City Desk

Defenses of Pigskins Name Get Even Worse

First, a confession. When the Washington Pigskins started defending their racist name by blaming it on high school kids, I thought for sure that that would be the worst defense of the name ever. In fact, though, that dubious distinction belongs to Fairfax resident and Washington Post letter writer Charles H. Cunningham, whose argument in favor of keeping the Pigskins name is that other football teams, too, have names.

"This hypersensitive crowd is always looking for some reason to be offended," writes Cunningham (whose letter was highlighted by Jim Romenesko). "No one names a sports team after something to be disliked, and that is the case with these other professional teams: Kansas City Chiefs, Atlanta Braves, Cleveland Indians, Golden State Warriors and Chicago Blackhawks."

Notably, none of these names are racial slurs. But there's more (emphasis added):

There are many NFL team names that may offend thin-skinned and hypersensitive people: Do atheists hate the Saints? Do socialists despise the Patriots? Are short people (sorry, “vertically challenged”) offended by the Giants and Titans? Do environmental activists dislike Chargers, Jets and Steelers? And surely animal-rights extremists cannot appreciate the Bears, Bengals, Broncos, Cardinals, Colts, Dolphins, Eagles, Falcons, Jaguars, Lions, Panthers, Rams, Ravens and Seahawks.

If you think that's bad, you should've seen what didn't make Cunningham's cut:

  • "Are copper miners offended by the Steelers?"
  • "Are pescaterians offended by the Packers?"
  • "Are biplanes offended by the Jets?"

If this is the best proponents of keeping the name can come up with, it's even more so time for a change.

Graphic by Carey Jordan

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  • Wrack

    What a fucking unintelligent fuckwad.

  • Skins 4ever

    This argument only highlights the hypocrisy of America. Naming a team the Braves, Chiefs or Seminoles is ok because it's noa slur. How would people feel is teams had mascots like..."the Italians" "The Chinese" or the "Arabs"? To differentiate between a slur and the supposedly harmless use of tribes or ethnicities is stupid. White people gave us the word Redskins so deal with its use.

  • DC

    What's unpatriotic about being socialist?

  • DC

    Oh and look, the Google tells me that a Charles H. Cunningham used to be the chief lobbyist of the NRA! Still churning out the classics I see.

  • Typical DC BS

    Dan Snyder, owner of the Redskins, doesn't care what you think. It will stay "Redskins" until he decides differently. All the whining and crying mean nothing to him. Until you buy the team from him or cause him to make significantly less money, he won't change it. End of story.

  • Jane

    "Redskins" is not like "Italians" or "Arabs". It's like "dagos" or "ragheads".

  • Lawyer/DJ

    Polls taken on this subject find that the vast majority (near 75% in one) of Natives don't find the term "Redskins", as used forb the football team, offensive.

    Maybe it's time for a new poll, or maybe it's time for non-Natives to stop telling Natives how to feel about things.

    http://www.annenbergpublicpolicycenter.org/downloads/political_communication/naes/2004_03_redskins_09-24_pr.pdf

  • Ben

    "When will this lefty PC madness end?! Stop being hypersensitive, you liberal pussies, and GROW UP! Does anyone get mad about the FIGHTING IRISH?! NO!!!!!The team is called the REDSKINS, not the PIGSKINS, so you better just learn to DEAL WITH IT, because..."

    Ahahahahahahaha...Sorry, I'm just messin' around. I was trying to do a parody of the frothing mouth-breathers who always come onto the comments of these articles to defend the racist name, but I couldn't keep it together. Lost it.

    Seriously though, that letter is amazing in its level of logic-failure. Native Americans being offended by "Redskins" is akin to socialists being offended by "Patriots"? What the hell?

  • Kes

    Socialists can't be patriots? 1954 called, they want their Red Scare-mongering back.

  • Mr.Remember

    What is funny is the reference to mascot called Warrior, Chiefs the picture is more damaging that the name. Don't people have an "office chief", "chief of staff" and the infamous "Commander and Chief" hence if the word chief is offensive then get to renaming everything.

    Howard D. Woodson High School's mascot is named the Warrior but the mascot is an African-Warrior, so I am guessing the Zulu, Masai and Pygme warriors all up in arms. Wooooo, I am so scarrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrred. Lord knows what the Anacostia High School Indians will do, can't be more specific than that name.

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