City Desk

This Is the Strangest Defense of the Washington Football Team’s Name Yet

This Washington Post letter to the editor presents a pretty peculiar argument in defense of the Washington football team's racist name: If the team name is changed, how will parents in 2525 explain the great legacy of Native Americans to their children?

John Kosko of Germantown, Md., submitted the letter, which largely consists of a mock conversation between a mother and child in which the child asks what a [Pigskin] is. The mother then explains the history of Native Americans in this country and says the team name (which is, by definition, a racial slur) is "in honor of and in remembrance of the great race of people whose land this once was.”

"This conversation never takes place if the name [Pigskins] is changed," Kosko concludes.

If all future conversations about Native Americans are predicated on football, then that's maybe reason enough to change the name.

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  • SEis4ME

    No, what's silly is the WCP's use of "Pigskins" as a substitute for Redskins. Can't get anymore ridiculous than that!

  • Kevin

    SEis4ME, the name is more offensive than "Pigskins" is ridiculous.

  • noodlez


  • SEis4ME

    Kevin, sure some people do think that. But it's not going to change Snyder's mind. In fact, I'm sure this steels his resolve not to do anything at all. If the WCP and other establishments want to continue to call their home team some made up name, then have at it.

  • SEis4ME

    Anybody going to the Pigskin's game?


  • johnl17

    Thanks for posting this; I had exactly the same reaction. What strange thoughts go through the heads of people trying to defend the indefensible.

    Opponents of the name change are like opponents of marrige equality I think in that they don't have any good arguments so they usually either just try to shout down the other side or just want them to shut up. I guess at least this guy tried to articulate some reason.

  • SEis4ME

    John, comparing the inability of a couple to marry (civil right) against the inability to force an owner to change the name of a team (private right) he acquired? Way to go homie! What's next, comparing Obamacare to slavery?

    Proponents of the name change have no serious justification for wanting the name changed beyond satisfying the wishes of a small group of Indians, who've been unsuccessful in accomplishing their goals since it first became an issue.

    But go ahead and call the overwhelming majority of americans bigots if you must....

  • Wrack

    It's not that he must be compelled to change the name. It's just that it's awful and racist, like other slurs such as "darkie" or "wetback" or whatever.

    Who cares if it only refers to a small number of people? Just because there was only one full-blooded Tasmanian Aborigine remaining in 1875 doesn't mean it would be acceptable to or for everyone else to use a slur for her people as the name of an Australian soccer team.

    Arguing that Snyder ought to change the name is well within peoples' rights. Marketplace of ideas and all that. He can name them whatever he wants. And the rest of us can try to make that bad business for him by pointing out how obnoxious and dickish that is.

  • SEis4ME

    Changing the name from Boston Redskins to Washington Redskins happened back in the 1930's. Unlike darkie, wetback, or even kike, REDSKINS has been used consistently since then. So it's really an apples to dragonfruit argument.

    We should cater to a small group of Indians rather than to those who don't oppose the name? Really? Every POTUS, NFL player/owner, media person etc has CONSISTENTLY used this supposed "slur" and now it's an issue?

    People have every right to protest whatever they want. And the rest can continue to argue and make for bad business (the anti-Snyder/football brigade) until they are pink and green in the face. It won't change Snyder's mind nor those of the rest of us who overwhelmingly support keeping the current name.