"Get off the stage, squaw!" Bella Cornell, a 14-year old girl from the Choctaw Nation, said she heard these words as she finished her testimony against the name and mascot of the McLoud High School Redskins during a mid-December school board meeting.
The controversy surrounding the Washington football team name is in some ways a bellwether. Americans do not know enough about our shared history even to be properly offended at the lack of an inclusive narrative that illuminates the history of this continent in all of its complexity.
Even though fans cry foul and sponsors chastise the league, people keep watching and corporate dollars still flow into the NFL coffers. So why should the NFL change? After all, even the unwilling have to watch the Super Bowl.
The moment more fans reject that paradigm and hold the league accountable will be the moment things will finally change for the better. In a more diverse and tolerant America that increasingly rejects for-profit bigotry, that moment is coming sooner rather than later.
Even before the kickoff, the FSU fans were flaunting their painted faces and chanting their grade-B movie Indian chant, and doing the infamous tomahawk chop. "Yes, we are killers; we are savages who will use our tomahawks to take your scalps."
In the contemporary, "nothing matters but this game" NFL, spurred on by constant criticism in talk radio and social media, the slow development of a quarterback is not allowed. Win or be benched is the new mantra.