Doesn’t get any more self-righteous than this.
The most controversial name in sports won’t appear again in The Seattle Times’ print edition or on the seattletimes.com home pages as long as I am sports editor.
It’s time to ban the use of “Redskins,” the absurd, offensive and outdated name of the NFL team in Washington, D.C.
Past time, actually.
We’ll probably receive scathing emails, letters, phone calls and reader comments telling me we’re too PC, that the name actually honors Native Americans or that we have no right to change a team’s official name.
Everyone’s entitled to an opinion – even if I don’t buy it.
We’re banning the name for one reason: It’s offensive. Far from honoring Native Americans, the term colors an entire race. Many Native Americans consider it an outdated label placed on their people.
Randy Lewis, a member of the Colville Confederated Tribes who is a board member for United Indians, didn’t pull any punches when asked what he thought.
“I find it as offensive as black people find the N-word,” he said. “They say they’re trying to dignify or honor something with it. It doesn’t dignify us. It doesn’t honor us. It doesn’t make us feel good about ourselves.”
Lewis, who is in his 60s, acknowledges that some Native Americans, particularly from his generation, accept and even embrace the name.
“But our younger people find it offensive, and they’re the ones who are inheriting this world,” he said. “If they find it offensive, damn right, take it out.”
So we are going to do just that.
Brian Howard, a legislative associate with the National Congress of American Indians, is 26 years old and attended school in Arizona off the reservation.
“I’ve witnessed and experienced first-hand many of the stereotypes, perceptions and racism aimed at Native people, including the R-word,” Howard said. “As long as I have a breath of life, I will keep opposing this.”