The debate surrounding the Washington Redskins' name has intensified in 2013, with several prominent voices supporting changing the name which can be perceived as offensive to Native Americans.
Washington's owner Dan Snyder is adamant that the name will not change. He cites reasons like, not that many people care, and, very few are actually offended, so why bother? to justify his lack of action which very possibly comes down to the simple fact that a rebranding effort would cost up to $15 million (which does not include potential revenue from new jerseys).
In the era of political correctness, particularly amongst Milennials, Snyder is simply delaying the inevitable. Though Snyder is correct, only four out of five are in favor of changing the name, that number was nine out of ten 20 years ago, and it's likely to increase as more prominent figures speak out against it.
The latest include President Obama and Tony Dungy, both of whom singled out Snyder for the team's lack of empathy (related: Rich people have less empathy).
“If I were the owner of the team and I knew that the name of my team, even if they’ve had a storied history, that was offending a sizable group of people, I’d think about changing it,” Obama said.
Dungy echoed the sentiments, saying, “I hope Daniel Snyder does reconsider and change it. The Redskins nickname is offensive to Native Americans. In 2013, we need to get that name changed. … We need to do that. I hope Snyder changes his mind.”
Synder is unlikely to change his mind, but his case for keeping the name is weak. The team released a statement full of red herrings and straw men following these remarks, saying the name has been around for 80 years — BTW, Jim Crow was around for nearly 100 — and sharing the blame with the Braves, Indians and Blackhawks, none of which are common negative slang.
PFT breaks it all down very nicely, particularly the conclusion of the letter, in which Dan Snyder gets his Ricky Bobby on, essentially saying we don't mean to offend anyone.
It is, after all, in the Geneva Convention.