Earlier this week Kevin Sheehan of The Team 980 reported that he has it on ‘good authority’ that ‘Warriors’ is the leading contender to become the team’s new nickname.
That seems like a totally viable option. After all, it’s a rather generic name, somewhat intimidating and there’s already an NBA team with that nickname that hasn’t had any problems, so what could go wrong?
Well, according to Erik Brady of USA Today, the name Warriors is actually racist. In his opinion piece published on Wednesday, Brady led off the article by writing ‘It can’t be Warriors’ before explaining why it ‘can not – must not – be the new name.’
Brady decided to take one phrase from the Redskins’ statement about the name change, fit it to his agenda, and the agenda of the social media mob and grab some attention. Well, Mr. Brady, here’s some attention.
Before we get into this, it should be obvious, but by no means am I speaking for Native Americans. That would be ridiculous, I’m talking about a possible nickname of an NFL team, and that’s it.
The quote Brady cited in his article comes from head coach Ron Rivera stating that he wanted “to make sure we continue the mission of honoring and supporting Native Americans and our Military.”
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that statement and being a team in D.C. it should be rather simple to come up with a new nickname that honors both the U.S. military and Native Americans. The most basic of nicknames that would honor both of those things: Warriors.
I’m no historian, but I’m pretty sure both Native Americans and past and present U.S. military members could be described as warriors. It really is that simple, unless you’re someone trying to find the negative in something.
Brady even recognizes that Warriors would be a great nickname to honor Wounded Warriors, but when it comes to Native Americans that term all of the sudden becomes racist.
Maybe it means the team wants to honor Wounded Warriors from nearby Walter Reed National Military Medical Center before home games while retaining some form of Native American imagery on team uniforms. The first concept is righteous — and the second is racist.
Here’s an idea: what if the team changes its name to Warriors and gets rid of all Native American themed logos and apparel? Nope, that’s off the table as well. First of all, that would erase history, and second of all, if the team did that Brady thinks some fans will have a built-in excuse to dress up a play Indians.
But let’s say, for the sake of argument, that the team jettisons all Native American imagery and still chooses Warriors. Sorry, that won’t work either: Some Washington fans would see it as an invitation to continue dressing up as play Indians — more white guys in war paint.
This USA Today columnist is now suggesting how fans should and should not dress while watching a football game. The year 2020 truly is different.
He says that the Golden State Warriors are off the hook because they changed their logo over 50 years ago while Washington would be heading into year one. So it’s quite literally an impossible situation Washington finds itself in.
And yes, the Braves, Blackhawks, Chiefs, and Indians must change their name as well because he says so.
When it’s all said and done, Washington could literally change its name to ‘Washington’s NFL Team’ and someone would still find something to pick at.
Erasing the Redskins nickname is warranted, but that’s not going to erase the team’s history while playing under that nickname. Older, die-hard fans will still refer to them as the Redskins, they’ll still dress up and look back at the glory days of the 80’s of when they won two Super Bowls.
The Washington Redskins have been in D.C. since 1937, history, whether you see it as offensive or not, won’t be erased at the change of a nickname.