WASHINGTON (CBSDC) — The ongoing name controversy surrounding the Redskins team name has experienced a series of peaks and valleys, as it pertains to mainstream media coverage.
Every time the issue seems to reach critical mass — like at the height of the Redskins 2012 NFC East division championship run, or just earlier this week, when the U.S. Trademark Trial and Appeal Board delivered a ruling cancelling the team’s six federally protected trademarks — the news cycle moves on, and the issue again seems to fade away into the sunset.
Through it all, there are specific members in media, sports and entertainment, who, either for or against change, consistently keep the discussion alive.
Here are the top 5 players in the Redskins name controversy:
- Mike Wise — A columnist for the Washington Post, Mike Wise has long been a champion for the team to change its name, almost as though its his birthright, penning columns on the topic every few months. Actually, he’s devoted three columns to the issue (here, here and here) in the last month. At times, he’s even mocked Redskins’s fans perceived refusal to acknowledge the name as derogatory, which has unsettled those fans.
- Dan Steinberg — Author of the DC Sports Bog, Dan Steinberg’s role at The Post almost forces him to cover media coverage of issues which loudly reverberate within the D.C. sports community, and he has taken up a rather self-mocking position with regard to his apparent forced role covering the name issue, often heading his articles with ‘Editor’s notes’ poking fun at his own reluctance to incessantly cover the name issue (see also: “Luckily, there are only about 17 people left to survey. Next up will be James W. Sylvester, 59, of Sheboygan.)
- Mike Florio — Mike Florio, of NBC’s ProFootballTalk.com, seems to take joy when the Redskins organization shoots itself in the foot with its handling of the name controversy, equating the recent botched #RedskinsPride Twitter campaign to the PR debacle of Ray Rice and his domestic issue.
- Deadspin — This sports blog has assumed the mantle of relentlessly mocking anything and everything it deems to be wrong with sports (like its incessant trolling of ESPN, for which it recently hired Dave McKenna away from the Washington City Paper in a full-time capacity). Deadspin has apparently employed its wealth of both full- and part-time staff writers and editors to mock the Redskins’ resistance to change whenever, which is often, it deems the organization worthy of such ridicule.
- Oneida Indian Nation — The Oneida Nation, an Iroquois tribe indigenous to New York, has been, by far, the loudest federally recognized tribe pushing for the Redskins name to be changed. From the national ‘Change the Mascot‘ campaign it launched — which has spearheaded national radio and television ads in an effort to raise awareness for the issue, most recently a 60-second ad which ran nationally during the NBA Finals — to its litany of press releases praising anyone of note taking a stance against the name, and condemning anyone of note supporting the name, the Oneida Nation has been a constant presence in the name discussion, presenting itself as the preeminent opposition to the Redskins organization in its continued use of its team name.
Let us know if we left anyone off the list.