New York’s Daily News publishes its annual National Football League preview today with one omission — the Washington franchise appears without the name Redskins, reports the paper.
Similarly, continued the Daily News, “its logo depicting a feathered Native American has been replaced with an image that uses the team’s burgundy and gold colors (shown above) to key readers to stories, columns and statistics relating to Washington.
“Henceforth, in The News’ sports coverage, the team that has been known as the Redskins since 1933 will simply be called Washington.
“Enormously popular and deeply ingrained in sporting culture, the Redskins name is a throwback to a vanished era of perniciously casual racial attitudes. No new franchise would consider adopting a name based on pigmentation — Whiteskins, Blackskins, Yellowskins or Redskins — today. The time has come to leave the word behind.”
The Daily News also stated:
“Loyalty, tradition, affection and nostalgia all weigh heavily toward accepting the name as an artifact that has been cleansed of derogatory meaning by association with celebrated athletics.
“While the team ownership and many fans hold such a belief in good faith, the inescapable truth is that the term Redskin derives solely from the racial characteristic of skin tone in a society that is struggling mightily to be color-blind.
“Still more, many Native Americans view the word as a slur born in the country’s inglorious victimization of their ancestors. Their representatives have persuaded a federal panel to rule that the team name and logo are offensive and should be stripped of U.S. trademark protection.
“Why drop the term now? Why not yesterday or last year? The answer is that, as attitudes evolve, words can move from common parlance to unacceptable in good company.
“See the end of “Negro” and the rise of “black” or “African-American,” the end of “retarded” and the rise of “developmentally disabled,” the end of “handicapped” and the rise of “people with disabilities.””