Posts Tagged ‘ethnic slurs’

Renaming the DC NFL Team

July 8, 2020

Renaming the DC NFL Team

Last week, DC’s professional foorball team announced that its name, an historic racial slur, was “under review,” evoking the image of a booth full of league replay officials staring at a slo-mo recording of the letters r-e-d-s-k-i-n-s. Owner Dan Snyder once said he would “NEVER change the name of the team,” but that play is clearly out-of-bounds in today’s climate of heightened racial awareness.

It wasn’t the death of George Floyd or kneeling team players that changed Snyder’s narrow mind, but his own bottom linesponsors, investors, and business partners are applying pressure. Nike, Target, Walmart, Amazon, and Dick’s Sporting Goods have removed DC team-branded merchandise from their websites and stores. How’s this for irony: FedEx, which owns naming rights for the DC squad’s stadium, now wants the team to change its own name.

Although nobody has suggested renaming the squad “Washington Rappas” in honor of the region’s Rappahannock people, there is no shortage of suggested team names and logos. The current fan favorite is “Washington Redtails,” after WWII’s African American 332nd Fighter Group (maybe you saw the movie). In an only-in-Washington move, two local lawyers have already submitted a trademark application for “Washington Redtails.” Hey, how about calling the team “The Litigators”?

A name change is expected by September.


“D.C. NFL Team Considering Name Change After Public And Corporate Outcry,” Eliza Berkon, WAMU

“An NFL Name Change That Has Been a Long Time Coming,” Leonard Shapiro, Washington City Paper

“FedEx asks ‘the team in Washington’ to dump racist nickname as Nike pulls gear,” The Guardian

“Daniel Snyder no longer has a choice, and he knows it. Battle over name has reached its endgame.” Jerry Brewer, Washington Post

“Lawmakers And FedEx Urge D.C.’s NFL Team To Change Its Name Amid Bid For RFK Stadium,” Kavitha Cardoza, DCist

“Trump Supports Washington Team Name. Retailers Pull Merchandise.” Ken Belsen, New York Times


“FedEx Made a Demand Dan Snyder Couldn’t Afford to Dismiss,” Ken Belson and Kevin Draper, New York Times



The Shame of the DC NFL Team Name

June 22, 2020

The Shame of DC NFL Team's Name

“If the NFL season opens as planned with training camps this summer, Washington’s team should do so under another name. Under its new name. Whatever that might be.” —
Barry Svrluga, Washington Post


“Change the name of the Washington NFL team. Now.” Washington Post editorial

“The Washington football team can’t duck and run on its name ever again,” Mike Wise, Washington Post

“Daniel Snyder has a chance to change the legacy of the team he loves. He should.” John Feinstein, Washington Post


“Does Congress have the leverage to force a name change for Washington’s football team?” Clyde McGrady, Roll Call

“Native American Leader Challenges Players on Washington’s NFL Team to Sit,” Andrew Beaujon, Washingtonian


The Donald’s Diagnosis

July 9, 2015

The Donald's Diagnosis

In a three-page, 881 word statement Monday afternoon, Republican presidential candidate Donald J. Trump clarified statements he made on June 16th. Mexican immigrants, he claimed, are not just drug dealers, killers, and rapists; they’re responsible for “tremendous infectious disease … pouring across the border.”

There would be good reason to fear immigrant-borne epidemics if vaccination rates in Mexico and Central America were not among the highest in the world. The measles vaccination rate in those countries, in fact, is higher than that of the US. “If anything,” points out Peter Weber, “those countries should be concerned about Americans coming down to visit.”

Of course, it’s not like Mr. Trump believes in vaccination … or climate change or Barack Obama’s Hawaiian birth, come to think of it.

So Donald Trump is no physician. Neither is Maria Konnikova, but she offers a very convincing diagnosis of  Donald Trump: Narcissistic Personality Disorder.


“Donald Trump’s most delusional statement yet: ‘I’ll win the Latino vote,’” Sophia Tesfaye, Salon

“Donald Trump: The Democrats’ Best Campaign Asset,” Bill Humphrey and Stephan Richter, The Globalist

“Donald Trump is the ultimate opportunist: Why his racist theatrics—and surging popularity—explain everything about the modern GOP,” Heather Digby Parton, Salon



Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht,

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Where Does Donald Trump Make his Suits? ¡Mexico!

