In less than three weeks, on July 25, the Washington Pigskins are expected to hold their first training camp practice that's open to the public. Undoubtedly, fans will show up in droves, many dressed like this and this and this. Without a progressive effort (some would say, absurdly , "leftist") by either team owner Dan Snyder and/or the NFL to change the team's name, fans will continue to wear American Indian culture as a costume–all the while denigrating and demeaning Native peoples by using the term redskins. How is an NFL franchise still using a racial slur as its team name? Bleacher Report's Stephen Sonneveld discusses in a column posted this morning (and for anyone who's been living in a cave the past few months, Sonneveld will get you thoroughly caught up).
"The issue at stake is that the longer team owner Daniel Snyder and the NFL refuse to step into this century and change the name from a racial slur into anything else, the more all those sportive accomplishments and cherished memories [of, for example, former Washington NFL QB Joe Theismann] will forever be overshadowed and intertwined with racial controversy, just as [Paula] Deen's story is now tainted. The longer Snyder and the NFL refuse to concede, the less options they're going to have left for themselves," writes Sonneveld.
He continues: "Snyder, Roger Goodell and the NFL owners … embarrassingly demonstrate that they can neither be shamed nor reasoned with when it comes to the fact redskins is a racist term that needs to be removed. They held steadfast to their intransigent views, and now the tipping point has passed. They have left it to courts and congresses to determine the financial future of the Washington team."
And let's face it: Ultimately, this is a financial issue. Which seems to make it all the very much worse.
Read all of Sonneveld's column by clicking "Daniel Snyder and NFL Embarrassed as Washington Name Change Support Grows."