Honor or Caricature?

As a native Washingtonian and growing up in a house of Redskins fans, I never thought the monniker was derragotory and truthfully I still don’t. I understand there are people out there that feel as though it is and that the name should be changed.

I am by no means an expert on American Indian culture and or history, but from what I’ve heard from some American Indians is that they don’t feel the name to be derragatory because some tribes painted their faces red before going into battle. So, if this is the case, can this be viewed as a compliment? As the Redskins fight song says, “Braves on the warpath, fight for ole DC.” I also heard another reason for the red skin and that is: that they used the puccoon plant, which produces either a red or yellow dye, mixed with animal fat as a bug repellent. So, if either of these things is true is the name really derragatory?

There’s a long racist history with the Redskins.  Owner, George Preston Marshall who was dubbed the “leading racist of the NFL” refused to integrate the team. Ultimately he was forced to do so by the U.S. Department of the Interior and in 1962 Ernie Davis was drafted and the Washington Redskins became the last NFL team to integrate. And if you go according to that there is an argument that the monniker is racist.

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