The Washington Redskins organization has been in a fight with critics over its nickname for years. Some feel that the name “Redskins” is offensive to Native Americans.
An organization of former Washington Redskins players and fans, Redskins Facts, has compiled this video of Native American Redskins fans, including descendants of the Native American who designed the logo, explaining why they are in fact honored by the title, “Redskins.”
Furthermore, many on the video say the mascot is not a big deal and that there are far more important issues facing Native Americans, such as jobs, crime and drugs.
These attitudes were echoed in a 2013 CBS column which interviewed officials at Native American schools that proudly bear the “Redskins” mascot:
Tommy Yazzie, superintendent of the Red Mesa school district on the Navajo Nation reservation, grew up when Navajo children were forced into boarding schools to disconnect them from their culture. Some were punished for speaking their native language. Today, he sees environmental issues as the biggest threat to his people.
The high school football team in his district is the Red Mesa Redskins.
“We just don’t think that (name) is an issue,” Yazzie said. “There are more important things like busing our kids to school, the water settlement, the land quality, the air that surrounds us. Those are issues we can take sides on.”
At the very least, the controversy over the name “Redskins” is not as clear-cut as many seem to think.