July 6, 2015

Where Does Donald Trump Make His Suits? ¡Mexico!

“Donald Trump has had some nasty things to say about Mexicans lately. In the announcement of his 2016 bid for the US presidency, he called Mexican immigrants to the US criminals and “rapists.” Later, on Twitter, he added, “Mexico is not our friend. They’re killing us at the border and they’re killing us on jobs and trade.”

It seems to follow that Trump would disapprove of American companies manufacturing their goods in Mexico too, except that Trump apparently does it himself. A photo circulated on Twitter by BuzzFeed political reporter Adrian Carrasquillo shows a jacket from Trump’s clothing line bearing a ‘made in Mexico’ label.”

— “Guess where Mexico-bashing Donald Trump makes his suits,” Marc Bain, Quartz

The astute Mary Cummins notes that Donald J. Trump Collection suits are made in Mexico for Sheldon Brody’s Marcraft Apparel Group, which has offices in Trump Plaza. The Wall Street Journal found that their fabric quality was less than advertised.


TV Terminates Trump

July 2, 2015

NBC to Trump: 'You're Fired!'
Donald John Trump, Sr., reality television performer, real estate heirgolf course owner, beauty pageant producer, hotel and casino boss, chairman and president of Trump This n’ That, and really rich person, declared his candidacy for U.S. President two weeks ago. He also declared that Mexican immigrants are drug dealers, rapists, and killers.

Needless to say, this did not go over well with the USA’s largest ethnic group, Latinos, or with the Republic of Mexico. America’s largest Spanish-language broadcaster Univisión was the first to unplug Trump, dropping coverage of the Miss USA and Miss Universe beauty pageants he produces, and NBC followed suit. Understandably, Miss Mexico opted out of the Miss Universe competition, and so did Miss Costa Rica. NBC’s Miss USA co-hosts also bailed, Miss USA judges Zuleyka Rivera and Emmitt Smith recused themselves, and rapper Flo Rida won’t perform on the show, either.

New York City is reviewing its contracts with the Trump Organization, which manages Central Park’s skating rinks and carousel and golf links at Point Ferry Park in the Bronx. NASCAR won’t hold its awards ceremony at Trump’s hotel. Macy’s is discontinuing it’s Trump menswear line, but there’s been lots of interest in Donald Trump piñatas, hand-crafted in Mexico.


Football’s Shameful Name

February 20, 2013

Football's Shameful Name

“Redskins General Manager Bruce Allen said Thursday that the team has no plans to change its name despite ongoing controversy and a recent spike in debate about whether it is offensive to Native Americans.

Speaking to reporters in Richmond after the groundbreaking ceremony for the team’s new training camp site, Allen said the Redskins do not see any reason to change the name.

‘We’re not a new franchise. We’re 81 years old. … There’s nothing that we feel is offensive, and we’re proud of our history,’ Allen said, according to 106.7 The Fan’s Grant Paulsen.”

— “Bruce Allen: No plans to change Redskins’ name,” Mike Jones, Washington Post blog


“The Redskins were founded and owned for 37 years by George Preston Marshall, a virulent racist and anti-semite who initiated the NFL’s gentleman’s agreement to not hire black players, and made the Redskins the last team to integrate only after being threatened by the federal government.”

— “The Redskins Really, Really Want You To Know Their Team Name Is About Pride,” Barry Petchesky, Deadspin


“Simply put, it’s not OK to rally behind a racial slur like ‘redskin.’ It’s not okay to depict an entire group of people (outside of the confines of humor or satire) as a literal cartoon, morphing them into your unfounded conceptions of a savage race prepared to take your scalp. ….

There are plenty of instances throughout the history of humanity where history has been left behind, rather than being saved, because it’s not consistent for what we should strive for as a society. Likewise, as a society, we should strive for something greater than needing to root for logos with generalizing, untrue, racist roots.”

 — “Native American Logos and Monikers Need to Finally Be Removed From Sports,” Zach Stoloff,