The Redskins are defending their racist nickname again

Rob Carr

The Redskins responded to critics of their team name again on Tuesday, and this time they spoke to a high school in Oklahoma to make their case.

After Monday saw both a Redskins player and the team itself publicly defending the team's controversial (read: "totally racist") nickname, on Tuesday the Redskins somehow thought it would be a good idea to defend themselves all over again. Why is the Redskins name not racist?

Because a Native American community in Oklahoma is totally fine with it!

From Redskins.com:

Gary Hodde has served as the high school athletic director in McLoud for the last 31 years, and spoke with Redskins.comTV about the honor that is shown to and by all residents of the close-knit community.

“We have a large Native American population at our school,” he said. “I’m not sure if they know the whole history behind the nickname ‘Redskins,’ but our athletes are no different from any other schools. We are known as the McLoud Redskins, and that’s what we proudly display on our jerseys and cheers.

“No one has ever been dishonored at our school with that Redskins nickname.”

[...]

“A few years back, there was a movement of a group that attempted to change our name from the Redskins,” he said. “Many of the Native Americans in our community stepped forward and said ‘No, we’re not going to do that. We are proud of being the Redskins.’”

"See? Those Native Americans are proud of it, even honored by it. So could the name be upsetting to any other Native Americans? Right? Case closed."

It's great. Are they going to write one of these articles every day? Maybe it'll become a whole series of posts that everyone will deeply regret ten years from now. Who knows!

Of course, if you'd like to read a serious article about the Redskins name and how it relates to the team's long and distinguished history of racism, this is a good start. As the owner once said explaining his refusal to integrate, the Redskins would “start signing Negroes when the Harlem Globetrotters start signing whites.” And given today's news, this excerpt seems relevant:

As his second head coach, Marshall hired William “Lone Star” Dietz, a journeyman coach at the collegiate level whose mother was most likely a Sioux. It was in “honor” of Dietz, who coached the team for just two seasons and who at Marshall’s urging willingly put on war paint and Indian feathers before home games, that Marshall changed the team’s name to the Redskins.

"See? It was all to honor the Native American coach that the owner dressed in warpaint and feathers every week. And that guy was fine with it. Totally not racist!"

We'll hear lots of debate about the Redskins name in the coming months and maybe years, and some of it will include various Native Americans shrugging their shoulders at all this. So make no mistake: The team name started in the most demeaning way possible, and for a franchise with a history of staggering racism, the Redskins name is its own little nod to that laughably racist past. That's why it'll change soon.

In the meantime, it's just fun to watch the team try to explain it in public.

"Look at this high school in Oklahoma! Yeah!"

The real lesson from Monday and Tuesday's explanations is that no matter what the Redskins say to defend themselves, it just leaves them looking a little more insensitive and desperate. Which I guess makes sense. It all comes with the territory when you're DEFENDING A NAME THAT'S OBVIOUSLY RACIST.

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