Wednesday, June 11, 2014

That team in Washington, D.C.

The pressure to change the name of the N.F.L. team in Washington from its current nickname to something, anything, less derogatory toward humans of a particular skin tint is ramping up.  Roger Goodell, N.F.L. Commissioner, has said time and again that it is a team issue and the league can't actually force an independently-owned franchise to change its name.

Oh . . . I'm betting it could.  If I, for a big instance, bought the Atlanta Falcons and renamed them the Cotton Pickers, what do you want to bet the league would step in and say, "Um . . . No."  They (the league) just don't want to because Daniel Snyder might turn around and sue the league for infringement of something or other.  So they are playing it safe by saying, "It's not our place," and basically relying on outside pressure.

But since the only outside pressure most of those people understand is the pressure that comes from the loss of money, things won't change until advertisers refuse to pay money to the franchise.  They need to tell TV stations they won't buy advertising when the Washington team is playing.  Sports stores need to quit carrying Washington merchandise.  Steve Ballmer just paid $2 BILLION for the Clippers.  Why not ask him to buy up every ticket for any Washington games that are slated to be nationally televised and then shred them, leaving the TV crews to show pictures of an almost empty stadium?  ESPN could make a unilateral decision and inform all their announcers that the team was to be called The Team in Washington, and that their logo would no longer be shown on air.

But this brings up another dilemma:  What to rename the team?  What would you call a team based in our nation's capital (or just outside it, actually)?  What would you call a team based in the political hotbed of the world, a place filled with congress men and women, a place filled with senators, secret service, joint chiefs of staff, lobbyists and mucky-mucks of every kind?

The Senators is already owned by MLB, and so is the Nationals.  Hmm ...  I suppose, based on the overall production (or lack thereof) of the team and how they can't get things done, you could call the team the Washington Congress.  But that doesn't really have a good ring to it.  What to call the team .....

I KNOW!!!  They could be called the Washington Snakes and their emblem could be the head of a snake with its forked-tongue prominently displayed.


The young fogey | 12:28 AM, June 12, 2014  

But the Indians themselves are fine with the name.

Lady Anne | 10:34 AM, June 12, 2014  

It strikes me that long ago there was a baseball team called the Washington Capitols, but I DO like your name much, much better. Perfect!

Reverend Ref + | 12:45 PM, June 12, 2014  

YF: Some are, some aren't. It really isn't any different than saying, "Some African-Americans are okay with n*****." And while the history of the word is convoluted, there is a negative connotation with it and the marginalization of a particular group of people. It needs to go.

Lady Anne: The Capitals would be a good name, but the NHL is using it.

Lady Anne | 3:33 PM, June 14, 2014  

My husband is half Cherokee, and while I can only speak for the folks I've met, they generally don't find the name Indian offensive. What they DO fins offensive is the term "Native American". Every blinkin' one of us born here, so we are ALL "natives". Grandfather felt it was just "one more attempt by the Great White Father to get the red man to disappear". The Canadian term "First Nations" is probably the best descriptive. (Or we could just call them Americans and let it go at that.)

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