In light of the Redskins potential name change, what other teams may have to consider a name change as well?
The Washington Redskins have had to look at a name change after FedEx threatened to pull their sponsorship if they didn’t change it. The Redskins name change has been a controversy for many years. A Redskin is a derogatory term for a Native American. The term is a racial slur, as it refers to the color of Native American’s skin.
Even though most teams in the NFL have a clean slate with their name and it isn’t a problem, there are a couple of teams whose names do bring up controversy.
Kansas City Chiefs
The reigning Super Bowl Champs have had people on their back for a while, trying to get them to change their name.
Even in 2014 the Redskins were dealing with their name being controversial, and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office was trying to get them to change it. This brought up the idea that the Chiefs make a change, and change their name, without dealing with court and other issues.
“I’m not sure there’s anything the [Chiefs] can do at this point other than look for another name,” Amanda Blackhorse told the Kansas City Star. “They could be the team that says, ‘You know what? We understand the issue and we don’t want to be Dan Snyder and fight this in court forever. We want to do the right thing and move forward and avoid this entire battle.’ I’m sure fans will be upset, but still, that’s doing the right thing. If they want to be sensitive to Native American people, that’s the thing to do.”
A chief is a leader in a Native American tribe. This is where the Chiefs get their name from.
What Makes the “Redskins” Problematic
Not only does their name relate to Native Americans, but the fans also perform rituals during the game that are offensive.
The “Tomahawk Chop” is something done at the Chiefs game. It is where fans bring their right arm to their right shoulder, and then point it out in front of them while singing along saying “oh oh oh.” The action has led to complaints that it makes fun of Native American culture.
Other practices are wearing Native American headdresses to games. The Chiefs have tried to prevent fans from wearing them. Along with the headdresses, they wear makeup, to make them more like a Native American, along with War Paint. This could be considered a form of blackface as they try to make themselves look like another race.
The Chiefs should change their name and avoid the rituals they perform. No organization wants
racism associated with them, or the idea that they are offensive towards a group of people.
The Chiefs players and coaches should step in and voice their opinion, putting more pressure on the owner.
The Vikings name is not as controversial as the Chiefs or the Redskins, but the Vikings still have a questionable past.
It is not what fans do in the stadium, yet it is what Vikings did themselves.
Vikings surfaced around 700 AD and were around until 1100. The Vikings were from Scandinavia and would travel by boat to various places. Some of these places included western and eastern Europe as well as North America and parts of Asia.
At this time, the Vikings raided cities and did abhorrent things. Vikings were active in the slave trade and human trafficking business, this helped some of them get rich. If Vikings took you as a slave, you would have a high chance of dealing with castration.
Vikings would pillage villages, taking over and killing civilians. It was common for heterosexual and homosexual rape as they would use that as a way to show domination and humiliation.
The Minnesota Vikings do not glorify any of these practices, but by having the mascot that represents this past, it isn’t a good look for the organization.
These two teams both have different things about them that require a name change. No matter what it is, owners should look at the arguments being made by fans, players, etc, and consider a change in name. This will help the NFL move forward, creating a better environment and league overall.