from the polarizing Chief Wahoo. But even that decision doesn’t make the Redskins controversy any more sensible. The Chief Wahoo logo was a caricature, which, by its nature, is meant to poke a little fun at the subject.
As President Donald Trump pointed out on Twitter, the Redskins’ name and logo appear to come from a place of honoring Native Americans.
They name teams out of STRENGTH, not weakness, but now the Washington Redskins & Cleveland Indians, two fabled sports franchises, look like they are going to be changing their names in order to be politically correct. Indians, like Elizabeth Warren, must be very angry right now!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 6, 2020
Alas, it’s one thing for an entity to cave to corporate pressure. It happens all the time.
But when that corporate pressure is applied because a relatively small group of loud leftists, not the allegedly aggrieved, pushes for it?
That’s as troubling a sign about the general state of 2020 as any you will find. And that’s saying quite a bit.
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