“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.DONATE
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