Two years ago, during July, word spread that the Washington Redskins football team would be replacing their historic 87 year old name due to it being deemed racist. As a person who has grown up both playing and watching football, this was shocking. I had never really thought about the term redskin being racist. To me, it was a way to honor Native Americans and all they have done. It turns out I was wrong. The definition for the term redskin is, “a contemptuous term used to refer to a North American Indian.” (Dictionary.com) This change had a big impact on sports because now many more teams have also changed their names in the past few years due to them being called offensive.
This leaves the question, why are we taking action to fix this now and not in the past? The answer is simple. People were very different a century ago and did not care if redskin was a racial slur or not. People today have changed and have come to realize that a lot of things that were seen as normal many years ago are offensive to some. “Cancel culture” is the tendency of today’s world to find offensive things and cancel them. I agree and disagree with this. I understand there are many offensive things that we need to get rid of, but it should be done to a certain extent. According to a poll done by the Washington Post, a nationwide trusted news provider, “Nine in ten Native Americans say they are not offended by the Washington Redskins name” This poll contained 504 Native Americans throughout all 50 states. The team name had no reason to change if the “offensive word” being used doesn’t offend most people that it targets. It is a waste of time and effort to make unnecessary changes. In case you think this poll is fraud, NBC Washington, another good news source, states “In the only recent poll to ask native people about the subject, 90 percent of respondents did not consider the term offensive” This says the exact same thing as the Washington Post.
We as a society are being over dramatic about canceling everything, including the name Washington Redskins and the names of the many other sports teams that are being impacted by cancel culture. If the majority of people are getting offended by these names, then yes, sports leagues need to change them. The fact that most people don’t care and we are still trying to cancel these names, shows that we need to take a step back and first figure out if change is needed before we take action.