Controversy Surrounds the Redskins’ Name


By Jonathan Greenzaid, Business Manager

Every time the Washington Redskins score FedEx Field fills with the echo of thousands of fans singing “Hail to the Redskins, hail victory, braves on the warpath, fight for old DC.” However, the fight song and the Redskins’ team name could all be jeopardy.

The Redskins have been under heavy scrutiny because many people see their name as offensive towards Native Americans

“I understand how it could be offending, but I also think in a way that it allows, people to remember the Native Americans as well,” freshman Sofia Bruno said. “Sometimes they are badly represented by the football team, but for some, calling this team the Redskins would be considered and honor.”

Last month, the Oneida Indian Nation, one of the main critics of the Redskins name, created the “Change the Mascot” campaign, which runs radio ads in Washington, DC and the other cities the Redskins play their games.

“It would obviously be a tough choice as that has been the name of the franchise for over half a century,” sophomore Spencer Ihm said. “Yet I believe the name is demeaning and degrading, but there is a big support group on both sides. All in all, I believe they should change their name.”

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell shared his belief that the Redskins should look into changing their name on “The LaVar Arrington Show with Chad Dukes” on 106.7 The Fan in Washington, DC last month.

“I want all of us to go out and make sure we’re listening to our fans, listening to people of a different view and making sure that we continue to do what’s right to make sure that represents the strong tradition and history that it has for so many years,” Goodell said.

According to an October ESPN article, President Barack Obama would consider changing the Redskins name if he were the owner of the team.

“If I was Dan Snyder, I would change the name because it would bring in more money,” sophomore Blake Weltmann said. “Also, it would stop criticism towards himself and the Redskins’ organization.”

According to the University of Pennsylvania’s National Annenberg Election Survey, nine percent of 768 Native Americans believe the Washington Redskins’ name is offensive.

“I am a die-hard Redskins fan and have been since I was born,” Weltmann said. “I don’t think they should change their name because it was originally made out of respect due to the fact that their original coach and many players were Native Americans.”