New Redskins coach Ron Rivera kicked the question about changing the team’s controversial name
Longtime NFL coach Ron Rivera has been an outspoken advocate for social justice amid nationwide protests against systemic racism, but when it comes to his new team’s controversial nickname, the Washington Redskins, he’s not pushing for any change.
“I think that’s another discussion,” Rivera told Chicago radio station 670 The score.
According to the Washington Post, 58-year-old Rivera had yet to address the name of the Redskins, who has resolutely refused to change owner Daniel Snyder in light of accusations of racism.
Ron Rivera is introduced as Washington Redskins’ new coach at a Redskins Park news conference in Ashburn, Virginia on January 2, 2020. Rivera is an outspoken advocate for social justice amid nationwide protests against systemic racism, but when it comes to controversial nickname of his new team, he does not insist on changes
Protesters gather outside Lambeau Field prior to the game between the Green Bay Packers and the Washington Redskins on December 8, 2019 in Green Bay, Wisconsin
Redskins owner Dan Snyder has ignored requests from Native American groups who believe the name and logo are racist, and as NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell told ESPN Radio in 2018, ‘I don’t see him changing that perspective’
“I feel a man my age, my era, you know, that was always part of football, the name of the Washington Redskins.”
Rivera’s reaction contradicted Washington DC Mayor Muriel E. Bowser, who recently said it was “past” for the team to use a nickname that “offends so many people.”
Recently, Events DC, a Washington-based sports promoter, removed a monument dedicated to team founder George Preston Marshall, who famously declined to integrate his squad until forced to do so by the league in 1962.
Likewise, the team removed Marshall’s name from the Redskins’ Ring of Fame on FedEx Field, as well as the stadium’s lower bowl, which has been renamed Bobby Mitchell, the franchise’s first black player.
A Washington Redskins fan prepares for the game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on September 12, 2004 at FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland
But despite those changes, Rivera, a former linebacker from Chicago Bears, still claimed the time has not come to tackle the team’s nickname.
“I think it’s all about the moment and timing,” Rivera said. “But I’m just someone from a different era, when football wasn’t such a big part of the political scene. That is also one of the difficult things for me, I have always wanted to keep it separate.
“People wanted me to get involved in politics during coaching, and I kept saying to them,” It’s not up to me to go there and influence people. “I have my beliefs. I know what I’m thinking. I support the movements, support the players. I believe in what they do. Again, I think there are certain elements in certain things that are all about timing and the best time to discuss those things. ‘
When asked if he would listen to those who wanted to change the nickname, Rivera was non-committal.
“I’m just saying this,” said Rivera. “I have done a lot of research on many things I do. I do not engage in conversations that are not prepared. ‘
The origin of ‘redskin’ is disputed, according to a 2016 Washington Post article, which claims that it was used as a pejorative as early as 1863 in Minnesota.
Washington DC Mayor Muriel Bowser has called on the NFL Redskins to change their nickname that many find offensive to Native Americans
George P. Marshall’s monument was recently defaced with sprayed graffiti
Washington DC removed a monument to Redskins founder George P. Marshall, who famously fought integration and refused to sign a black player until 1962
The Redskins’ tweet elicited a response from critics, who accused the team of hypocrisy
“The state’s reward for dead Indians has been increased to $ 200 for every red skin sent to purgatory,” The Winona Daily Republican announced. “This amount is more than the bodies of all the Indians east of the Red River are worth.”
George P. Marshall was forced by the NFL to integrate in 1962. He reluctantly acquired Bobby Mitchell, who was later inducted into the Hall of Fame. Mitchell died in April
By 1898, Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary began to define “redskin” with the phrase “often disdainful.”
Recently, the Redskins criticized a ‘# BlackoutTuesday’ tweet protesting racism.
“Do you really want to stand for racial justice?” asked Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Twitter. “Change your name.”
The owner, Snyder, has ignored requests from Native American groups who believe the name and logo are racist and, as NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell told ESPN Radio in 2018, “I don’t see him changing that perspective.”
In 2017, the Supreme Court ruled that a trademark law, which excludes contemptuous terms, infringes freedom of expression. Previously, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office had attempted to withdraw the Redskins trademark because it was a racial slur.
In 2016, Snyder wrote an open letter responding to a Washington Post poll that found 9 out of 10 Native Americans don’t take the term ‘Redskins’ negatively.
NATIVE AMERICAN GROUPS CONTRACT PLAYERS TO SPEAK
The National Congress of American Indians called on Washington Redskins players to take the lead and force the team to change the controversial name.
Fawn Sharp, president of the organization representing more than 500 tribes, made the plea on Friday through Washingtonian.com.
She said players should “rip that name as if it were a statue of a Southern General in their dressing room” and “sit at home instead of wearing the NFL equivalent of the Southern flag.”
A woman depicts Dan Snyder as a “racist” at an anti-racism meeting in Minnesota
“I call on the members of the NFL franchise in Washington, DC to seize the opportunity and become heroes,” Sharp and Matthew Randazzo V write in a letter published by the website. All I ask is that you say the unambiguous moral truth: just as you would never play for the Washington (insert another racist insult), you will no longer be playing for a team branded with a racist insult against native americans. …
Who is brave enough to walk out of the dressing room of Washington, DC’s National Football League franchise and into the history books?
“What athlete is bold enough, selfless enough to say that he will sacrifice his own welfare to stand up for the millions of Native Americans and hundreds of tribal nations who are offended and dehumanized every day by the racial blemish of his employers’ brand name? ‘
In a separate Q&A with Washingtonian.com, Sharp said she feels that the current political climate and nationwide turmoil over racial injustice may finally be the turning point in persuading Washington to make a change.