The “Redskins,” racism, and the future of a franchise


At the risk of putting the final, tenderizing blows on a very dead horse, I thought it was worth composing some thoughts on the current moment in time, the Washington Redskins’ associations with racism, and origin stories for the team’s moniker and logo. Many Redskins fans will be familiar with some, or all, of these details. Some will not be. Many non-Redskins’ fans won’t be familiar with any of it. This is intended as an attempt to lay it all bare, and to facilitate a discussion that can result in broader understanding.

To begin, and to attempt to minimize claims of bias, let me first lay out my own position: I grew up as a fan of the team, with cheering on the Redskins a key point of contact with my father. We didn’t necessarily share a lot in common, but we both loved the Redskins, and both loved watching them together (and still do). In my younger years, I actually penned a letter imploring a name change (well before it was fashionable to do so). Decades have passed, and as they often do, views have become more complicated.

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