Jim Vance, the evening news anchor of NBC 4 WRC in Washington D.C., has been a longtime and vocal opponent of that city's NFL club using Redskins as its name. Last August, the Emmy-Award winning journalist did one of his acclaimed "Vance's View" segments on "that Washington football team name." “Do we really want to be the only team in the league with even a question about the appropriateness of our name?" he asked.
You can watch the full video of that piece here:
Now, Vance has come out swinging again in another of his segments, blasting the continued use of Redskins.
“Back in the day, if you really wanted to insult a black man, attack a Jew, an Irishman, and probably start a fight, you threw out certain words,” Vance said in the February 15 commentary. “You know what they are. They were, and they are, pejoratives of the first order, the worst order, specifically intended to injure. In my view, Redskin was and is in that same category.”
“The name sucks,” Vance said in conclusion. “We need to get rid of it.”
Here is a transcript of Vance's latest editorial on this subject (You can watch the full video by clicking here.):
“When I was a kid growing up in Philly, we hated the Redskins. It was not because of the name; it was because they had no black players. In those days, we called them Negros. We figured, why root for somebody who obviously hated you?
By that measure, we also had no love for the Phillies. But we adored the Warriors — that was the Philadelphia NBA team with Wilt and Guy Rodgers, way before they became the 76ers. Back in those days, we were huge fans of the Rams, the Bears, the Lions, the Browns, and especially the Green Pay Packers, because the Packers had Herb Adderley, and Herb Adderley was from North Philly. He was a homeboy.
“On arrival here in D.C. in 1969, I still hated the Redskins,” Vance said. “But by then, it was more the name than the team. Bobby Mitchell and Charley Taylor changed that for me, as did Sonny, and of course all-too briefly, Vince Lombardi. As the years went by, I started loving that team, though. Really, the players – Larry Brown, Pat Fischer, Doc Walker, Pete Wysocki. And as my love for the Smurfs and Over the Hill Gang and Fun Bunch grew, so did my distaste for that – in my view – vulgar name.
“My revulsion was borne of a source perhaps different than many others. You see, back in the day, when I wasn’t scanning the paper to see what Roy Campanella or Buddy Young had done, I was watching Lash LaRue, and Tim Holt, and I loved me some Randolph Scott. And it was in those Westerns and so many more – all of ‘em – that I NEVER, not once, EVER, heard of a Redskin referred to respectfully. A Redskin was always dirty – ‘dirty Redskins’ – bloody – ‘bloody Redskins.’ Savage Redskins, inhuman Redskins. Unhuman. You name it.
“Back in the day, if you really wanted to insult a black man and attack a Jew, an Irishman, and probably start a fight, you threw out certain words. You know what they are. They were and they are pejoratives of the first order, the worst order, specifically intended to injure. In my view, ‘Redskin’ was, and is, in that same category.
“A few years back, I decided to stop using the name on the air. Went at it for almost a year. George Michael bet me nobody would even notice. I had to pay up. We got not a single question or complaint. People just assumed I must have used the word. It is that much a part of the D.C. culture.
“That notwithstanding, the name sucks. We need to get rid of it. Let’s substitute Warriors. Sixty years later, I would love to, once again, adore the Warriors.”