Over the past several months some Native American tribes and the government have been adament about trying to make the Washington Redskins change their name because they consider it offensive.
Well today 50 Senators urged the NFL to make the Redskins change their name.
@politico: 50 senators urge a name change for the Washington Redskins
So I wanted to go back to my stomping grounds in Salamanca, New York and ask some of my Native American friends how they felt about the name Redskins, because it is best if you hear it from someone that it actually affects. So here are a few responses to this question:
Being native what do you think of the Redskins name? Do you consider it offensive?
It doesn’t bother me a bit. I mean it’s been that way forever. If they’re going to be feel offensive about that then they have to get rid of the Florida Seminoles because of their mascot. Its just a bunch of older natives that are concerned about it, but me no I’m not offended by it all it. – Junior Dowdy
It doesn’t offend me at all. I actually like it, its pretty cool – Cheyeanne Hebdon
I’m not offended by it, but I can see y people are. I think they should’ve asked permission to use a logo like that way back when. – Chris Thomas
I’m not overly opinionated with the whole mascot topic but yes I do find Redskins offensive along with the Atlanta Braves and of course Cleveland Indians! – Alyza Bowen
I think it is racist you don’t see any other teams names that are old racial slurs. I know the term has controversy about the origins and Is said to mean a few things. One being it referred to the face paint another is refering to scalping. Either way I think by today’s standards it’s considered racist. I know if someone walked up to me in a bar and said hi Redskin I’d beat his ass that’s my thought on the subject. – Billy Crouse
I’m actually not offended by it one bit. However it all depends how it’s portrayed. If the team represents themselves respectfully it’s one thing, but if their mascot is running around trying to act “storybook native” then that’s another thing. Just like we were Salamanca Warriors…I would never want them to change it. I like the fact that it’s respectful and appropriate to where we live, since Salamanca is the only city built on a reservation. – Mel Ross
As you can see, each Native will have a difference of opinions, so let me tell you what I think.
Salamanca, New York is home to many Natives from the Seneca Nation Indian Reservation. Their high school team is known as the Warriors and the basketball court had a Native American Warrior face when I was in school. My childhood friends wore the Cleveland Indians, Atlanta Braves, Chicago Blackhawks, Florida State Seminoles, Kansas City Chiefs, and Washington Redskins gear, because it had something they could relate too.
The Native Americans deserve more respect, but as America continues to downsize their land, and their privileges, it makes you wonder if my childrens’ children will know what the Natives did for this Country we live in today. While the team name might be offensive to some, it also allows others to express their pride in being Native. I feel if we take the logos away, it will be another step closer to weeding the culture out altogether, and that would bother me.
As a kid that was born and raised on the reservation, the Native culture was something that meant a lot to me. I took Seneca language classes over Spanish and French my entire time in high school, because I felt as if I was part of their culture. I personally am afraid that if the government does in fact change these names and logos, the only people that would lose out, are the Natives themselves.
The names and logos can change, but the sport will continued to be played. With the logo being displayed on television and on clothing, one thing is for sure, the culture will be around as long as the sport, and we know the sport is not going anywhere.