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Is It Time For A Name Change?
August 25, 2014 - Al Stephenson
There are people that feel political correctness has gone too far. There have been times when I have felt that way myself. I had a relative that felt that way when he told me a story about the plant where he works.
Most of you are familiar with the commercial that asks "what day is it?" The camel walks through the office asking that question until finally someone admits that it is hump day. My relative said that on Wednesdays you could hear the question as well as "Mike, Mike, Mike, Mike, Mike" being said all day long. It seemed innocent enough. Then a female worker complained that the word "hump" has more than one meaning. My unhappy relative couldn't believe that the company prohibited the use of those words in the workplace. In his mind political correctness had gone too far.
I have thought about that situation many times since and compare it to the movement to get the Washington Redskins to change their nickname because it is offensive to many people, primarily Native Americans. Is it time for a name change for the NFL franchise? Let's take a further look.
Those who are opposed to the change cite tradition as their logic for keeping the status quo. The team has always been the Redskins and no one that they know considers it offensive. They do not see the term as disrespectful and see no need to change it. These people have likely never been the victim of discrimination based on their race, skin color or gender.
Let's go back to our hump day discussion. Can you see a male worker using the term in an offensive way towards a female worker? Yes, I can too. For most people it's just having a little fun, but some will take things too far and that's where trouble begins. I can see why it was stopped.
As for the Redskins name, I had a friend suggest that they keep the nickname but change the logo. He thought using a peanut or potato would take care of the problem. Funny, but not true. Keeping the name Redskins will always allow some people to use it in a discriminatory way.
The view from my seat suggests that it is finally time to make a switch. It may be time for the Cleveland Indians to do likewise. As a Cleveland Indians fan, I can live with a name change - tradition be darned. After all the Cleveland professional baseball team has not always been the Indians.
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