When a 'Redskin' Is in the Family

Your Take: How one distant ancestor changed a football fan's mind about the Washington name controversy.

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This week, as I told both sons for the first time about their Native American great-grandmother, things finally clicked for me. I explained to both of them why, with the exception of that short-lived Clinton Portis jersey, there has not been Washington Redskins apparel in our home.

Alice Apple Woods died sometime during the Great Depression. The fact that I never met her and do not at this point even know the name of her tribe doesn't change that she is a blood relative. If by some miracle she were alive today, and I heard someone call her "redskin"?

That would be a fighting word. So me, I'm done with the term. And I'm through being silent on the matter.

Keith Harriston is former senior editor at the Washington Post. He teaches journalism at Howard University, where he edits hunewsservice.com.

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