By Julie Buehler
Because the government shut down and nobody asked, I’ll volunteer my best advice to solve the problems in DC.
The Washington Redskins don’t have to change their name.
They don’t have to apologize and the President of the United States of America should NEVER care enough about this minuscule issue to utter even three words concerning the matter.
If I were POTUS and some White House reporter asked me, “Do you think the Redskins should change their nickname?” My response would be swift and direct, “My day is occupied by making sure Americans don’t die oversees, ensuring your children aren’t saddled with insurmountable debt and keeping the petty asswipes in congress from caving in on themselves. You think I care what an NFL franchise is calling itself?”
Instead Barry offered some tepid remark and tossed kindling on the flames of a fake-controversy created by a very vocal tiny minority.
Don’t agree? Consider some basic facts.
The Redskins are an NFL franchise and like most sports franchises (with very few exceptions) are a privately held company. Therefore, the branding, public image and public relations are entirely up to the owner of the company. In this case, it’s a guy named Dan Snyder. He made his large fortune as a self-made advertising and media mogul, so he knows a thing or two about communication.
He’s ardently defended the nickname without wavering and claims the 81-year history of the franchise defends the legacy and honor of Native Americans rather than denigrates them. He claims the name originated in 1933 with four of the franchise’s players and head coach having Native American descent. And he claims that in the 70’s, as the helmet designs were being created, the Red Cloud Athletic Fund was consulted and helped the team develop it’s branding.
Snyder can defend the name all he wants and it’s probably good for public relations that he remains receptive to the conversation, but the reality is: it’s a private company. He’s the owner. The team might have “Washington” in front of the name, but the city doesn’t own the team. Snyder does.
For those who feel strongly about any insult levied by the nickname, it is well within the public’s right to boycott and let their voice be heard in REAL terms. Make the market place reflect the sentiments of those who support changing the name.
Instead, a vocal minority has generated a fake-controversy where the media jumps on a PC topic and hashes it out to get reaction and ratings rather than resolutions.
The fact is, most people, most Native Americans polled do NOT find the nickname offensive. More specifically, 90% of Native Americans thought the Redskins name was not offensive, this according to an Annenburg Public Policy Center study.
But facts seem irrelevant in debates about political correctness. Even if 99% of people found the name to be acceptable but a vocal 1% got everyone talking in circles, it’d still be considered “controversial.”
The PC concept that anything offensive must be controlled to avoid offending anyone is ridiculous, and even more maddening, enforced with brazen hypocrisy.
The hip-hop community frequently uses racial slurs and abusive language, yet that’s rarely questioned in the mainstream.
Miley Cyrus prostitutes herself on stage in front of 13-year-old fans and now she’s celebrated on the cover of multiple magazines and hosting Saturday Night Live.
You walk into an Abercrombie & Fitch and immediately have to wonder if you’re at a soft-porn expo. Offensive? Maybe to some, thing is, if it DIDN’T sell, it wouldn’t continue. But it does, so it will.
And the same can be said for the Redskins nickname. In the private market place, where there is demand, there will be supply. As long as football fans are paying for the Redskins, they will keep supplying that brand.
Little known FACT: of the NFL’s Top 10 All-Time Single-Season Home Attendance Records, the Washington Redskins own ALL 10 records. Which means, no team in NFL history had more fans file through their turnstiles than that Redskins did in 2007 (1st), ’08, ’06,’ 04, ’05, ’09, ’10, ’03, ’02, and ’01.
Snyder bought the team in 1999.
So while Barry and the rest of the political machine in Washington shut down to common sense and negotiations in a governmental standoff, there’s at least one guy in DC who knows how to turn a profit and get people working.
At what point can we shut down the mind numbing train wreck of “political correctness” and allow common sense to dictate reality?
Given the facts, the polls, and the numbers, the Redskins shouldn’t change a thing, except maybe their defensive coordinator.
Julie Buehler hosts the Coachella Valley’s most popular sports talk radio show, “Buehler’s Day Off” every day from 3-6 on 1010 KXPS, the valley’s all sports station. She’s an avid gym rat, slightly sarcastic and more likely to recite Steve Young’s career passing stats than American Idol winners. Tune in M-F 3-6 pst at www.team1010.com or watch the show on Ustream.