If the tragic death of George Floyd while in the custody of the Minneapolis Police has taught us anything, it’s that it’s probably time for the Washington Redskins to change the name of their team. Confused yet? Welcome to the club. But still, that’s the latest complaint added to the laundry list of issues that have nothing to do with cases of excessive use of force by law enforcement officers to make the rounds this week. The Associated Press found several people weighing in on the idea of running this demand up the flagpole yet again. And the general consensus among them seems to be that the team’s owner might be more amenable this time around if the directive came from the NFL home office and Roger Goodell.
The recent national debate over racism has renewed calls for the NFL’s Washington Redskins to change their name, with Native American advocates believing the climate is right for action despite no evidence owner Dan Snyder is considering it.
It could take pressure from the other 31 owners and the league office itself to force Snyder’s hand. A Redskins spokesman said the team had no comment, while the NFL did not immediately respond to questions about the future of the name.
“(It) might be easier if the NFL as an institution or a corporation mandates the change because then it takes the pressure off of the Washington team themselves and Dan Snyder,” University of California, Berkeley, assistant professor of psychology Arianne Eason said Wednesday.
Not for nothing, but the people clamoring for this action might be onto something this time. In the past, the league has taken a mostly hands-off approach to any issues about team names and social tolerance, etc. But in the heat of the George Floyd moment, even Roger Goodell seemed to do an abrupt about-face, suggesting that one of the teams should sign Colin Kaepernick. If Goodell is suddenly in such a hurry to bend a knee, he might just go along with it.