The Washington Redskins, PETA style
The name of Washington’s NFL team, the Redskins, has been considered controversial for quite some time. Many view it as an exploitative, pejorative term for Native Americans. Most recently, Bob Costas broached the topic in his commentary during Sunday night’s game, calling the team name and mascot a “slur” and an “insult”.
In the wake of the controversy following this commentary, the animal rights’ group PETA has weighed in.
Rather than changing the name of the team, PETA has suggested a mascot change. Rather than the Native American chief mascot that the team uses now, PETA opined in a blog post on Friday that the team use a much more nutritious “red skin”: a potato.
PETA unveiled their vision of a Redskins mascot, a red skinned potato that they call an “ingenious and healthy solution”.
When you hear the word “redskin,” what do you immediately think of? Potatoes, of course! And who could be offended by a harmless redskin potato — except, maybe, for the Yukon Gold lobby (and if Alaska had a football team, rest assured that we’d be the first to suggest the Yukon Gold Diggers as a franchise name).
The redskin potato would be a noble mascot for a variety of reasons. Potatoes are also native Americans, having been cultivated in Peru for millennia. A tasty, versatile, animal- and environmentally friendly vegan staple, potatoes are now the most popular vegetable in the U.S. They are loaded with nutrients, including iron, potassium, vitamin C, fiber, and even protein, and red potatoes in particular are high in antioxidants.
In May the owner of the Washington Redskins, Dan Snyder, stated in an interview with ESPN that he would not be changing the name of the team. He calls the mascot a “badge of honor” but Costas disagrees, pointing out that, unlike team names like the Chiefs or the Braves, Redskins does not honor any positive trait and only describes a race.
“I’ve listened carefully to the commentary and perspectives on all sides, and I respect the feelings of those who are offended by the team name,” Snyder wrote. “But I hope such individuals also try to respect what the name means, not only for all of us in the extended Washington Redskins family, but among Native Americans too.”
“When I consider the Washington Redskins name, I think of what it stands for,” Snyder wrote. “I think of the Washington Redskins traditions and pride I want to share with my three children, just as my father shared with me — and just as you have shared with your family and friends.”
Do you think the team should be forced to change their name?
On The Web:
PETA Tells Washington Redskins To Keep Name, Change Logo…To A Potato
No Need for Redskins to Change Name, Says PETA
Bob Costas Says Redskins Name Is ‘An Insult, A Slur’ During NBC’s ‘Sunday Night Football’ (VIDEO)
Dan Snyder defends ‘Redskins’