The saga surrounding the nickname of Washington DC's football team is reaching a boiling point. Peter King of Sports Illustrated and The MMQB isn't using it. Bill Simmons of ESPN and Grantland isn't using it. USA Today's Christine Brennan isn't using it. Keith Olbermann of ESPN skewered the team during his opening monologue Thursday night's Olbermann. And now, the editorial board of the Washington Post is weighing in once again, like they did back in 2006. Unsurprisingly, the Post has the same viewpoint of all the people mentioned, decrying the name and urging a change in light of NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell's recent radio comments.
Here's the guts of the Post's editorial.
It’s unclear if Mr. Goodell’s nuanced pivot was directed toward team owner Daniel M. Snyder, but we hope Mr. Snyder was listening. We hope, too, that Mr. Snyder finally understands that the team’s name — no matter its storied tradition or importance to many fans — is a racial slur of Native Americans so offensive that it should no longer be tolerated. Imagine, as we wrote in 2006 advocating a name change, Mr. Snyder, or anyone else for that matter, sitting in a room with Native Americans and calling them “redskins.” Not likely. The name is offensive to a great many more than Mr. Goodell’s hypothetical one person.
Perhaps there is even a fear that fans will desert or turn against the team if it changes its name. We think that underestimates Washington fans and their deep feelings for this team. We urge Mr. Snyder to have more faith than that in his fan base and to listen more carefully to those who love the team and hate the ethnic slur.
I'm not going to sit here and tell anyone how they should feel about the name in either direction. But things are beginning to get very dicey for Snyder and his team. There is a protest planned by the Oneida Nation tribe in Green Bay on Sunday for Washington's game with the Packers. The furor over the name is reaching a point where something is going to need to be done. The disdain towards the nickname isn't just limited to the people it refers to, it's starting to branch out to the people that cover the team and their sport. No matter how you feel about the controversy, you have to admit that it's not going to simply go away any time soon unless something is done.