Idle No More: Ideas For That Washington Team

It was back on May 25, 1999 that Dan Snyder became the fourth owner of the Washington Redskins. He has claimed in the past that it would cost too much to change the name of his team due to all the merchandising.

The team uniforms were changed in 1994, and then again in 2005. Dan Snyder could have easily opted to start the transition from being the Washington Redskins to being any other name that wasn’t offensive to an entire culture.

NOTE: The team shirts shared in this article were found on THIS WEBSITE and are used within the context of the Fair Use clause.

You see, back in 1932 when the original owner, George Preston Marshall renamed the Boston Braves, and so in 1933, the team emerges as the Boston Redskins. The logo painted on their football jerseys shows a fair-skinned Native American Indian with two red feathers in his hair.

Jump ahead four years to 1937, and the Boston Redskins have relocated to Washington. Along with being renamed the Washington Redskins, the logo slides over to the players’ arms. It’s relatively easy to claim that the logo has always been around in some form or another, whether on the jerseys or on the helmets.

Washington Redskins Uniforms_1933_1937_1973

Wrong.

From 1942 until 1962, there was no Native American Indian logo on the jerseys or the helmets.

Washington Redskins Uniforms_1942_1948_1956

In 1962, when the uniforms were redesigned, the familiar red and white feathers found their way on their helmets, and in 1973, the Native American Indian logo reappeared.  Over the years, the logo darkened up. Compare the fair-skinned logo of 1933 to the very dark-skinned logo of 1982.

If George Preston Marshall, who owned the team from 1932 until he died in August of 1969 had no problem changing the name and uniform for his team on multiple occasions — sometimes leaving the logo off, and sometimes using the logo — then the problem isn’t one of merchandising. In fact, one would think that in changing the name and logo of the team, the merchandise now in stock would increase substantially in the marketplace.

And since the uniforms were changed in 2005 (six years after Dan Snyder bought the team) and are due for a uniform change in the near future, it’s not unconscionable or outrageous to believe that changing the team name to something less offensive is reasonable and something that can, and should, be done . After all, everyone already know what the Washington team can do on a football field. Changing their name and their logo ought not affect their performance, right?

Since Dan Snyder says the name and logo is about expressing pride in a culture, perhaps it’s time he expressed pride for his own culture and renamed the team after something more in keeping with his own roots. I’m sure that fans of the Washington team would continue to rally behind their favorite football club.

Elyse Bruce

SUGGESTED READING

Idle No More: A Victory Of Sorts
Idle No More: Blaming Both Sides
Idle No More: Get Over It, You Redskins

UPDATE ON 23 DECEMBER 2013

Indian Country Today Media Network
Why Jews Are Calling On Snyder To Drop ‘Redskins’
by Stanley Heller

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4 Responses to “Idle No More: Ideas For That Washington Team”

  1. mutanatia Says:

    Would you, as a member of Idle No More, be happy if the uniform were to change at say, the next revenue cycle (if it’s a 5-year plan or whatever)? Or even as soon as the next season, instead of instantaneously and in the middle of a football season?

  2. Idle No More: Keep The Redskins Name, Change The Logo | Elyse Bruce Says:

    […] I understand that it’s not that hard to change logos.  In fact, the Washington Redskins have changed their logo on a number of occasions over the past 80 or so […]

  3. Idle No More: Indians Are History | Elyse Bruce Says:

    […] misappropriation of culture by sports teams, celebrities, and others further reinforces the belief that Indians are a thing of […]


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