Tag Archives: washington redskins

The Battle Continues for Dan Snyder

By Kaleb Page

February 26, 2015

For the owner of the Washington professional football team, Dan Snyder, there is a big issue surrounding his long-standing team. The team name has drawn much fire over the past few years and more recently has seen a spike in attention.

The team name as many know is the Washington Redskins. To many (if not all) in the Native American community this term ‘redskin’ is seen as a racial slur. The battle has waged on with not only prominent Native American representatives but also the U.S. government with the owner Snyder.

This past year the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board cancelled the Redskins’ trademark with the reasoning being that it may be offensive to Native Americans. This ruling was a big blow to the brand that has been around the NFL for decades. Ultimately making the logo, name, etc. something to be freely marketed upon with no need to recognize the formal organization that is the NFL team.

This past Monday, court papers were filed by lawyers representing the team to fight the original ruling saying that the decision to cancel the trademark violates the first amendment right of free-speech and unfairly singles the team out.

The quote from the lawyers taken by the Associated Press essentially states that the court acted unfairly by picking sides.

“For disfavored treatment based solely on the content of its protected speech, interfering with the ongoing public discourse over the Redskins’ name by choosing sides and cutting of the debate.” – Team Attorneys

I find it interesting that this topic is kind of under the radar right now. I know that it is not football season and with ‘March Madness’ and other sports ramping up it can be lost in the mix. However, this debate and finale ruling could be huge in either direction.

This battle between owner Dan Snyder and the government/Native American community is dragging out and it seems like no end is in sight. Which could be something where we don’t see a final say so or even change for many years down the road.

Since I am neither a Native American or Washington Redskins fan, I don’t have a true stake in the matter. I do see the side of the Native Americans with having the name changed since it is offensive to them and there are thousands of other choices for mascots.

Likewise, I do see the whole side of the team saying the term in this context is not intended to offend. I don’t think you necessarily pick a mascot to be offensive or to be something that you think is an unworthy representative of your team.

Then again it probably easier for me to say since I am not in the shoes of Native Americans that are truly offended by the name. Ultimately even though I don’t have a personal stake in the matter, I do think the name change needs to be made.

Mr. Snyder, make the change…now.

Above I put a more serious debate on the issue of the name, but below this is a video done by The Daily Show with a serious look at the issue while still giving a bit of satire toward the stance of Snyder and the organization.

Violence Again the Topic of Another Weekend’s NFL Headlines

By Nick Muhl

Many of this weekends National Football League games brought about more headlines discussing the violence and the aggressive nature of some of its players. Rather than game recaps and analysis, many media outlets have taken this opportunity to once again criticize the NFL for not doing a better job in educating players to avoid these types of incidents.

The largest incident this weekend by far came in the game between the Tennessee Titans and New York Jets. Late in the third quarter, Jets quarterback Geno Smith and Titans defensive lineman Jurell Casey exchanged words following a play. Jurell Casey seemed to take offense to something Geno Smith said, and threw a punch into the right side of his helmet as Smith walked away. Chaos ensued after, with both teams clearing benches into a massive brawl.

In the game between the Washington Redskins and New York Giants, Redskins receiver Santana Moss had to be ejected from the game after his furious outburst in the face of an official. Moss was upset after the officiating crew overturned a Robert Griffin III touchdown at the end of the first half.

Reporters and writers did not shy away from reporting on a heated exchange of words between Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant and Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins. The two players only seemed to jaw at each other for the most part, but the conversation did not look like a friendly one.

While some of these examples may seem petty, it brings to light an important issue the NFL must face. Since news stories of Adrian Peterson, Ray Rice, Darren Sharper, Greg Hardy and Ray McDonald broke, the NFL has tried to distance itself from being associated with questionable characters. All of these are either current or former NFL players currently under investigation in cases involving domestic violence, rape, child abuse, and other violent crimes.

This weekend is another example of how much work the NFL still has ahead of it, if it wants to repair its image and regain the respect of many. Sundays NFL games were another example of how the media will do everything it can to continue to highlight the NFL’s issue as long as it remains fresh on fans minds. The NFL may continue to grow frustrated with many media headlines, but they must focus on changing the culture of the NFL and it’s players if it wants to avoid further such headlines.

RG III: Holding The Entire Team Accountable

By Savannah Malnar

In the majority of NFL franchises, the quarterback can be identified as the primary leader of the team. Robert Griffin III of the Washington Redskins has been working hard to make his case for that position through a career riddled with injuries and bad seasons.

The current 2014-2015 NFL season has not treated the Redskins kindly; they are currently 3-7 and have been plagued with controversy regarding not only their quarterback situation but also the team name. Fans of the Redskins have put all their hope into Griffin since the team traded away a 6th, 2nd, and two 1st round draft picks to acquire the 2nd overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft from the St. Louis Rams.

All professional athletes are told how to interact with media in press conferences, but Griffin said some things after a loss to the then 1-8 (now 2-8) Tampa Bay Buccaneers that he probably wishes he could take back.

