Until now, the narrative surrounding the Redskins nickname debate has been relatively one-sided as person after person in the NFL and media worlds come out in opposition to the name. With the news that prominent NFL television commentators like Tony Dungy and Phil Simms will attempt to boycott the name this season, the mainstream quest to change the name is gaining even more steam.
Perhaps that momentum is what led Mike Ditka to take part in an interview with Redskins Historian to offer his support for Daniel Snyder and the nickname. The entire audio at that link is something to behold, but these comments in particular are sure to raise eyebrows.
“What’s all the stink over the Redskin name? It’s so much horse—- it’s incredible… it was said out of reverence, out of pride to the American Indian, even though it was called a Redskin. What are you going to call them, a Brownskin? This is so stupid it’s appalling. And I hope that owner keeps fighting for it and never changes.”
You can agree or disagree with Ditka about politically correct idiots ruining America, and there are sure to be a lot of folks who are nodding with that sentiment. However, the way Ditka expressed those beliefs in such a frank and forceful (and not quite so eloquent) manner is going to ratchet up this debate even further.
Keith Olbermann, who has been very outspoken on the Redskins name debate, took his ESPN colleague to task for his comments:
Will more NFL personalities speak out in favor of the Redskins nickname? Will we see people at networks like ESPN speak out against one another as the debate evolves? (Please God don’t let First Take get a hold of this.)
Or, will Ditka become just the latest ESPN personality to take part in another trend and be suspended by Bristol. So many questions…