Despite Protests, R-Word Stays in 'Washington Redskins'

Al Messerschmidt (Getty Images Sport)
Al Messerschmidt (Getty Images Sport)

Writing for Clutch magazine, Yesha Callahan rounds up the back-and-forth between advocates such as members of the Congressional Native American Caucus and the NFL brass they're lobbying to get the r-word removed from the football team's name. It's an ongoing effort that does not appear to be successful. (Team owner Dan Snyder has said, "We'll never change the name.") Callahan shares parts of the exchange:

[Members of Congress'] letter stated that, "Native Americans throughout the country consider the R-word a racially, derogatory slur akin to the N-word among African Americans or the W-word among Latinos.  Such offensive epithets would no doubt draw widespread disapproval among the NFL’s fan base. Yet the national coverage of Washington’s NFL football team profits from a term that is equally disparaging to Native Americans" …

This week, in response to the letter, Goodell defended the Washington Redskins’ nickname…

In his letter [NFL Commissioner Roger] Goodell said:

"The Washington Redskins name has thus from its origin represented a positive meaning distinct from any disparagement that could be viewed in some other context. For the team’s millions of fans and customers, who represent one of America’s most ethnically and geographically diverse fan bases, the name is a unifying force that stands for strength, courage, pride and respect."


Read Yesha Callahan's entire piece at Clutch magazine

The Root aims to foster and advance conversations about issues relevant to the black Diaspora by presenting a variety of opinions from all perspectives, whether or not those opinions are shared by our editorial staff.

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