Keep the ‘Skins Red
December 19, 2013
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Controversy about the Washington Redskins’ team name has erupted after NBC Sportscaster Bob Costas came on air to voice his disapproval of the name during halftime of the Oct. 13 football game between the Redskins and the Cowboys.
While Costas may be a respected sports journalist in this case, he is wrong. The Redskins should not change their name.
The reason that some find the name “Redskins” to be offensive is because it is a reference to both skin color and a common method of torture upon Native Americans for a bounty. However, polling of Native Americans proves that those most affected by the name do not find it offensive.
In Sept. 2004, the National Annenberg Election Survey polled 768 Native Americans. Of those that were polled, 90% said the term “redskins” was not offensive. If most actual Native Americans don’t see this term as offensive, then I don’t believe the Redskins need to change their name.
Although the issue directly affects the Native Americans, it has been non-Native Americans speaking up the most. However when polled most Americans did not think the name needed to be changed.
In a poll of 1,004 adults, taken by the Associated Press in April, 79% of people believed that the Redskins should NOT change their name. I think that there needs to be at least 40% of people against the name for the Redskins to spend money on changing their name and logo.
One reason that people would not find the name offensive is because it is honoring Native Americans. When you think of an NFL player you think strong, fast, powerful, and fearless; and that is how I think Dan Snyder and the Redskins are trying to represent the term ”redskin.”
If the Redskins should choose to change their name and logo, it would cost them close to $15 million. The costs of finding a new name would be between $500,000 and $1 million, however the cost of creating a new sign for FedEXField and the Redskins’ training facilities would come to around $14 million, according to thinkprogress.org’s Travis Waldron.
The Redskins should not be penalized $15 million for displeasing 20% of Americans.