I just wanted to watch some football – something I don’t often have time to do. Suddenly, there is Bob Costas editorializing about the horrors of the name “Redskins.” Frankly, my dear Bobby boy, I don’t give a skin. I just wanted to watch football. Apparently, even football is now political and politically correct.
At least, Bob wants it to be. I suppose when you are a sportscaster you begin to long to be a “real” journalist, or some such.
Since Bob insisted on sticking his face in the middle of my screen and complaining about “Redskins” I decided to listen. Bob told me that some team names that involved terms related to “native Americans” (they’re not really, but never mind about that for now) are not so bad. For example, “Chiefs” isn’t bad because, said Bob, it’s not so bad being a chief and no one would be offended by that. He said the same about “Warriors” – but isn’t it a little presumptuous to think that only “red men” (sorry) can be “warriors”?
He wasn’t quite happy with “Indians” but he didn’t have much to say about that one. He reminded us that those nitwits at Miami University (of Ohio) decided a few years ago to give up “Redskins” for “Red Hawks.” (Don’t they still worry about the “red” part?) St. John’s used to be the “Redmen” Bob reminded us, but they switched to “Red Storm.” Still, the “red” problem remains.
So here is Bob’s big conclusion to his rambling rant of regret about that horrible name, “Washington Redskins” –
Redskins” can't possibly honor a heritage, or noble character trait, nor can it possibly be considered a neutral term. It’s an insult, a slur, no matter how benign the present-day intent. It is fair to say that for a long time now, and certainly in 2013, no offense has been intended. But, if you take a step back, isn't it clear to see how offense “might” legitimately be taken?
So let’s take Bob seriously for a moment and see what comes of it. He claims that “serious offense might legitimately be taken” at the name “Redskins.” Of course, offense is a purely subjective matter in itself. But what might make it “legitimate”?
Let’s try the shoe on the other foot. Should I be offended by being called a “white skin” – or perhaps more accurately, a pink skin? I’m not sure why I should be offended by that. In 2002 at the University of Northern Colorado a basketball team named itself the “Fighting Whities.” It was supposed to be a bit of a joke and comment. I am not at all offended by that, but if I were, would be offense be “legitimate”?
What really offends me is Bob Costas turning my football watching time into an amateur editorializing session.
By the way, Bob, I heard a good joke the other day. It seems the Washington Redskins management has decided to drop the offensive part of their name in response to your insightful editorial. They are going to call themselves simply, “Redskins.”