Thursday, May 22, 2014

Brief And Obvious Points About Democratic Senators Asking The NFL To Change The Washington Franchise Name

Head, Wall, Repeat
> Asking why the Senate is wasting their time in a matter where they have no authority... betrays a charming naivete about how much the Senate is achieving these days.

> The fact that this is now a monolithic partisan issue is (a) not particularly helpful towards the name of the team actually getting changed, since it allows Daniel Snyder to just think that this a red/blue issue, and that a sizable portion of the populace likes him, and (b) one of those things, like marriage equality, immigration reform, and climate change denial, that will not seem possible in 10 to 20 years.

>  There is no point to putting any pressure (save economic) on Snyder directly; he is, basically, the NFL's Donald Sterling, and the time has long past for civil discourse. Rather now, the pressure should go on the media (who are, of course, not required to say the word), the team's advertising sponsors (who are, of course, more than capable of pulling their support on an annual or less basis), the players (who, in an age of social media and personal brands are going to have money on the line in either direction from either going with the party line, or striking out against the name), and the other teams (there's no reason why, for instance, the name has to be said by the PA announcer during road games).

> If you are somehow still of the belief that the name is not offensive, a single question: have you ever, or would you ever, use the word for anything but a reference to the team name?

That's the reason this isn't a slippery slope problem, folks. What's the name of the de facto soldiers of a Native American tribe? Braves. What do you call a gathering of tribe leaders? Chiefs. There is no defensible context for the final term; it is, always has been, and always will be, racist, ignorant and pointlessly inflammatory. The fact that people grew up with it, and didn't think of it that way, does not matter. It never has.

So, Senators? Congrats on getting fifty of you to agree on, well, something that's about as obvious as the idea that water is wet. But it's time to treat your opposition like the brick wall that he is, and to stop attacking head on. There are other ways to get change happening. And they have nothing to do with Snyder.

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