Saturday, June 22, 2013

Washington Redskins Legend's Take on Name Controversy Makes You Think

The Washington Redskins have made the news for two things in recent months--the health of Robert Griffin III's knee and the controversy surrounding the team's name. Having interest groups speak out against it has been nothing new, but this time around several politicians have joined the fray as well. We all know what kind of attention 'those' guys bring!

It's been enough to cause the owner, Dan Snyder, to hire a consultant to help him deal with the mess; one that will never go away since he refuses to change the name and there will always be people that find the name offensive.

However, I can't help but wonder if the take that a Redskins legend recently shared will make some rethink their position.

The Super Bowl champion, former MVP, and Hall of Famer recently shared this story which has been shared by several media outlets at this point (including NESN where I first saw it):
“I can tell you that when I was at the children’s hospital this morning, there was a young Native American boy there with his parents,” Theisman said. “His grandmother wanted a picture with me, and his father took the picture. And as I shook his hand the father said to me ‘You’re a Redskin,’ and he said it in a very complimentary way, which was very humbling to me.”
After sharing the story he went on to describe how he saw his time playing not as some maniacal, blood thirsty savage, but as representative of a very proud people.
“I was very proud to play for the Washington Redskins, and I did it to honor Native people in that regard. I think sometimes people perceive words in their own particular way...I can just tell you that when I put that uniform on, and I put that helmet on with the Redskin logo on it, I felt like I was representing more than the Washington Redskins. I was representing the great Native American nations that exist in this country.”
Being a life long Cowboys fan I hated this guy when he played football and he's never been my favorite commentator, but he makes a very good point here. People have just assumed that the name was'is a derogatory one since it has been used as one in the past. Like many things, it can be taken in a good way as well as a negative one.

The person he talked to in the hospital that morning saw nothing wrong with it.

Maybe the real issue is not the name, but the people that are complaining about it. They want to see something bad so they do. Maybe if they quite trying to find problems where they don't exist there will not be as many.

Just a thought...but then again, what would the media and politicians have to complain about during the slow times? Real issues?

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