LANHAM, Md. (CBSDC) — The debate of the Washington Redskins name isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. The once soft cries from a small group of people are growing louder seemingly by the week. The debate over whether the name of one of the most lucrative franchises in the National Football League is offensive is taking center stage in the national media.
President Barack Obama’s comments suggesting he would consider a name change if he were the team’s owner have fueled the flames of an already heated debate. A response from an attorney a few hours later only intensified the matter.
The Oneida Indian Nation, whose leaders are spearheading the campaign against the name, are holding a symposium in Washington Monday with NFL owners preparing to descend on the city less than 24 hours later for annual fall meetings.
The topic took center stage Monday morning on the Junkies on 106.7 The Fan.
Cakes, a life long Washington Wizards fan, raised an interesting point in that he said he was defiant when the team dropped its Bullets name. Over time he’s grown to accept the change.
Perhaps that of some comfort to Eric Bickell who seems to be adamantly opposed to a change this go around.
The following is a transcription of an excerpt of the debate. Complete audio of the segment can be found at the bottom of the post.
JP: “If you grow up in 1845 you might have a certain thought of how things should be when it came to voting or when it came to slavery. But we were born in 1970.”
Cakes: “Thank God for that.”
JP: “So we didn’t have the same mind frame. And now the mind frame of people has changed. It’s the same thing with gay marriage.”
EB: “I would say if you are offended, don’t but tickets, don’t use the name, don’t buy jerseys. I believe last year — if the world was so upset and up in arms, the vast majority — why was RGIII’s jersey the number one selling jersey in the league last year?”
Lurch: “Well the vast majority aren’t offended. Small portion. You know the answer to that. it’s a very small part of the population.”
Cakes: “It is, but even Roger Goodell, who a few months ago was singing the praises of the Redskins name, he came out a few weeks ago and said, ‘If one person is offended it’s something we have to listen to.’ So, even the commissioner is softening his stance on it.”
EB: “Well that’s a joke. People are offended by everything. You can find every team name and people will be offended.”
JP: “When you say the market will bear it, then you shouldn’t have a problem with more and more people, some in the media some outside the media, coming around to a name change.”
EB: “Sure. If that happens and ultimately he has to change it… I don’t think you should change it just because you have a loud minority.”
JP: “No. But more and more people are saying, ‘You know what? It is probably offensive, just change the name.'”
EB: “Well that’s their opinion. That’s their opinion. I’m a proud Skins fan. I would hate to change the name. I like the heritage, the tradition… I just hate to change it.”
JP: “The Redskins, at least the owner, they seem to be digging in.”
Cakes: “Daniel Snyder has been very defiant.”
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Cakes: “And the Redskins aren’t helping themselves when they say ‘the Redskins respect everyone, but like devoted fans of the Atlanta Braves, the Cleveland Indians, and the Chicago Blackhawks, the fans love their team and its name.’ They’re basically saying ‘We’re not the only team with an offensive name. Look at all these other teams!’ Pointing fingers.”
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Cakes: “Here’s the only way I’m convinced Daniel Snyder will ever change the Redskins name. When the sponsors with the deep pockets, who have their billboards all over FedEx Field, when their shareholders or their big decision makers say ‘You know what? We can no longer tie our product — insert product — whether it’s Subway, Budweiser, Papa John’s. We can’t advertise in your stadium because this growing sentiment that the name is offensive, that is when I think he has to seriously think about changing it.”
EB: “Well also the whole nature of this lawsuit is if they lose their copyright protection and anybody else can come up with their own t-shirts. That would hurt them also. I just think it’s catering to a loud minority of easily offended people. I don’t think it would change one Native American’s life for the better. I don’t think one Native American on the planet life will be any better if they change their name.”
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Cakes: “I’m not a Skins fans, but I’ve lived through a name change. I was a Bullets fan growing up. They switched their name from Bullets to Wizards. And when they switched it, I hated it. I was defiant about it. I didn’t want them to switch the name, but Abe Pollin was very vocal in saying, ‘Look. There’s a crime, murder spree going on here in D.C. Violence is a huge problem. Gun violence is a problem. I can’t have my team name that connotes that sort of violence.’ And they changed the name. Now, after however many years they’ve been the Wizards… What has it been? Over a decade, right?… I mean, I don’t love the Wizards name, but I’ve grown to accept it.”
EB: “There’s actually a groundswell of people that want the name to go back to Bullets.”
Cakes: “I personally wouldn’t have a problem with that if it went back to Bullets.”