Money Talks: Pressure Means Washington's NFL Team Will Get a New Name
It took 87-years, but Washington D.C's NFL Football team looks like they're finally going to get a new name.
Bowing to pressure from the teams primary sponsor Federal Express and other large corporations including Nike among others, the owner of D.C's team, one Dan Snyder agreed on July 3rd, to consider changing the teams name.
No, it is by no means the first time Snyder, who's owned the team since 1999 or previous owner Jack Kent Cooke faced pressure to make a change for a team founded by a man known for racist tendencies, George Preston Marshall in 1932. The team was notably the LAST NFL franchise to integrate in 1962 and that came only after extreme pressure by the Federal Government.
Over the past decade, there have been several public battles/attempts to convince Snyder to change the name, with Snyder backing off each time claiming irreparable financial harm due to loss of marketing money. Yes, the sale of merchandise primarily.
This time, on the heels of a very strong tidal wave of racial reckoning, it appears the team name finally is going to change. The name, which is highly insulting to Native Americans has no place in a modern society and hasn't for a long, long time.
Yes, I know, there is going to be an outcry by a decent sized group of fans and others saying "You can't change history". But let's put it this way; "If not now, when?"....
If you know me, I've said this before and I'll say it again. Just because things have been done a certain way in the past doesn't mean it was right. Just because it's something you grew up with, doesn't mean it is ok to keep doing it.
The world as some of us knew it when we grew up has changed. It is not, nor will it ever be the same. For many of us, it just reinforces what we already knew, that it's time to stop doing things that probably should never have been done in the first place.
But far too many people still hold on to the belief they can do or say what they want about people, places or things that don't or have never impacted their daily lives.
And we can't keep living in that kind of bubble, a bubble which has made us all angry, bitter and unwilling to see the big picture, instead of understanding there is and has always been a middle ground we all can find if we're willing to listen and look for it.
Washington's football team has long needed a change and even though Snyder has only committed to consider the change, he has finally been boxed in. There is no way out of it any more, saying it's been "Considered" but not acted upon will not be enough this time.
Yes, in the grand scheme of life, this is somewhat of a minor blip on the radar, but it is also an important one. Team name changes are not that uncommon in sports. And this team likely will not be the last one forced to make a change.
The Atlanta Braves, the Cleveland Indians and others have a reckoning ahead. While the names may be somewhat less "Disparaging" to Native Americans, there are still many who consider them offensive. And that needs to be dealt with.
As much as I love my Braves, and the "Tomahawk Chop", it may finally be time to retire both. As much as many fans will argue the name and the chant "Honor" Native Americans, you can also say it is "Honoring" a stereotype. It's a stereotype honed and made popular through movies and books.
And while many of us would like to believe life is like both movies and books, it isn't. Unless they are historically proven accurate, which some have been, fiction is still fiction and based on only means something is based on it.
Let's see what happens here, I suspect Snyder will give in and its only a matter of time before he understands that for whatever marketing money he makes now, he can make in triplicate with a new team name.
And at the end of the day--for billionaires like him, it's the only thing which really matters.