Once in a while I put the twisted mind that I usually display to you folks in the closet for a week to talk about an issue that has lately come across the cultural dashboard. With the removal of the federal trademark by the U. S. Patent Office, the future of the name “Washington Redskins” is up for grabs like never before. What do we, as sports fans, think about this? Is it significant, or about as important in the grand scheme of things as Oregon State’s third string right guard.
Though I’m sure he is a fine fellow.
First, the Redskins are not the only organization to have come under scrutiny for their adaptation of the images and thematic elements of Native Americans. There are the chopping fools at Turner Field in Atlanta:
A decade or so ago members of the Braves ownership group thought they could deflect criticism of “The Chop” by turning their hands over so that the move was a kind of homage to greatness. Instead it brought to mind:
Over time, though, the flap in Atlanta died down and the fans sing with gusto and chop in abject glee. Some of them may be fanning the person who sits in front of them – Have you ever been in Atlanta during the month of July? – but political correctness or righting a wrong, however you choose to see it, isn’t a big deal in the Peachtree State’s most noteworthy city.
Just my opinion, but before we take on the Braves or the Florida State Seminoles, (though that fire-spear-into-the-ground thing is a little cringe-worthy) …
… we need to take a look at the logo of one of baseball’s most storied franchises. I speak, of course, of the Cleveland Indians:
Chief Wahoo looks like something I would want to slap if I was of Native American extraction. It’s a caricature of the kind of “Grinning Injun” that popped up regularly on Tom Mix movies almost a century ago. Mix would go into a drinking establishment dressed nattily and this fellow would show up with a half bottle of firewater and a snoot-full already inside him. The Indians need a new logo, if not a new name. I suggest both:
But I could get behind anything in the name of ABW – Anything But Wahoo.
But since the topic of the day is the Redskins I was going to ask you folks some questions today. Do you think they should change or is it just a tiresome thing for you to think about? I was going to do that, but there appears to be some breaking news. The ‘Skins, in response to the hue and cry have decided to make a change:
Its a start.
Top photo by thehumanist.com
Kim Hastings is a 1984 graduate of Northwest Christian College. He cut his journalistic teeth as sports editor of a paper in his home town of Fortuna, CA, and, later as a columnist for the Longview Daily News in Longview, WA.
He saw his first Oregon game in 1977 and never missed a home game from 1981 until a bout with pneumonia cut his streak short in 1997. He was one of the proud 3200 on a bitterly cold night in Shreveport, Louisiana in 1989 for the Independence Bowl, and continues to be big supporter of Oregon sports. He is an active participant on the various Oregon Ducks messageboards as “TacomaDuck.”
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