After the Cleveland Indians announced that they’ll be taking Chief Wahoo off of team uniforms by 2019, the Washington NFL team naturally drew scrutiny. Would they follow suit and ditch their comically racist name for something more palatable, or at least scrub their logo for something more neutral?
No. Obviously, no. Since Dan Snyder owns the team and Roger Goodell is the commissioner, the league will never pressure the team to become less racist. Goodell went on ESPN’s Mike & Trey today and spoke glowingly about Snyder’s relationship with the Native American community. Despite the fact that Snyder has worked with and supported multiple “activists” who have turned out not to be Native American at all and funded a supposed “grassroots” campaign supporting the name, Goodell wants to reassure you that Dan Snyder cares deeply about Naive Americans (transcript via the Washington Post):
I think the interesting thing is Dan Snyder has really worked in the Native American community to understand better their perspective. I think it’s reflected mostly in a Washington Post poll that came out [in May 2016] that said over nine out of 10 Native Americans do not take that in a negative fashion, the Redskins’ logo or the Redskins’ name, and they support it. The focus that we’ve had is, ‘In any way is this insulting to the Native Americans?’ and I think that poll is overwhelmingly positive that they don’t [find the name offensive]. I think the Redskins have done a tremendous amount of work here and I think Dan continues to believe in the name, and I don’t see him changing that perspective.
Goodell, Snyder, and every other defender of the name has used that 2016 as a cudgel against critics, and the fact that Goodell is still leaning on it should come as no surprise. Even if one single poll could overcome the plain and obvious shittiness of having a team called the Redskins, serious problems have been raised regarding the methodology of that poll, and the Native American Journalist Association condemned it as “either willfully malicious or dangerously naïve.”
Apparently Washington will never change its mascot, just as it will never win a Super Bowl, as long as Dan Snyder owns the team.