Outside the Lines devoted its program today to the controversy surrounding the Washington Redskins’ name. The name is divisive (though maybe not as divisive as one would think, given how difficult a time the program had finding someone to go on the air and defend it), as many find it offensive to Native Americans – understandably so, given that it’s a questionable racial descriptor at best.
The program first featured highlights from a recent symposium discussing the controversy inherent in the name, and played a clip in which Washington general manager Bruce Allen said “it’s ludicrous to think in any way that we’re trying to upset anybody,” which of course missed the point entirely. You’re not trying to offend people? No shit, dude – we know you don’t want to offend anyone. We know that you wish you could make every offended party take a magic pill that would wipe out any indignation at the name, so you could keep on using it guilt-free. The problem is that it actually does offend people, even though you don’t want it to. But that’s a more difficult, nuanced issue to deal with, so you’d rather not see things that way.
Anyway. Those clips gave way to a five-person panel discussion. While the panel OTL assembled didn’t agree on everything, we like to send you into the weekend on a high note, so we’re going to focus on one tidbit we can all agree on. Notah Begay, a pro golfer and Golf Channel/NBC reporter who is also a full-blooded Native American, was one of the voices on the panel speaking out against the “Redskins” name, and at one point argued against the idea that having to re-brand would be catastrophic for the Redskins. That led into this:
Yeah, it sort of came out of nowhere/had little, if anything, to do with the larger point about branding. Yeah, the ‘Skins actually made the playoffs this past season and finally have a promising future thanks to Robert Griffin III, assuming his knee makes the recovery it has to. None of it matters – Dan Snyder getting ripped on is still fun, and if you begin to doubt that, read this again. Oh, and this. Isn’t it heartwarming that even on a hot-button issue like this, we still have Dan Snyder to bring us together?