I really like Bob Costas, I think he’s one of the most intelligent and well-spoken sports broadcasters, ever. But if you’re going to make your case in front of millions of people on national TV as to why something is not culturally appropriate (politically-correct), it doesn’t do well for you to debunk your own position before you even get to your main point. Which is exactly what Costas does here trying to make his case as to why the Washington Redskins mascot all of the sudden has become inappropriate and offensive apparently, after being a part of the NFL for decades, even winning three Super Bowls during that time and being home to names like Joe Theismann, John Riggins, Darrell Green, Dexter Manley, Mark Rypien, and other All-Pro and Hall of Fame players from its past.
Costas starts out by saying definitively that he doesn’t believe that anyone associated with the Redskins organization, including the fans, are racist in any way toward Native Americans. I don’t think the vast majority of Americans needed to be told that, but OK. He doesn’t want to be misunderstood, so he just wanted to establish that.
He then goes on to casually mention that not even Native Americans themselves are offended by the term ‘Redskins’.
As much as I respect Costas, now he just sounds absurd, and he’s effectively shot himself in the foot before even getting to his main point. He admits that no one in the Redskins organization is racist and that Native Americans themselves are not offended by the name.
Then what’s the problem? If this is such a “controversy” now, like Costas and others are describing this, where did this controversy come from all of a sudden? Who’s offended by the name ‘Redskins’ if you’re openly admitting that Native Americans themselves are not offended by the term? And why now? And what possible reason would the team have to change the name if the people the name is referring to take no offense? The Washington Redskins have been in the National Football League SINCE 1932!!! THAT’S 81 YEARS!!!
Do you realistically expect any professional sports team that has been around as long as the Redskins have, to cave to political-correctness without a fight?
Costas then goes on to compare the Redskins name to other pro and college sports teams that have some variation of Native American terms as their name, claiming that those names honor instead of demean Native Americans. And that some teams in the past have changed their names because of objections. He does make a good point that if the term referred to other ethnic groups such as Hispanics, Asians, or especially blacks, it would probably be dismissed out of hand as being highly offensive.
But it doesn’t, and it isn’t offensive to Native Americans. Maybe that’s because Native Americans are proud of their heritage and their skin color and don’t like to engage in hyper-partisan race-baiting that the politically-correct media likes to marinate in. Or maybe Native Americans don’t like American football very much and just don’t care, I don’t know. What I do know is that Costas and others are trying to gin up a controversy where none exists.
And I really, really hope that the Redskins organization thinks long and hard if they do decide to change their name (which it doesn’t sound like they’re going to). I won’t be disappointed if they change their name, but I will be disappointed if they change their name to appease the wrong people.