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Column: There's no debate on eliminating Washington Redskins

Filed Under: Opinion
More on: dc, football, mascots, racism, redskins, suzan shown harjo

Washington Post sports columnist Mike Wise explains why he's against the name of the Washington Redskins professional football team:
I want to see both sides in this. I really do. But two hours after the meaning of the name of Washington’s pro football team was vigorously debated before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board last week in Alexandria, I better understood why I will always be aligned with those who want the name changed.

On one side, in the middle of the courthouse’s atrium, stood the well-coiffed, handsome representative of the team, Bruce Allen — son of George, the late legendary coach; ballboy for Sonny and Billy and the rest of the Over the Hill Gang. Bruce has worked for other NFL franchises, but the team’s current general manager has, deep down, always been what he calls a “proud Redskin,” through and through.

On the other side, sitting quietly a few feet away, patiently waiting her turn before the phalanx of cameras and voice recorders, was a bespectacled, regal American Indian woman, Suzan Shown Harjo — great-granddaughter of Cheyenne Chief Bull Bear, daughter of U.S. soldier Freeland Douglas, a decorated code talker who saw combat in Italy with the U.S. Army’s 45th Infantry Division in World War II; proud American, through and though.

“The argument has always been the same,” Harjo once told me. “ ‘We are honoring you,’ they say. ‘No, you’re not,’ we reply. ‘Shut up,’ they say. That’s pretty much the divide.”

Get the Story:
MIke Wise: Redskins name goes before federal trademark board, but for this writer, there’s no debate (The Washington Post 3/10)

Related Stories:
Navajo woman leads challenge to Washington Redskins name (3/8)
Trademark board hears dispute over Washington Redskins name (3/7)

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