D.C. Council Member Wants Name Change: 'Hail to the Redtails'

D.C. City Council may soon take its turn to “officially” run with a familiar beltway political football: the Washington Redskins “name change” issue. According to The Washington Post, D.C. council member David Grosso, who believes the Redskins name is both “derogatory” and racist,” is busy collecting co-sponsors for his non-binding resolution that, in part, “urges the team to change its name to the Washington ‘Redtails.’” 

‘Redtails,’ as the resolution points out, was “the nickname used by the Tuskegee Airmen, the pioneering aviation unit that broke the color barrier for U.S. military pilots in World War II.”

The resolution states that “District residents and their elected representatives should not tolerate commercial or other use of derogatory terminology relating to any people’s racial identity, or which dishonors any person’s race, or which dishonors the name Washington” and that “Washington’s name has been dishonored by association with the word ‘Redskins.’”  

Grosso, who was first elected to the D.C. council last November, previously worked from 2006 to 2007 in D.C. Delegate Eleanor Holmes-Norton’s (D) congressional office as her Legislative Director. 

As reported by Breitbart Sports, Holmes-Norton is a leading name change proponent and was an initial co-sponsor of a recently introduced House bill "H.R. 1278 - To amend the Trademark Act of 1946 regarding the disparagement of Native American persons or peoples through marks that use the term 'redskin,' and for other purposes." 

At the time, Norton stated she believed a name change was inevitable "but nothing happens without pushing and shoving." Grosso, however, told The Washington Post “a change to the Redtails would be relatively seamless” and may have mollified skeptics when he added this game changer: “you can still keep the feather.

Regarding the name change debate, Redskins owner Dan Snyder, who bought the team in 1999, has long made his position clear. In a 2003 CNN interview with the late Robert Novak, Snyder said: 

“I'll never change the name of the Redskins. You have my word on that. In addition to that, it's really what the Redskins mean that's not quite out there. If you look at the facts, the facts are what it means is tradition. It means winning. It means a great tradition for the franchise.” 

As the interview continued: 

NOVAK: So it's not an attempt to derogate or to insult a minority group at all, is it?

SNYDER: No, not -- no, none whatsoever.

Recently, Redskins General Manager Bruce Allen said, "I'm a proud of what we represent" and "If you look at everything that we represent, you'll find that the Washington Redskins have a positive image.” Moreover, Allen said "I know that there are Native Americans that are very proud of us and who are fans of our football team." 

While “Hail to the Redtails” is likely to become the most requested tune on the politically correct jukebox, a “non-scientific user poll” included in The Washington Post article, would appear to indicate a strong aversion to the remix. 

At last count, over 10,000 people had responded to the poll with 9% saying “change the name to the Redtails,” 32% saying “I support changing the name, but let's do better than Redtails” and 59% saying “keep the Redskins name.”  

And whether or not Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III's tweet yesterday was related to the Redskins "name change" controversy, his point was both well received and timed: "In a land of freedom we are held hostage by the tyranny of political correctness."


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