I don’t believe it does. Some people tell me that the word is so tied to the team that no one finds it offensive any more and we shouldn’t take offense to it. If no one finds it offensive, why is it a growing topic around the NFL? Why is the Commissioner weighing in on it? Why is a Chief Justice on the Supreme Court doing the same? Why are Senators doing this? Why is the President of the United States also weighing in? It isn’t about Political Correctness as much as it is about what is simply right.
Others say that while people are indeed offended, it is just a minority of people who are, so it shouldn’t be made a big deal out of. How does that make it right? I often challenge these people to come out here to where I live in Arizona and I will take them out to one of our many Reservations. There I want them to walk up to a group of Native Americans and call them redskins. No one has ever taken me up on this challenge. A few of them have even admitted that the reason they won’t is because it would not be smart. So how is it smart to keep on using a word that they acknowledge is an insult?
In my time as a Dallas Cowboys fan who is very proud, and very visible due to the fact that I often wear my team colors in public, I have been involved in many discussion about my team as well as other teams. Many years ago I was part of a construction crew that was building a house. We had a load of lumber being delivered and the driver noticed that I was wearing a Cowboys t-shirt. He announced to me that he was a Redskins fan. Then a remarkable thing happened. Before I ever mentioned my distaste for his football team and their mascot name, he told me that people have the wrong ideas about his team name.
This interested me because I have a fairly good working knowledge of the History of every team in the NFL and some that are now defunct. I could not have been prepared for what came out of this guy’s pie hole. He informed me that their team name had nothing whatsoever to do with American Indians. Instead he said that the name Redskins came from a brand of peanut that is indigenous only to the Washington, DC area.