I have been a fan of the NFL team in Washington DC for about 10 years now. I spent time in the DC area and the team is a division rival of my husband’s favorite team – the Dallas Cowboys. It’s fun competition.
There was a lot of controversy about the name of the Washington team. Some said it was to honor Native Americans. Others, said it was offensive. I always felt in my gut the name was wrong, but I “followed the crowd”. In my ignorance, I thought that it can’t be that bad if the team still has tens of thousands of fans, right?…. VERY WRONG!
10 years ago, I should have gone with my gut and researched the origin of the word. With the demand from communities and corporations to look at how our history continues to cause harm in our present, it is evident the name of this team must change.
It’s a slur.
To understand the history of the word I did my research. NPR has a very great article detailing how the name was a self-identifier and used among Native Americans, but became a derogatory term in the early 1800s.
Many fans of this Washington DC team look at it as the name of the team and no thoughts beyond that. Several fans don’t want to change the name.
What if the team was called the Washington N** word? There would be outrage!
There is no difference. That’s only swapping out one derogatory term for one group of people for another.
I am ashamed that I have offended so many Native Americans. I have started removing any items I have purchased with this name and logo starting with my license plate frame.