Washington Post sports reporter Mike Wise suggested the Washington Redskins should be shamed into changing their team name and predicted the football team would be forced to do so during his lifetime.
Wise made his remarks on Thursday at a symposium at the Smithsonian American Indian Museum about “Racial Stereotypes and Cultural Appropriation in American Sports.” Wise was on a five-person panel that discussed the Washington Redskins name.
“I believe in my lifetime that symbol will disappear from this town,” Wise said, of the Redskins name. “And when it does, there will be a lot of people to thank.”
He said there is going to be another huge fight on changing the Redskins name, and it’s “going to come soon.”
Wise said proponents of the Redskins name will never be convinced to change, so the only way to do so is to embarrass and shame them. He said the same tactics used to embarrass people in politics should be applied to pressure the Redskins and those who support the team name. In politics, liberals often use such shaming tactics to promote policies they believe advance their ideas of “social justice.”
He said he is accused of being a “leftist social engineer” or having “White guilt,” and noted “White guilt” could just as well be called “human compassion.”
Wise said after he graduated from college, he was inspired by an article in USA Today about a five-year-old boy who went to a high school game in Minnesota and was humiliated by the Indian mascots, war paint, and chants. After a USA Today reporter wrote about the incident, numerous high schools across Minnesota that had Indians adopted other mascots.
Wise said he will bring up the issue about whether the Post should use “Redskins” when covering the team with the newspaper’s sports editor. Wise remarked that, in hindsight, he wondered if he would have been hired by the Post a decade ago if the editors had known how much he hated the Redskins name.