By Paige Brown
There is a major government shutdown happening here in America, yet Obama still finds the time to publicly announce his views on the name of a football team; the Washington Redskins.
Obama stated, “If I were the owner of the team and I knew that the name of my team, even if they’ve had a storied history, that was offending a sizable group of people, I’d think about changing it.”
Doesn’t he have more important things to worry about? Maybe like the fact that America is coming close to another debt crisis, or even focusing on the fact that over 75% of government employees are out of jobs?
The idea of changing the Washington team name and mascot is understandable. It can come off in a disrespectful tone towards Native American groups. Some of these groups are argumentative, calling it a “racial slur” and opposed to the name, finding it objectionable.
“We at the Redskins respect everyone,” said Lanny Davis, an attorney for the Redskins. “But like devoted fans of the Atlanta Braves, the Cleveland Indians and the Chicago Blackhawks, we love our team and its name and, like those fans, we do not intend to disparage or disrespect a racial or ethnic group.”
Despite the racial issues with the team name, the question of ‘would it even be worth it to change’ comes up.
In a recent Forbes article, it was stated that an NBA team estimated a cost of $4 Million to change their name, and since the NFL is a larger and more popular franchise, it would cost significantly more for the Redskins.
Though the NFL and the Redskins franchise makes more money than that simply from revenue, it is still a huge chunk of cash to change something because a small group of people asked for it. If this is what will happen every time a group protests or argues over a topic, the country will be in further debt than it already is.
If Obama wants “change” so badly, he should “change” the channel from Sunday night football to the news. Maybe he will realize that there are more important matters at hand, like the fact that the government is still shut down.
Also, people need to understand that the Redskins franchise is not a bunch of racist jerks. Their name has been the same since 1933, when it was originally illustrated as a positive image, according to NFL commissioner, Roger Goodell. He states, “The name has, from its origin, represented a positive meaning.”
Not to belittle the hopes and concerns of our Native American people; I understand where everyone’s concerns stem from, however, there are more important issues happening in the world around us than spending over $5 million on changing something that isn’t purposely offending a very small group of people. Timing is everything.