The Washington Redskins’ announcement Friday that they’d start “a radical evaluate of the staff’s title” is a possible end result to years of protest and defiance over a nickname that many Native Individuals and different advocates for change take into account deeply offensive.
A have a look at the historical past of the staff and its title:
1769 The primary recognized use of the phrase “redskin,” within the papers of Sir William Johnson. The Oxford English Dictionary says the phrase is “steadily thought-about offensive.” Nicknames with references to Native Individuals date to the 1850s in American sports activities.
1932 The Nationwide Soccer League awards a franchise to Boston beneath an possession group that features George Preston Marshall. The staff is dubbed the Braves, as a result of it performs at Braves Subject, dwelling of baseball’s Boston Braves.
1933 For its second season, the staff strikes to Fenway Park and adjustments its nickname to the Redskins. Presumably that is partly to reflect in the popularity of the 2 baseball groups on the town, the Braves and Pink Sox. For a recreation towards the Bears, Marshall tells his gamers to apply face paint.
1936 The Redskins qualify for the championship recreation, however Marshall, sad with the variety of followers at video games in Boston, strikes the sport to the Polo Grounds in New York (the Redskins lose). The following 12 months he strikes the staff to Washington, the place they hold the Redskins title.
1968 Actions start to re-examine and maybe change Indian-based nicknames for sports activities groups. Dartmouth college students ask to change its nickname from Indians. Dartmouth drops the title in 1974, and another faculties comply with.
1991 The Atlanta Braves’ journey to the World Sequence and its followers use of a tomahawk chop gesture brings new attention and criticism to Indian-themed groups. The following 12 months, with the Redskins and Kansas Metropolis Chiefs beneath stress, Commissioner Paul Tagliabue said: “Within the context of sports activities, these nicknames are extraordinarily optimistic. You consider nice gamers and nice rivalries.”
Clyde Bellecourt, a Chippewa who’s government director of the American Indian Motion, stated, “We’re making an attempt to persuade folks we’re human beings and never mascots.”
1997 Miami of Ohio adjustments its nickname from Redskins to Redhawks.
1999 The US Patent and Trademark Workplace guidelines that the nickname “Redskins” is disparaging, and revokes the groups’ logos. However in 2003, the ruling is overturned on appeal.
Additionally in 1999, Daniel Snyder buys the staff. Like his predecessor, Jack Kent Cooke, he resists calls to alter the nickname, as do lots of the staff’s followers.
2013 A symposium on the Smithsonian on racial stereotypes in sports activities is important of the nickname, sparking one other spherical of scrutiny. The staff defends itself in a series of articles on its web site, noting that “many highschool student-athletes have satisfaction in calling themselves Redskins.”
President Obama said, “I don’t know whether or not our attachment to a specific title ought to override the true reliable issues that folks have about this stuff.”
However Commissioner Roger Goodell says the nickname is a “unifying pressure that stands for power, braveness, satisfaction and respect.”
2014 The Patent Workplace once more guidelines to cancel the Redskins’ trademark registrations. In 2017, the Supreme Court docket rules unanimously that the federal government could not deny a trademark for a doubtlessly offensive title.
Additionally in 2014, the editorial board of The Washington Post joins a number of different newspapers in deciding to not use the title Redskins, though the paper’s information pages proceed to make use of it. (The Portland Oregonian was one of many first to bar the title in 1991.)
2019 The Cleveland Indians of Main League Baseball drop their mascot Chief Wahoo, who has been criticized as a racist caricature, however hold their nickname.
2020 A memorial to the previous proprietor Marshall is removed from in entrance of the staff’s previous dwelling, RFK Stadium, by the town of Washington.
Mayor Muriel Bowser stated the Redskins nickname was “an impediment” to a brand new stadium for the staff in Washington.
FedEx, the title sponsor of the staff’s present stadium in Maryland, calls on the staff to alter its title.
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