Looking into the life of Jim Thorpe, you'd think that there must be a majestic connection between him and the town that has taken his name as its own in Eastern Pennsylvania. It is not the case.
Have not enough Americans of all ethnic, religious, and other differences felt like unwelcome outsiders enough? I too like the team that throws a pigskin for D.C., but "Redskin" is an unacceptable epithet.
Today, offensive caricatures are no longer prevalent, public figures cannot utter ethnic slurs without repercussions, and numerous college sports teams have moved away from names that evoke negative stereotypes. And yet, a vestige of that insensitive tradition remains.
The current Washington name is an embarrassment to the city of D.C and beyond, as well at the NFL. Can you imagine the NFL or owners would keep the name if 25 percent of the players in the NFL were Native American? Talk about tyranny of the majority.
This is not a matter of "political correctness." This is about righting a wrong. This is about changing an ugly, misunderstood aspect of our culture. This is about firing Coach Mike Shanahan for keeping RG3 in at the end of that playoff game last season.
One of the perks of capitalism is to have the ability to name your entity what you wish or carry on a pre-existing one. The ability to name and anoint signifies power and jurisdictional control over that which is named.
The premise of the complaint that we don't normally have to endure politicization of our major national sporting events is simply false. Examples abound, but the most unrelenting one is the steady diet sports fans have been fed of nearly compulsory worshipfulness of our armed forces.
The Washington Redskins, a longstanding National Football League team, faces pressure to change its name by parties as disparate as President Barack Obama, the Oneida Indian Nation and shock jock Howard Stern.
"I don't understand. All those football players are called Redskins, and people love to watch them play and buy T-shirts with their names on them."
It feels dumb saying I didn't realize how unbelievably offensive the name "Redskins" actually is until now, but it's true. Prior to the recent media attention that's arisen the thought had never once crossed my mind.
There's a worthwhile discussion to be had about the extent to which the name offends Native Americans. But the general principle -- that the sensibilities of the affected group should be paramount in these discussions -- is clearly appropriate.
At all ages, no athlete wants to take him or herself off the field, and coaches don't want to force them. However, an already difficult situation becomes next to impossible when you add in the ever-compelling element of money.
Kelly and his offensive staff need to find a way to protect their players, or they might not have many left by the end of the season.
I cannot buy any gear, purchase any tickets, or support this team so long as it insists on calling itself a racist name. I will not spend one dollar on Danny Snyder's football club so long as they are called the Redskins.
The anointing of Vick shouldn't come as too big of a shocker for anyone who has studied The Chippah for more than, well, six minutes. The man loves options.