Red­skins fans are not In­dian haters

The Washington Times Daily - - Editorial -

I’ve been a Wash­ing­ton Red­skins fan my en­tire life. I’ll con­tinue to be a Red­skins fan, not a Brave­hearts fan or a fan of any other name of a foot­ball team from Wash­ing­ton. The mem­o­ries of go­ing to Red­skins games and don­ning Red­skins ap­parel has been an in­te­gral part of my life. It just would not be the same if a rich tra­di­tion of his­tory, a team that has had its name since 1933, were to sud­denly take on a new iden­tity.

There are those who think the team name is of­fen­sive. In a let­ter that Red­skins owner Dan Sny­der sent out to sea­son-ticket hold­ers in mid-Oc­to­ber, Mr. Sny­der re­minded fans of the proud tra­di­tion of the fran­chise. He re­minded every­body that the name Red­skins was never used by the or­ga­ni­za­tion as a deroga­tory term, but rather to honor the brav­ery and pas­sion of Amer­i­can In­dian tribes from years past. He men­tioned sur­veys find­ing that only a small mi­nor­ity of Amer­i­can In­di­ans find the term of­fen­sive. Mr. Sny­der also told a story of how for­mer Red­skins coach Ge­orge Allen per­son­ally went to an Amer­i­can In­dian reser­va­tion to get the team’s logo de­signed.

But peo­ple do not pay at­ten­tion to that. They hear the team name and think it has neg­a­tive con­no­ta­tions. Those who think the Red­skins should keep their name should not be looked down upon. The team name is more of an honor to the brave Amer­i­can In­dian tribes of the past than any­thing neg­a­tive. If peo­ple con­tinue to pres­sure the NFL to change the name, ef­fec­tively wip­ing out years of childhood mem­o­ries and tra­di­tions, do not ex­pect fans to hap­pily move on. We are Red­skins fans, not Amer­i­can In­dian haters. And I know I will con­tinue to be just that: a Red­skins fan. JA­COB RILL West­min­ster, Md.

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