The National Football League has a problem with the "N" word, but apparently not the "R" word.
The NFL is saying it wants to eliminate the use of the "N" word from its playing fields and locker rooms. Fifteen-yard penalties against players caught using that epithet are being discussed. Enforcement will be tough in a league that's 75 percent black and where so many of those players probably use that word loosely and see it as a term of endearment. But I totally agree with the spirit of what the league is trying to accomplish.
On the other hand, the NFL's position of trying to eliminate the use of one racial slur while completely upholding Daniel Snyder's apparent decision to use another as part of the Washington team's name is both hypocritical and reprehensible.
On yesterday's Mike and Mike radio show Hall of Famer Cris Carter made an impassioned plea to NFL players to stop using the "N" word, primarily on grounds that like any other workplace it's not appropriate for NFL fields, locker rooms, offices, etc. He's absolutely right.
Even ESPN analyst Mike Wilbon, who says he routinely uses the "N" word and has defiantly said he's going to keep using it, said Carter's argument about the workplace comes very close to making him at least change his mind on that aspect of it.
While I do believe it makes a huge difference whether a non-black or black person uses the "N" word and how they use it, there's just no place for it in our society...and I don't care who uses it or how they spell it.
The dichotomy here is that while a lot of black people use the "N" word as a so-called term of endearment, I don't think many--if any--Native Americans use the "R" word among themselves as such.
Some Native Americans have voiced support for the Washington NFL team to keep its name, but most of articles and TV reports I've seen suggest that most don't like or use the "R" word and see it as a racist epithet.
Check out this excerpt from a story that NPR ran last September (http://www.npr.org/...):
And when the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian hosted a symposium on Indian mascots in February, museum director Kevin Gover, himself a Native American, said the word was "the equivalent of the N-word." At the same event, former Colorado Sen. Ben Nighthorse Campbell asked the crowd to consider an equally offensive name for the local sports team: "How you would like for us to change the name of that team to the Washington Darkies?"NEVER!? Really dude? Snyder has drawn a line in the sand the NFL doesn't seem to want to cross and one NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell seems unable or unwilling to push Snyder across. That's kind of cowardly...and not good for the game and not good for America. Feels like John Wayne owns the Washington NFL team.
For his part, Redskins owner Daniel Snyder has been vocal in his support for the name and has insisted that it's here to stay. "We'll never change the name," Snyder told USA Today in May. "It's that simple. NEVER — you can use caps."