Let’s see how woke the NFL really is.
The easy part was delivering the lip service from commissioner Roger Goodell.
In the wake of the George Floyd’s murder by a white cop in Minneapolis, Goodell, looking like a sad puppy, stared into the camera and said the league was sorry for not listening to its players. He added the NFL supported its players’ fight against police brutality and social injustice.
Strange coming from a league that has a team with a racist name.
Despite many protests and calls to change the D.C. franchise’s name over the decades (and if you don’t know the name, feel free to look it up here, as its use has been banned on Deadspin), the NFL has turned a blind eye and deaf ear.
Kind of like what the NFL did to Colin Kaepernick in 2016 when he first brought to light the plight of black and brown people in this country by kneeling in a peaceful protest. It cost Kap his quarterback job in the league.
When it comes to Washington’s team name, this isn’t new. Native Americans have been questioning the use of the name and image since the 1960s.
And with good reason. It’s an insult, a slur.
There’s no doubt about it.
Yet, the NFL will, somehow, try to convince people it has seen the light, is now progressive and is here to help right the wrongs of an unjust America.
But the NFL better be careful this time around. It has done a great job of looking the other way and not taking action on social matters that have mattered to others that don’t like the league’s almost all-white owners.
This movement just might force change whether NFL owners want it or not. Look at all the people in the streets. They don’t want more of the same. For sure, the status quo will not do. And, two weeks into protests all over the globe, the crowds have grown.
Also, if you’ve watched the videos on social media from around the world, statues of bad and racist people have been toppled over, including a Robert E. Lee’s statue in Alabama and one of Edward Colston, a 17th-century slave trader in the U.K.
Oh yeah, it’s serious out there. And it’s just a matter of time before folks realize that the NFL has a racist problem in its midst.
And, at long last, Army leaders, including Defense Secretary Mark Esper, have said they’re open to discuss taking the names of Confederate soldiers off military bases, including such prominent ones as Fort Bragg, Fort Benning and Fort Hood. There are currently 10 U.S. bases named after Confederate soldiers.
They’ve noticed it in Cincinnati.
People there want to make it right and move away from a wrongful past.
Enter senior University of Cincinnati pitcher Nathan Moore. He has started a petition to have former Cincinnati Reds owner Marge Schott’s name removed from the school’s baseball stadium.
“I simply cannot understand why our great University would not address the removal of this hurtful and offensive commemoration of racism,” wrote Moore on Twitter.
Schott was the controversial baseball owner who eventually was forced to sell her controlling interest by MLB in 1999. Schott had referred to then-Reds outfielders Eric Davis and Dave Parker as “million-dollar n——-s.” Schott also stated that Adolf Hitler was initially good for Germany and did not understand How the Japanese epithet of using the first three letters in Japanese could be offensive.
Despite all these racist incidents, the university took the $2M donation from Schott’s charity after her death and put her name on the school’s ballpark.
Moore, who is black, has gotten big-time support for change. Former Red Sox All-Star Kevin Youkilis, the best major leaguer to come out of Cincinnati’s baseball program, has joined in. He wants her name removed, too.
Youkilis — who is Jewish — was shocked when they put her name on the stadium.
“It never sat well with me from the beginning,” he said Monday on Fox Sports Radio’s The Odd Couple.
Is Rupp Arena in downtown Lexington, Kentucky next?
After all, Kentucky’s legendary coach Adolph Rupp wasn’t exactly the nicest person when it came to black players. Some have called Rupp racist.
The same can be said about people who still want to continue using the Washington football team’s nickname in 2020.
Washington owner Dan Snyder — who can’t give a good reason why he won’t change his team’s racist name — has told the media in the past that a name change won’t happen under his watch. “We’ll never change the name,” he said. “NEVER — you can use caps.”
If not pressured by the players and the protesters to finally change this, the NFL will be in a fake dead sleep on this one — not woke.