It’s 2018. Everybody is offended by everything. With the Cleveland Indians and Washington Redskins, there is no difference.
Many have expressed their displeasures regarding the mascots of these two storied sports franchises, but here are the reasons as to why the Indians and Redskins should keep their team names.
For starters, the terms “Indians” and “Redskins” are not even considered derogatory terms by the people who it should be affecting most. A study performed by The Washington Post concluded that the term “Redskin” is not considered offensive by 70 percent of Native Americans across the nation. An even larger portion of the Native American community (80 percent) would not be offended even if a non-Native American was to call them a “Redskin”.
A different study conducted by ESPN in 2014 asked American citizens of any ethnicity a simple question: should the Redskins change their mascot? The study shows that over 70 percent of the respondents said that the Washington football team should not change their name. A different study from ESPN asked NFL players the same question. 58 percent of the NFL players who responded disregarded the need for a mascot change.
The Cleveland Indians’ situation is a little different, however. Their beloved “Chief Wahoo” logo was retired after 71 long years due to its questionably racist background. There have been talks that the Tribe will also do away with their team name. A poll was created for WKYC Cleveland’s morning viewers on whether or not the name should be changed. 86 percent of the respondents said no.
Daniel Snyder, the owner of the Washington Redskins, has repeatedly stated that the name/mascot of his franchise will not change as long as he is at the helm. This seemed to quiet the noise of this story. Paul and Matt Dolan, the co-owners of the Tribe, have made similar statements. They, along with Major League Baseball’s commissioner Rob Manfred, are supportive of the name and are confident that it will live on for a long time.
Personally, I think that the culturally-charged names of the Washington and Cleveland-based sports franchises should be seen as an honor. Having your ethnicity being thrown into popular culture would be, to be frank, really cool. I am Italian-American. If the Cleveland Indians announced tomorrow that they would be changing their name to the “Degos” and have a dancing meatball as their mascot, I would not be offended whatsoever. In fact, I couldn’t care less. I know that this is an outlandish example, but let’s have a thicker layer of skin over miniscule issues such as a sports team’s name.
The Washington Redskins and Cleveland Indians should not change their names under any circumstances. Let’s not let a couple of overly-sensitive activists dismantle the history of two historic franchises. Politics have no place in sports. This is one place where hard-working Americans want to get away from reality for an hour or two. Let’s keep it that way.