Skip to main content

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 (

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?"

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."

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.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  If you've ever noticed, when Snyder comments about (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite, Matt Z

    this matter publicly he never actually says the name of the team, just that he won't change it.

    Keith Olbermann made an excellent point:  To those of you here or to those of your friends who hold the position the the name is harmless or really "honors" Native Americans, would you, when meeting a Native American, greet them with, "Hey, nice to meet you, redskin"?

    Good post.  Particularly since I live in Indianapolis, and our sports talk radio has been dominated over the last week by the NFL combine -- you know, sort of like auctions of horses, where the prospective owners get to check the teeth and the withers.

    When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, materialism, and militarism are incapable of being conquered -- MLK, Jr.

    by caul on Wed Feb 26, 2014 at 07:30:19 AM PST

    •  Good analogy (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      A bunch of rich, old, white guys examining the physical attributes of new stock to decide which young man they should buy to put to work.  They also seem to believe that also give them the right to tell them how to think and how to express themselves.   Note: they young men do not get to choose who to work for.  As it says in the (original version) of the song:  "Fight for Old Dixie."

  •  I've always had reservations about the idea.... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Chas 981, Matt Z

    ...that you can't do one right thing unless you do all the right things.  I think this is one of those situations.

    It's not the side effects of the cocaine/I'm thinking that it must be love

    by Rich in PA on Wed Feb 26, 2014 at 07:43:50 AM PST

  •  get rid of racial slurs in the nfl? great idea (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite, jennybravo

    start with washington's team...once that has been taken care of, move on to others

  •  John Wayne has always owned the Washington (0+ / 0-)

    team.  They were founded as the "South's NFL team", and they were the last to integrate (and were forced to, by Congress, at that); they had a fake Indian mascot long ago, and in the 80s they used to show the words to the fight song during home games on the tv screen, with a bouncing football to follow the llyrics along as the whole stadium sang....

    "Braves on the warpath,
    fight for old DC!!!
    Come on scorum touchdown, we want'em heap more."

    Yep, those were the MODIFIED lyrics, after they replaced Fight for old Dixie, with fight for old DC!!

    Please know I am not rude. I cannot rec anything from this browser. When I rec or post diaries I am a guest at some exotic locale's computer. Ayn is the bane!

    by Floyd Blue on Wed Feb 26, 2014 at 08:17:15 AM PST

  •  If "Redskin" isn't offensive the why do (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite, jennybravo

    the  Brownskins, the Blackskins and  the Whiteskins sound like unthinkably racist team names.

    If cats could blog, they wouldn't

    by crystal eyes on Wed Feb 26, 2014 at 08:22:03 AM PST

  •  chief Black Thunder and chief Big Elk speak (0+ / 0-)
  •  Very important paper on the matter (0+ / 0-)

    Much more resourced than most anything you will find

    encourage any and all to read it for a thorough understanding of the term redskin

  •  Since it's name of the Wash DC team, some likely (0+ / 0-)

    alternatives could be

    the Washington Shutdowns
    the Washington Obstructionists
    the Washington Do Nothings


Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site