Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Darrell Green and Art Monk Said Something Obvious

Better Faces For The Franchise
In the continuing long term saga of how the Washington NFL franchise eventually changed its name from an obvious racist slur, two of the team's greatest players, Hall of Fame CB Darrell Green and Hall of Fame WR Art Monk, now say they have a problem with the nickname.

"[If] Native Americans feel like Redskins or the Chiefs or [another] name is offensive to them, then who are we to say to them 'No, it's not'?" Monk says.

"It deserves and warrants conversation because somebody is saying, 'Hey, this offends me,'" Green says."

Now, neither man put teeth into the opinion. They didn't ask to be removed from the team's Ring Of Whatever until the name is changed. They did not say they won't have anything to do with the franchise because they are embarrassed to be associated with the slur. (My guess is that what happens in a couple of years, as Momentum Grows.) They didn't even throw team owner and unwavering hindrance to human evolution Daniel Snyder under the bus for being such a, well, Daniel Snyder about this.

They were just asked a simple question and said what they think. It is, basically, the obvious answer: of course the name is offensive. If it were not, there might be a team in the world that was named in the last 50 years to use it. The defenders of the status quo wouldn't be so willing to go to rhetorical extremes and conspiracy theory to explain the opposition. And this wouldn't be a persistent story as more and more people come to grips with reality.

(Oh, and if you think this is somehow a Slippery Slope where the Raiders name would be next for being unfair to pirates, the Chiefs name gets changed to the People, and the Steelers are forced to put replace their logo with Steely McBeam because that's more gay friendly... um, you do realize that not every decision triggers a domino run of Unstoppable Awfulness, right? And that your fear of same says more about you, and your view of the dystopian future to come, than anything else? OK, moving on.)

I really don't mean to keep hitting the slur issue, because I feel that you come to this blog to be given opinions that are stronger than Water Is Wet... but one last thing about Snyder's personal mission to be the floating and defiant racist turd in the punchbowl that is the NFL. Note that Monk and Green aren't just two of the best players ever to wear the colors, and symbols of the last era of football where the franchise was truly relevant.

They are also, well, black -- which is to say, members of a demographic class who actually have experience with racial slurs that have any real impact. You could make the point that their feelings on this might have a little more resonance than Snyder, who was probably called Shorty once, to his face, before having his family's security detail murder a fellow prep school tool. Not quite the same experience.

And if Green and Monk continue to have this opinion, at least in public, it will be intriguing, to say the least, on whether other members of the alumni will also speak up, and how long Danny Boy can stick his fingers in his ears. Or how long the others at the party will let him filth up their bowl.

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