Syria's not a big enough mess, nor is the government shutdown here on our own shores brought on by the health care program that bears his name. Now our President wants to get involved in the tempestuous world of professional sports. This isn't completely without precedent, of course. Mister Obama has previously been immersed in the highly charged debate about a playoff system for college football. POTUS tends to think that the BCS is BS. Then there is the matter of our chief executive's yearly foray into NCAA basketball bracketology.
Now he wants to
weigh in on the matter of his local team's mascot: The Redskins. "I
don't know whether our attachment to a particular name should
override the real legitimate concerns that people have about these
things," he said in the interview conducted last Friday at the
White House. Still, he's a politician, which is why he felt the need to
add, "I don't want to detract from the wonderful Redskins fans that are
here. They love their team and rightly so."
Would they love them just as much if they were called the Washington Genociders? Maybe the Smallpox Blankets? Hard to say, but since the team's owner, Dan Snyder,
has proclaimed that the name will never change as long as he is the
owner it seems like the kind of argument with which Obama has become familiar.
name 'Washington Redskins' is eighty years old. It's our history and
legacy and tradition," Lanny J. Davis, an attorney for the Redskins,
said in an emailed statement in which he
also identified himself as an Obama supporter. "We Redskins fans sing
'Hail to the Redskins' every Sunday as a word of honor, not
disparagement." Davis and others have been quick to point out that
baseball has Braves and Indians, the NFL has Chiefs as well, and hockey
has its Blackhawks. The difference being that none of these epithets
point directly to any sort of disparaging term. How about "Honkies?"
speaking, it seems that sticking to the animal world when shopping for
mascots is probably best, though I do wonder how many Broncos and Bears
fans have considered the number of equine and ursine Americans they have
offended over the years.