WASHINGTON (CBSDC) – The Redskins team name deserves to be discussed in the same context of racism and bigotry as Donald Sterling’s racial comments which earned him a lifetime ban from the NBA on Tuesday, Jarrett Bell of USA Today says.
Bell penned a column Tuesday night, in light of NBA commissioner Adam Silver’s announcement of the league’s punishment against Sterling, taking the stance that “racism is racism” and should be treated as such throughout American sports.
“Maybe this inglorious episode will resonate in the NFL, which also has an owner in its midst with the initials D.S., engaging in another form of race-hating,” Bell wrote.
More from Bell’s column:
Snyder takes the position he’s honoring Native Americans by not changing the name, although I’ve had Native Americans tell me they felt disparaged when called “dirty redskins.”
Racism is racism.
On Tuesday, Oneida Indian Nation representative Ray Halbritter — a relentless critic of Snyder — hailed the NBA for taking “a courageous stand” while chastising the NFL.
In a statement, Halbritter added, “The NBA has shown leagues like the NFL that they have a moral responsibility to take disciplinary action against people like Dan Snyder, who also continues to proudly promote bigotry with the use of a dictionary-defined racial slur as his team’s name.”
Although Bell did admit in an interview with 106.7 The Fan’s Grant Paulsen and Danny Rouhier on Wednesday, that that two situations cannot be compared directly.
“What Donald Sterling did, versus the debate with Dan Snyder, I mean it’s a stretch to try to connect them apples-to-apples, because that’s not the case,” he said. “But the reason I wrote the column, and was compelled to write about it, is just for the fact that we’re talking about this broad topic being racism and bigotry.
“And what happened with the Clippers owner is unequivocal, and there’s not much debate as to the spirit of that. Whereas in the case of Dan Snyder and the Washington football team, there are a lot of different interpretations of what is intended and not intended. I know Snyder’s position very well, in terms of feeling like he is honoring Native Americans, and then there are Native Americans that you hear from who will tell you both sides. Some see it as degrading, and some see it as an honor, so it’s not as cut and dry.”
“I wrote the column because I think it deserves to be discussed in that context,” Bell went on to say. “So if the NBA is going to take a stand against bigotry and racism, I think that same logic and argument can also be applied to the case with Snyder and his team.”
Listen to the full interview below.