Redskins

‘Redskins’ Name Debate is More Redskins-Cowboys Than Anything

by Chris Lingebach
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Robert Griffin III talks with Tony Romo after the Redskins defeated the Cowboys 28-18 at FedExField on December 30, 2012. (Credit: Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)

Robert Griffin III talks with Tony Romo after the Redskins defeated the Cowboys 28-18 at FedExField on December 30, 2012. (Credit: Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)

Holden & Danny Holden Kushner and Danny Rouhier
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For the first time since the onslaught of anti-‘Redskins’ chatter began, there seems to be signs the tide is turning against the nickname’s most vocal opposition.

As columnist after columnist after columnist comes out against the name, a disparity in the consensus between media members and everyone else is beginning to surface; forming a rift as wide as the Grand Canyon.

‘Redskins’ defenders, who up to this point in the narrative have only reared their heads in the form of fans, have had their free will sequestered; their voice drowned out by those shouting the loudest that the name is racist and needs to go.

What hasn’t become apparent, are facts to support their claims, even statistical evidence manifested in polls that sample the Native American tribes scattered all across the country, and their sentiments toward the name.

Instead you get quotes condemning the name as a slur, from a spokesperson representing the American Indian Museum, conveniently located in Washington, D.C.

And lost in all of the above, is your voice.

Instead of esteemed media members representing the opinions of a community which has largely supported this franchise for 80+ years, they’ve reversed course, dictating to their loyal readers, viewers, and listeners, what everyone is allowed to think by their standards.

Do some fans think the team should change its name? Sure.

But by and large, the overwhelming majority of ‘Redskins’ fans do not find it offensive. In fact, they prefer it and would rather it remain unchanged than see it fall to the history books.

But that voice is being stifled.

It should seem strange that, as media outlets align themselves for a fight against the biggest dog on the block, there is not one dissenting opinion among them.

It should seem strange, because it is.

But that pendulum swings and swings and swings, and those fans are beginning to shout back.

And they’ve found one of their own with a microphone.

Danny Rouhier was asked to be part of a panel discussion about the possible ‘Redskins’ name change on a national television show on Friday. But after voicing his pro-‘Redskins’ opinion on the radio prior to his appearance, for whatever reason, his invitation was rescinded.

“Is it a media driven debate? After my experience today, I now think 100 percent, unequivocally, yes it is,” Danny said on his radio show. “They wanted me to be fodder and they were barking up the wrong tree.”

“What you have now are Johnny-come-latelies,” he continued. “The Redskins are good. Robert Griffin is a black quarterback in Washington, D.C. that the entire nation’s eyes are on.”

The best opportunity to push an agenda – especially one that blurs lines between politics and sports – in Washington, is in the quiet months following the football season, when the pistons of the NFL news machine churn a little slower; when big stories have a little more time to breathe.

“They are trying to create a situation where they can drive up all the support, all the members of the media can congratulate themselves on how enlightened they are, and how ‘We’re so forward thinking, we’re beating this white, stocky radio dumb idiot bully. We’re browbeating him into a corner. Look at how tough we are. We’re great. And when the evil billionaire won’t change the name, we’ll have righteousness on our side.’ That’s what they’re trying to create.”

Call it pulling back the curtain. Call it transparency. Call it what you will, but there is a concerted effort to make you feel like supporting the team name is morally wrong.

“There are reasonable positions on both sides,” Rouhier said. “The side that is screaming the loudest now will tell you there’s no possible argument.  What’s happening right now though, is ‘if you’re on the opposite side from us, you’re a racist.’ It’s a very, very convenient position to have.”

This agenda, whatever interest may be at its core, is thickly veiled as political correctness, with layers of rhetoric wrapped around it, designed to make it easy for you to adopt the pack mentality that’s pushing for change.

You’re either racist and rooting for the name, or you’re a decent, compassionate human being and realize its offensive nature.

“My point all along has been, we can have a legitimate discussion,” Danny pressed on. “I really believe that. It’s near impossible now though, because of the shrill screamers that are dropping the ‘R’ word – and not the Redskins, I’m talking about ‘racism’ – on the rest of us, and feeling very empowered. Feeling like they’re the white and shining armor riding in to save the day, from all us big bad people that might not be in favor of a name change.”

In fact, this whole debate has a very familiar feel to it.

Why would you support the name Redskins? It’s racist. The entire country knows it.

Hmm…

Why would you root for the Redskins? It’s all about the Cowboys. That’s America’s team.

Oh yea. That’s what’s familiar.

Pick whichever side you want then. It’s all just football as usual.

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