A Change in Name | A Change in Time
The Washington Redskins agree to change their name
July 14, 2020 by Adrian Gonzalez
After 87 years the Washington Redskins are getting a name change. This news comes after years of protest from the Native American community and recent boycotts from corporate sponsors.
The biggest sponsor to voice its displeasure with the name is Fedex who happens to have naming rights to Washington’s Stadium.
The Redskins name and imagery depicting a Native American symbol will be removed from Fedex Field and it’s expected to happen prior to the start of the 2020 season.
The news of the removal is welcomed by members of the Indigenous American community. The Community feels the name is insulting and depicts a stereotype upon Natives.
Ruben Alvarez, an Orange County community leader and Native America Advocate, believes it’s about time the name goes. Alvarez goes on to state “Native American Slurs have no place in in our country, especially in our Nation’s Capital.” While Alvarez is happy with the change, he remains concerned how the change finally happened. “It took the power of sponsors and not the outcries of Native American Tribes” Stated Alvarez.
Jamie Rocha a Los Angeles County, Indigenous peoples advocate and ally, is excited that the change is finally happening, adding “People who have been paying attention know that the Indigenous groups have wanted it for a long time.” Rocha wanted people to know this isn’t part of “cancel culture” and wants to people who think that it is to realize that indigenous people have been speaking up for years.
Rocha hopes that Native voices will no longer be ignored and goes on to add “this is a big step towards people looking at Natives as living, breathing, present people rather than a historic or novelty figure.”
In a statement The Navajo Nation called the decision “A historic day for all indigenous peoples around the world.” Navajo Nation President Jonathon Nez goes on to say “This Change did not come out willingly by the team’s owners, but by the mounting pressure and advocacy of Indigenous peoples such as Amanda Blackhorse and many other warriors who fought long and hard for this change.”
This change doesn’t mean the end of football in Washington. The NFL franchise, its colors and history will still exist.
In the meantime, there’s no new name announced, but there is expected to be an announcement sometime around the time summer team workouts begin.
Long term fans of the team are worried that this will distance them from previous glory. The 5 Championships, 3 of which are Superbowl wins, will still exist.
Hall Of Famer defensive end Bruce Smith, welcomes the changes and in an ESPN interview said if needed he would throw away any memorabilia he may own with the Redskins name or loge way, adding “This is a time to listen to people other than ourselves.”. Smith feels the change is longer over due.”