For those of you Redskins fans who don’t want the team’s name to change, congratulations! Congress just got involved in the battle, which pretty much guarantees nothing will ever happen. A group of 10 congressional members sent a letter to Redskins owner Dan Snyder, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, Redskins sponsor FedEx, and the other 31 NFL franchises pushing for the team to change its name. They, like many others, say the name “Redskins” is offensive to Native Americans. But Snyder has made it clear in the past that the name is here to stay.
This controversy has been going on for pretty much forever. But it picked up steam when Washington DC City Councilman David Grosso introduced legislation that would change the name to the “Redtails” as an ode to the Tuskegee Airmen. Grosso says he’s open to other name suggestions. He just wants the “Redskins” nickname gone.
This issue is not a clear-cut battle of “Bleeding-hearts” vs “traditionalists”. Many of the Congressional members pushing for the name are Republicans. And recently, a retired Chief of the Fredericksburg-area Patawomeck Tribe spoke out saying he’d be offended if the name didn’t stay the same. It’s a complicated battle that reminds me just how lucky I am to be from a city whose mascots are Saints and birds.