There are no other sports and very few businesses in America that are as successful as the National Football League.
In fact, whenever reputable research firms do market studies about sports in America, the NFL is the runaway leader as respondents’ favorite sport league by a more than 2-1 margin over baseball, basketball or hockey. Even more remarkable, more fans list the NFL as their favorite league than those who name Major League Baseball, the NBA and the NHL combined.
The NFL is king. But, is that any reason to act badly and insult fans and customers on a regular basis? Can the NFL continue to act in such a way and maintain its perch as kings of the sporting world?
The answer to that first question is of course not. The answer to the second, I guess, is we’ll see.
What I can say for sure is we here at Chicago Football have made the decision that it is not at all difficult to continue giving you the best coverage of the Chicago Bears and the NFL available anywhere, without joining the league in insulting hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of Americans across the country.
The Washington Redskins were originally known as the Boston Braves. According to Wikipedia, in 1933, co-owner George Preston Marshall changed the name to the Redskins, possibly in recognition of the then–head coach, William Henry “Lone Star” Dietz, who claimed to be part Sioux. On July 6, 1933, the Boston Herald reported, “the change was made to avoid confusion with the Braves baseball team and the team that is to be coached by an Indian (Dietz) which had several Indian players.”
Why was it OK to call the Washington football team the Redskins in 1933 and for decades after until folks first started to criticize and complain five or six decades later?
I have absolutely no idea as I was still 20 years from being born and 35-to-40 years away from knowing it was wrong and understanding it was controversial.
What we’ve learned about Snyder is that in the 15 years since he bought the team in May 1999, it seems all he cares about are money and satisfying his own ego. He paid the money, he bought the team, and that’s his right.
He is not responsible for the name Redskins. That happened 66 years before he bought the team.
He is responsible for refusing to change the name now that it is clear how offensive it is to many people, Native American or not.
The greatest puzzle about all of this is that Snyder seems to worship money above all else, and changing the name of his team would be a financial windfall for him and the team with all of the new merchandise they would sell.
The argument Snyder has espoused – that the name means a great deal to many Redskins fans, and some Native Americans are not offended by it – is asinine and ludicrous. How can Snyder not understand that if it offends even one individual – and clearly the real number is millions times one – that is one too many?
We cannot explain Snyder’s foolishness or ego. We can refuse to join him in his folly.
From this moment forward, you will not see the name “Redskins” in Chicago Football magazine or on any new content posted to ChicagoFootball.com. The team will be referred to simply as Washington.
The term “Redskins” is clearly offensive to Native Americans and many other Americans of varying ethnicities.
We can’t explain why Daniel Snyder, Roger Goodell and other members of the National Football League don’t care, but we do.