This Petition Demanding The Washington Redskins Change Their Name Probably Won't Work

Illustration for article titled This Petition Demanding The Washington Redskins Change Their Name Probably Won't Work

There are several petitions making the rounds on the Internets imploring Washington Redskins' owner Dan Snyder to change the nickname and mascot of Washington's NFL franchise, but one in particular, hosted on is gathering steam on Twitter. Per the petition:

After a symposium at the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of the American Indian, this petition was started to urge franchise owner Dan Snyder to change the name of the mascot. In an effort to advocate for this change, we are urging signers to refrain from using the mascot name, and urging the Washington Post to do the same.


Once the document has 750 signatures, it'll be delivered to Snyder himself, who then will not change the name of the Washington Redskins, because Snyder does what he wants and because 750 people complaining (if they hit that mark) out of millions of supporters almost definitely isn't going to accomplish anything.

The only thing it can hope to accomplish, though, is to be picked up by some websites that republish the petition, starting some sort of chain reaction that leads to fans boycotting games or maybe rioting and overturning Impalas on Brightseat Road. That probably won't happen.

The only reason the Redskins are still called the Redskins, of course, is because even though the term is a racial slur, almost everyone who would be directly offended by it lives outside the immediate DC area, or is dead. Nobody cares. Worse, people who don't want the name change are claiming some sense of pride in the name itself, as if their own warm bubbly feelings are more important than besmirching an entire people. And that argument, although dumb, is winning.

Still, the only decent thing to do would be to change the name. Other petitions have even suggested keeping the logo, but replacing the nickname with one of the area's native tribes, such as the Conoy or Algonquins or Acokeeks. Let's not do this.

The name change has already been tried in Washington sports, and has produced the Washington Wizards, maybe the worst nickname and, Brooklyn Knight aside, the worst mascot in American sports. There are few wizards in Washington, DC. The only reason the Wizards are called thus is because someone has led us to believe that wizards are somehow less dangerous than bullets, and because the word wizard, like Washington, starts with the letter W. The Redskins should not go this route.