Two Readers Speak: Here’s Why Rotoman is Wrong About the Washington Football Team’s Name

I’ve received a handful of letters from people who either didn’t buy the Fantasy Football Guide 2014 or wished they hadn’t bought it because of a short statement in the Letter From the Editor explaining why we weren’t publishing the Washington football team’s nickname in the magazine. But none of them explained to me why they thought the team name should be kept. Now two have.

Raj wrote, after I wrote to him explaining more about my position:

“Does the NFL have any franchises called the Ballerinas or the Butterflies? No. To the franchise and to the fans, the name Redskins pays homage to the courage, strength and perseverance that native Americans represented in the past and what the players and fans cloak themselves with every time they don Redskins apparel. Today, the logo and name represent strength and honor and also has bonds to championship franchises……the pinnacle of achievement in the NFL. The term Redskins and everything associated with the logo represent pride and dedication and we should realize that nobody is looking to denigrate native Americans when they wear the colors or the logo.

Also, I think your magazine needs to realize that the National Football League is a multi billion dollar industry and that you earn your living from one of its very lucrative spin offs. If you choose to profit from the behemoth that is the NFL, then you should have respect for the entity and its franchises. If you choose to protest, that is great, but when you are giving content based on factual data, you should be mindful of the fact that the proper name of the National Football League franchise in the city of Washington DC is the Washington Redskins.

In case you didn’t know, the National Hockey League has a franchise called the Canucks. Canuck was originally a derogatory term given to Canadians by ignorant Americans. The franchise uses the nickname now but has attached strength, courage and perseverance to it too.”

And A Passionate NFL Fan writes:

“I would just like to take this time to say I regret purchasing this years copy of your magazine. I quickly realized you decided to remove the proud Redskin name from its pages. It shows just how uninformed and uneducated you guys are in regard to the name. You fail to recognize the word was created by Native Americans themselves in an effort to differentiate themselves from Caucasians and African Americans. You fail to recognize the current team logo was created by Native Americans. You fail to recognize that the majority of Native Americans are proud of the name. You fail to recognize many high schools and colleges throughout Oklahoma still proudly use the Redskin team name. How about the word Oklahoma which literally translates to “red people.” Should we change the name of our states too? You fail to recognize that the word “Redskin” has a new contemporary meaning. And you fail to recognize that there are fans all over the world that worship the Washington Redskins and in doing so respect Native Americans.

But since you guys at rotoworld are so compassionate and it seems like you want to help Native Americans why don’t you actually do something about it? Why don’t you help them get electricity, running water, roofs over their heads. What is your goal by removing the name from your pages? You literally have fixed nothing. With minimal research you would find Native Americans have much bigger problems than the name of a football team. If you care so much, why don’t you do something that will actually help. Instead you were lazy and came off as uneducated.

It is evident in the issue your brand has very little knowledge of the word Redskin.

Sincerely,
A Passionate NFL fan”

Thanks for writing guys.

One thought on “Two Readers Speak: Here’s Why Rotoman is Wrong About the Washington Football Team’s Name

  1. Wow. My understanding was (and I could be wrong) was that the Boston Redskins, the original franchise, was somehow linked to the Boston Tea Party, who dressed as “redskins.” NOT somehow related to any pride for native Americans. Regardless of the history though, it seems to me difficult to argue that an historical usage, which is now seen as derogatory, should be locked into place forever. If a team were named the “Sambos” in the 30s, should we keep it now?
    Moreover, the magazine just didn’t use the name. It still gave the information about the team, the players, and the coaching staff. It’s not like the magazine refused to recognize that there is a Washington team. Methinks the correspondents protest too much.

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