Can RG3 Stop an Age-Old Debate?
by Amy Lignor
Who can even remember when this began; the never-ending debate about the racist name of the ‘Redskins?’ It’s hard to think back that far; but it seems like the beginning of the Jurassic period that groups have been annoyed, frustrated, angry about the ‘bigotry’ that comes along with the name, and so on and so forth.
The three specific groups remain the same. One, the group that truly believes the name is beyond derogatory and the team should have it changed immediately. Two, the group that says this is the NFL – an old institution that should be respected by one and all. And if the fans and the Redskins aren’t unhappy about the name, then why is this such a big deal? And who is group three? The ones who love tennis and golf and have no real concern or feeling about the Redskins name one way or the other.
Washington’s owner, Dan Snyder, has said that he is not on board with ever changing the name. This is history; and he wants no part in seeing it modified.
Like the Atlanta Braves, who people still get angry about, not only because of the racist name but also that token tomahawk chop, the Redskins seem to always have to deal with this issue.
And now…the star of the Washington team – RG3 – is being asked by some to speak up and out, having his voice be heard by fans everywhere as to whether or not he feels he’s on a team that is beyond racist. Will he speak? Chances are, no.
Recently it was the commissioner of the NFL, along with journalists, D.C. Council members and members of Congress who got together about this. They have voiced loud and clear all their opinions about the Washington Redskins nickname. This issue, of course, in the media world is helpful for Washington. They will attain even more attention, and should they win next season, the whole issue will be splattered across the papers once again.
As all this continues, the magic QB, Robert Griffin III, remains mute. Charismatic off the field, RG3 seems to have placed himself as far away from this situation as possible. This is one of those guys that the fans would listen to; but in all fairness, he is working his butt off to come back from a seriously horrific knee injury in order to begin the upcoming season.
The history of the team is not good where racism is concerned. This is also true about almost, if not every, team in the NFL, Major League Baseball, etc.). Yes, it is true that former owner George Preston Marshall was a racist who never said he was sorry about that fact. He made sure that the Redskins were the last team to hire black players in the NFL. Yet the one and only black QB to win a Super Bowl was a Redskin…so go figure.
RG3 is a man who has thus far shown elegance and class when having a microphone shoved in his face, and perhaps he is striving to keep that eloquence in check. Or, like a great majority of viewers and readers and fans, he really doesn’t care. All he wants is to bring success to his team – nothing more, nothing less.
Griffin has refused up until this point to discuss the team moniker. Whether that be a personal decision by him because he has no interest, or a financial decision made by him because only the most beloved athletes reach superstardom, who knows?
But RG3 is certainly not afraid. It was during his rookie season that he battled the NFL over Nike apparel. He paid a fine later for wearing his sponsor’s (Adidas) clothing to a post-game interview. In many fans eyes, that simply meant that RG3 is loyal to a fault.
In the end, whether or not RG3 says anything about this way-too-blown-out-being-carried-on-far-too-long situation, doesn’t matter. In his eyes, in the fans’ eyes – all they want is to see him healed, take the helm of the ship and lead them to a Super Bowl victory.
Once you have the Lombardi trophy in your hand, the team can get away with any name – Flying Coconuts, Yellow Daisy Men, or Killer Geese. (Sorry…my apologies to geese everywhere.)
Just play football!
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Until Next Time, Everybody,