Griffin started the post game press conference by saying multiple times that the multiple sacks and offensive issues were his own fault, and that he is doing everything he can to play better. He then continued to discuss how he hopes and believes that his teammates will do the same and work to make themselves better.

The sport media pulled one specific quote from Griffin’s press conference: “It takes 11 men. It doesn’t take one guy, and that’s proven. If you want to look at the good teams in this league and the great quarterbacks, the Peytons and the Aaron Rodgers, those guys don’t play well if their guys don’t play well. They don’t.”

On Monday almost all the headlines regarding Washington read something along the lines of “RGIII Throws Teammates Under Bus.” Unfortunately for Griffin, most of these articles in both national and local news took his words out of context for the sake of a story. The authors claimed that Griffin was comparing himself to the great quarterbacks of the era and blaming his teammates for the failure of the team.

If you have the patience, listen through Griffin’s press conference. He is humble in all of his answers, and certainly does not target his teammates at all. He does what a good teammate is supposed to do; he holds his fellow teammates accountable while still admitting his own mistakes. There was no blame placing, just a quarterback admitting that the entire team including himself needs improvement.

Colt McCoy Pulled From the Spotlight, Literally.

By Kate Roth

Washington Redskins quarterback Colt McCoy proved that he is more than just a third string bench warmer this Monday night as he led his team to victory over the Dallas Cowboys. McCoy, who has been the backup to RGIII and Kirk Cousins, threw for 299 yards and finally got his chance to shine, well at least on the field.

After the game McCoy had been engaging in interviews with many different reporters to discuss his performance along with the performance of the team just as any quarterback would do after a big win. While McCoy was about to answer a question from ESPN Deportes reporter John Sutcliffe he was physically yanked away by Tony Wyllie, the Redskins Senior VP of Communications.

Colt seemed to be enjoying his time in the spotlight and even looked a little confused when Wyllie pulled him away from the interview. Normally we would see communications directors try to encourage their team members to cooperate with the media and conduct these interviews, so it was a bit unexpected to say the least to see Colt being pulled away from the media when he looked very willing to talk.

Wyllie later stated that the reasoning behind his actions were that Redskins head coach Jay Gruden was about to give his post game speech and he wanted Colt to be able to hear it.

I understand that Wyllie was just only doing his job, but was it necessary for him to grab McCoy by the back of jersey and yank him away from the interview unexpectedly while screaming, “NO MEANS NO” at the reports? I think the clear answer to this is no.

Yes it is important for Colt to be with his team and hear his coach’s speech after a big game, especially with the role that he had in the win, but Wyllie could have simply told him it was time to go and the interviews could hold off until after the team meeting.

Players being interviewed right after the game is something that has been going on for a long time, especially when they have a performance like Colt did on Monday Night. Wyllie has to be aware that this is part of the business and find a new way to handle situations like this instead of making a scene over such a small issue. Not only did he seem to catch the reporters off guard, but his own player he is out there to protect as well.

I must say that this ranks up there with the Richard Sherman incident as one of the most interesting post-game interviews I have every watched. I hope that Wyllie has seem the video of himself pulling Colt away and realizes that he needs to find another way to handle this type of situation without causing such a scene. And even next time maybe just let the guy have his moment in the spotlight, after all he deserves it.

Redskins NEED Name Change

Christopher L. Gasper wrote an incredible article for The Boston Globe on the need to change the Washington Redskins name.

I completely agree with what Mr. Gasper had to say about the name of the Redskins and how it is offensive to Native Americans.

Gasper talked about how it is racist for any team to be named the Redskins and how it is equivalent to a team being called the N-word. And, if you were to think about it, he is absolutely right because there is not one African-American who would be okay with any team being called the N-word.

I also like how Gasper pointed out how changing the name of the Redskins will not erase the history that they have made since moving to Washington. It will simply be the start of something new and fresh.

In fact, Gasper mentioned how the Indian removal Act of 1830 and Trail of Tears support the removal of the Redskins name.

Even powerful figures such as President Barack Obama, US Attorney General Eric Holder and Redskins cornerback Champ Bailey stated that it was a no-brainer that the Redskins should change their name.

Gasper did a great job in finding facts about how outraged people are when he said that the US Patent and Trademark office canceled the Redskins trademark.

Gasper did look at both sides stating that a lot of die-hard Redskins fans wouldn’t approve of a name change because it is what they grew up on. I understand that because I couldn’t imagine calling the Detroit Lions another name.

A simple solution would be to change the Redskins name to the Washington Braves. Many teams that move to different cities keep the original name and just change the city. For instance the New Jersey Nets recently changed their name to the Brooklyn Nets. I also feel like Native Americans should do peaceful protests so the world can actually see first-hand that the Redskins name is truly offensive to them.

Gasper did a great job with this article by critiquing how disrespectful it is for the Redskins to be called the Redskins and did a wonderful job backing up the sources.