Two British Members of Parliament Seek Ban of Washington Redskins
“We were shocked to learn the derivation of the term ‘R*dskin'”
A couple of years ago, the progressive left declared war on the Washington Redskins, or more pointedly, on the use of the word “redskins” in the team’s name. This PC battle fizzled out when the FCC ruled that it would not fine networks for the use of the team’s name in on-air broadcasts. At least it fizzled out on this side of the pond.
Apparently, the Brits didn’t get the memo.
Two members of the British parliament, presumably having solved all their nation’s woes, have decided to focus their attention on the American football team’s name. In a letter to the NFL commissioner, they demanded that the team’s name be changed or that another team, with an acceptable team name, be sent in the place of the Redskins.
Two members of British Parliament wrote a strongly worded letter to NFL commissioner Roger Goodell earlier this month, urging the league to change Washington’s name or, “at the minimum, send a different team to our country to represent the sport, one that does not promote a racial slur.”
Ruth Smeeth and Ian Austin, members of the British Labour Party, co-authored the letter dated Feb. 2, eight months before Washington is scheduled to play the Cincinnati Bengals as part of the NFL’s international series.
“We were shocked to learn the derivation of the term ‘R*dskin,’ pertaining as it does to the historic abuse of native Americans,” read the letter, a copy of which was obtained by ESPN. “The exportation of this racial slur to the UK this autumn, when the Washington team is due to play, directly contravenes the values that many in Britain have worked so hard to instill.”
A league spokesman confirmed the NFL received the letter.
Let’s pretend for a moment that the British had no hand in the “historic abuse of native Americans” and consider the idea that members of the British government are actually concerned with what we call our football teams and that American progressives are eager to claim victory . . . in the UK.
But while tens of thousands of Native Americans and their allies play the waiting game in the U.S., they have several factors working in their favor in the U.K.
No nation has stricter anti-racism laws in sports, due in part to disturbing incidents encountered by black soccer players over the years, including having banana peels and monkey chants hurled at them during matches. Clubs at every level can be heavily fined or banished from their respective leagues for any violation.
In their letter, Smeeth and Austin also mention the site of the October game, Wembley Stadium, having its own anti-racism charter, including the banishment of “racial, homophobic or discriminatory abuse, chanting or harassment,” in accordance with the Football (Offences) Act of 1991. Wembley also hosted the launch of one of the two major international campaigns launched against racism in sports, including Kick It Out, a partnership with FIFA.
A Wembley spokesperson confirmed Tuesday the issue over Washington’s name is now being discussed internally.
Another hurdle the NFL has to clear is the British Broadcasting Corporation, the publicly owned network that broadcasts the game in the United Kingdom.
“Given it’s taxpayer-funded, if we believe it’s a racial slur, then that means problems for the BBC in terms of coverage of the event,” Smeeth said. “There is going to come a pressure point. The last thing the NFL wants — after putting so much behind its brand in the UK — is a good number of us to begin putting pressure on the BBC in terms of what they’re showing and how they’re showing it. This is not the image the NFL wants portrayed in the UK. ”
A BBC spokesperson, via email, reiterated the network’s long-held stance, “is to refer to a sports team by their officially-sanctioned name.” Mindful of the growing controversy, though, the network also left itself wiggle room: “Editorial planning for the game in October has not started.”
I suppose the plan, should the UK succeed in banning the Washington Redskins, is to declare that a “victory” for American SJWs. Or something.
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And yet the taxpayer-funded BBC has no problem at all with the racial slur “rednecks.” And it was of course foul-mouthed taxpayer-funded BBC radio host Russell Brand who famously used to call President Bush “the retarded cowboy.”
They’re welcome to be precious about this, as long as we’re welcome to laugh at their hypocrisy.
Hypocrisy is a core characteristic of the left along with intentions. The ends justify the means.
I grew up watching westerns on TV. Minnesota has a rich Native American (Indians when I was young) heritage. Because of the westerns and my study of history, I understood that sports teams wanted to have names associated with the “Indians” because the culture was honor, skill, courage, strength, perseverance, and many other very noble characteristics. “Redskins” was never a slur to me perhaps because I never considered the Native Americans as a bunch of wimps that needed to be protected by hypocritical liberals. When I heard the term “redskins,” I always thought of the brave and honorable warrior who knew how to live off the land and protect his people.
These modern liberals who are could never be even 1% of the character of the men or women that they pretend to protect with their sham protests. Or, are they trying to make the “Redskins” into snowflakes that need liberals for protection. How disrespectful these liberals are.
Liberals are out to destroy American football as we know it. They want to make it into a namby pamby game where the snowflakes can have a chance at some kind of glory in their less than stellar lives.
I saw a very simple solution for the Redskins and that was to simply replace the indian head with a potato since there is a variaty of potato called the “Redskin”. From just a few feet away one cannot tell the indian head from the potato! And to make it even more like the indian head they could put colorful leaves and corn husks where the indian’s feathers are.
Thanks for covering this. As a Brit I’m embarrassed by this. Every legislature contains a small percentage of goons, oafs, village idiots, fopdoodles and gnashgabs.
These 2 MPs seem to be two of ours, and no more represent us than Bernie Sanders and Bill Clinton represent all people of the USA.
If they had bothered to spend their time doing their homework rather than masturbating their sense of outrage they would know that the whole “OMG The Redskins is an offensive name” thing is nothing more at root than a couple of people trolling for attention.
Thanks for exposing it, but most of us are not on the campaign.
Thanks for posting, Matt! You’re quite right that it’s the fringe who tend to get the publicity, and then “all” Brits get lumped in with the worst examples (who always seem to be a small, separate but very loud group). It happens to Americans all the time, so I completely understand. 🙂
These members of parliament are so full of $*&#. If you have ever been to Great Britain or discussed Native Americans, American Indians, First Nation people with them, they often refer to them as “Red Indians” (to distinguish from East Indians). So they did not know the derivative nature of “Redskin”?
Maybe they can find blame for Rotterdam or Jimmy Saville’s victims rather focusing on an issue that really is not an issue.
Not to mention the historic abuse of the Redcoats by American Colonists.
If the two MPs or the people they claim to represent don’t like the name, then they don’t have to go to the game. And if people turn on their TVs and they don’t like the name of one of the teams, then they can turn the channel and watch cricket or whatever. And if the people at the BBC don’t like the name, well, tough cookies. They’ve got a contract with the NFL to broadcast the game. When/if the contract comes up for renewal, then they can negotiate whatever deal the parties can agree to between themselves.
The name for a football team is NEVER, EVER used in a derogatory way or intended to offend anyone.
This strikes me as two back benchers just trying to create a conflict that they think they can benefit from politically.
I’m offended that 1) they can’t spell Labor and 2) they don’t do any labor. Give them some sledge hammers and rocks.
I hope we can ban those two from ever entering the U.S. as I’m soooo offended by them.
They’re probably offended that YOU can’t spell “labour.” Seriously, what a silly criticism of them. They INVENTED the Anglosphere. Yes, we have deviated from their spellings over the years, and yes, that’s cool and all, but to blame the people from whom our language is derived for using their original spellings is seriously an idiotic look.
I think 4fun was just funnin’ us.
Have The Brits changed the titles on all the copies of the Agatha Christie novel sold in the US as “And Then There Were None”? If not, why not? (I’d give the original title, but I might get banned.)
Politicians gonna politick.