Redskins: What’s in a name

By Enrique Cervantes

The Washington Redskins name controversy is an issue that has been swirling around for months now, and continues to rear its ugly head every once in awhile. And it won’t go away anytime soon.

When this issue first started, I was quick to dismiss it. It had never presented itself before, and there weren’t many Native Americans supporting the cause to have the name changed. Tribes had even said that they have bigger issues to worry about than a football team’s name.

People made the argument that no one makes an issue about the Cleveland Indians, Kansas City Chiefs, Atlanta Braves or the Chicago Blackhawks. The Indians and Braves both have used red-faced mascots in the past. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t remember hearing that much about it.

As the months rolled on, the issue wavered, dying down and coming back up at times. Recently, fans outside the Minnesota Vikings and Redskins game protested the Redskins. There has been talk of teams boycotting games when the Redskins come into town.

At first, part of me felt that the Redskins were only at the center of this because they played in Washington. Things didn’t get any better for the issue when owner Daniel Snyder came out and said that they would never change the name of the team.

In June, the United States Patent and Trademark Office cancelled the trademark for the name and the controversy picked up steam.

The origins of the term ‘redskin’ have always been debated. Some believe it came from certain tribes that used red pigments to paint their face. A study conducted by Ives Goddard found that “the actual origin of the word is entirely benign and reflects more positive aspects of relations between Indians and whites.”

I, myself, have no stance on this matter. Whether they change the name of not, it’ll have no effect on me. I’ll still watch the games when they play. It’s just how I am.

The only positive outcome in all of this is when it is resolved. If the name changes, great, if it doesn’t change, that’s great too. Honestly, I feel like Native Americans have bigger issues to be concerned with.

But, in the end, this issue is bigger than football. People everywhere have to see that and just hope that this controversy ends on a positive note.

Enrique Cervantes

Michael Torres / The Poly Post

Enrique Cervantes

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