While that may be the case today, you might want to read up on Redskins founder George Preston Marshall before believing that's been the case throughout their history, which would include the original naming of the team. Marshall was very much a racist and was the reason the Redskins were the last NFL team to integrate, only doing so after DC threatened to pull the lease on RFK.
I know about Marshall's racism as it's well documented. I did a little search and interestingly enough, the Redskins first head coach was named Lone Star Dietz who claimed to be part Sioux Indian. So, while Marshall had no love for African-Americans it's entirely possible he had genuine admiration for Native Americans. I don't think anyone would name their team something they didn't like just to show hostility to an entire culture of people.
I think ,in a lot of ways, Anglo-Americans have a deep respect for the strength of Native cultures because their own cultures are so fractured.....and guilt laden. But that's just like, my opinion,...man
Anyway, the wiki page I found Lone Star Dietz on also had this to say about the "proud symbol vs racial sterotype" debate:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Washington ... ontroversy
There is much debate whether the use of the word Redskin is acceptable as a name for a sports team. Clarence Page of the Orlando Sentinel wrote in 1992 "[The Washington Redskins] are the only big time professional sports team whose name is an unequivocal racial slur. After all, how would we react if the team was named the Washington Negroes? Or the Washington Jews? ... It is more than just a racial reference, it is a racial epithet." Larry Dolan, owner of the Cleveland Indians, has criticized the Redskins' team name during a discussion of his own team's controversial Native American logo, Chief Wahoo. According to Dolan, "if we were the Redskins, the day after I owned the team the name would have been changed".
The unofficial mascot of the team is an African American man, Zema Williams (aka Chief Zee), who has attended games since 1978 dressed in a red faux Indian costume complete with feathered war bonnet and tomahawk. It is not unusual for other fans to attend games in similar costume.
Many others believe that the name is a positive reference to the culture of Native Americans. Many Redskins fans say that it is a reference to the strength and courage of Native Americans. Some scholars counteract this argument by saying that any stereotype, whether positive or negative, is a hindrance to the advancement of a group. Scott B. Vickers quotes Susan Harjo "the use of any stereotype in the portrayal of Indians is considered ... to be contributory to their dehumanization and deracination."
The stereotyping of Native Americans must be understood in the context of history which includes conquest, forced relocation, and organized efforts to eradicate native cultures, such as the boarding schools of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, which separated young Native Americans from their families in order educate them as Euro-Americans. "Since the first Europeans made landfall in North America, native peoples have suffered under a weltering array of stereotypes, misconceptions and caricatures. Whether portrayed as noble savages, ignoble savages, teary-eyed environmentalists or, most recently, simply as casino-rich, native peoples find their efforts to be treated with a measure of respect and integrity undermined by images that flatten complex tribal, historical and personal experience into one-dimensional representations that tells us more about the depicters than about the depicted." (Carter Meland (Anishinaabe heritage) and David E. Wilkins (Lumbee) are professors of American Indian Studies at the University of Minnesota)
What I find fascinating is that the real issue isn't the name of a team, it's the complete lack of respect for Native's in general. Imagine the outrage for a name like the Mississippi Cottonpickers, or The Tennessee Tar-babys. It would be completely unacceptable to even suggest such a thing because everyone is now taught how wrong slavery/racism is/was and affirmative action/Rooney rule and all that.....Yet no one in our Government has ever
even bothered apologizing to the Native Americans for what amounts too attempted genocide and long list of broken treaties. And to top it off, capitalists, protected by that same government, are given the right to use their conquered image...like an animal head above the fireplace.
I know it's said that it's a minority who have expressed being offended...but I think most should be offended at what has become of our indigenous people. But they aren't cause they aren't ed-ja-macated. I tell people who want to go visit a 3rd world country to just visit Pine Ridge or the Navajo Nation.
anyway...enough ranting. This topic gets me worked up.