The San Antonio Spurs won the first game of the NBA Finals and the Miami Heat took the second. As if there wasn’t enough excitement about tonight’s game three, an anti-Redskins commercial is set to air sometime during one of the game’s commercial breaks. The controversy over the use of the word ‘Redskins’ has been going on for a while now. Native Americans have spoke out against it, saying the word is a racial slur and are offended by it. As if the word isn’t enough, Native Americans are reminded of them being “redskins” by the use of a Native American man wearing a feather for the Washington logo.
However, the NFL sees nothing wrong with it and Washington owner Daniel Snyder says, “We’ll never change the name. It’s that simple. NEVER — you can use caps.”
I find it interesting how someone like Donald Sterling is booted out of the NBA for something he said in a private conversation, yet the NFL is doing nothing about a racial slur used over and over again because it’s the name of a team.
In my opinion, it largely has to do with the fact that the Native American population is too small and there aren’t enough people standing behind them. If the team name was the Washington (enter African American or Hispanic slur here), it wouldn’t be tolerated. In fact, it’s unfathomable that a professional sports team would do that. So why, then, is it any different for Native Americans, the people who were killed and relocated in their own homeland?
Last month, Seattle Seahawks corner back Richard Sherman spoke out about the Donald Sterling scandal, stating the NFL wouldn’t have banned Sterling and cited the Washington football team as evidence.
“We have an NFL team called the Redskins,” he said. “I don’t think the NFL really is as concerned as they show. The NFL is more of a bottom line league. If it doesn’t affect their bottom line, they’re not as concerned.”
For what it’s worth, I agree with the champion corner back. The NFL has shown what they represent by allowing a word that 67 percent of Native Americans deem offensive for the sake of “that’s the way it’s always been” and revenue. Hopefully, Native Americans can generate more support from NFL players and fans alike so that the Washington football team name can be changed.
Game three tip-off is set for 9 p.m. EST on ABC. To see the commercial before tonight’s game, view below: