In a 2014 poll conducted by Sports Illustrated, the results showed that only 25 percent of fans said the Washington Redskins should change their name and only 21 percent found the name to be “offensive.”
This means that most of you reading this are indifferent on the name, and a relatively small percentage of you actually find the term “offensive.” Some of you might not even know who the Redskins are, but don’t worry because they won’t be the Redskins for much longer.
The Washington Redskins started out as the Boston Braves in 1932 and played at Braves Field. George Preston Marshall, the team’s owner at the time, decided to move the team to Fenway Park after just one season.
Marshall wanted to keep a Native American themed mascot (there is some debate on his motives for this), but because professional baseball teams already took both the Braves and the Indians, he chose the Redskins.
Just this June, however, the California state Senate Education Committee voted to ban four high schools still using “Redskins” as a mascot from doing so any longer. Many other high schools and colleges, such as Marquette University, Stanford University and St. John’s University have voted to retire their Native American-themed mascots voluntarily in place of less offensive ones.
This isn’t a matter of “if” the Washington Redskins will have to change their mascot; it’s a matter of “when” they will have to change it. Redskins owner Dan Snyder isn’t going to go down without a fight, though. He continues to argue that the name shows respect to Native Americans and that he will not change the name under any circumstance.
In the very near future, Snyder won’t have a choice in the matter. After supporting the Redskins’ name for years, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said the league should listen to people offended by the name. While this is a small shift in opinion, Goodell is the guy I’d want on my side if I were Dan Snyder. Not only has Goodell seemed to switch sides on the argument, but even President Obama said he would “think about changing” the name if he were the owner.
As detailed by Yahoo Sports, the Philadelphia Eagles’ media guide is the most recent thing to spark debate in the Redskins’ name scandal. Philadelphia played a game against Washington on Sunday and refused to put the term “Redskins” anywhere in their media guide. This sent a message to people that it’s time for the name to be changed. This is the first time another NFL team has taken a stance against the Redskins’ name, but by doing this there is no doubt in my mind that Washington will eventually be forced to changed their mascot.
It’s 2015 and equality reigns supreme. Gay marriage is legal in all states, we have an African-American president and we may very well have our first female president in 2016. Change is coming to Washington whether Redskins fans like it or not, and not even Dan Snyder can resist the turning tide.