I have been railing against the Cleveland Indians’ use of the racist Chief Wahoo logo (and I am pleased to report that they still have the worst record in their division, the American League, and close to the worst record in the major leagues). But let us not forget another abomination, and that is the name of the NFL team associated with the city of Washington DC. The team’s owner Dan Snyder has vehemently defended the use of the name and refused to change it in spite of widespread opposition. He used the usual ‘it’s tradition’ and I think it actually honors Indians’ and ‘if I don’t intent it to be offensive it can’t be offensive’ arguments favored by the fans of such things in defending the indefensible.
Bear in mind that although the team’s name says Washington, it’s stadium is currently located in a suburb in Maryland. But there have been talks about moving it into the city.
One of the people who had called for a name change is the current mayor of DC Muriel Bowser. Hence reporters were surprised when she used the name several times at a press conference.
Bowser had previously been asked if changing the team’s name would be a condition for the team potentially returning to the District. Her response included the name of the team.
“Well, I did say that I thought that RFK was the best place for the Washington Redskins to locate, and I think that team officials have said as much,” she said.
Then there occurred this exchange:
Reporter: Why do you think the name should be changed?
Bowser: It’s offensive to many people.
Reporter: Then why do you continue to use it?
Bowser: I don’t.
Reporter: You just did
Bowser: I may have slipped and used it.
But was it a slip? Tom Lay says that sources are saying that Snyder had demanded that Bowser use the name repeatedly in public as a sign of ‘good faith’ before he will consider moving the team to DC.
So it is possible that the mayor of a major city debased herself by being a puppet for a football team owner just for the chance to have her city exploited by the greedy NFL, because study after study has shown that there are no economic benefits to cities spending huge amounts of public money to lure football teams and that the only people who really benefit are the NFL, the team owners, and the city’s politicians and dignitaries who get perks such as tickets for themselves and their friends in luxury boxes.
Currently Los Angeles is also trying to get a team to move there and you can be sure that the NFL and team owners will squeeze that city for as much as they can.