Eric Clapton and the Redskins name

 

There has been some talk of possibly changing the Redskins name to something more politically correct.

I think the people pushing such a change are totally missing the boat on the issue they are trying to preach to everyone about.

I grew up a diehard Redskins fan in Potomac, Maryland.

When it came time to decide between the Boy Scouts or Indian Guides as my out of school activity – it was no contest.  As a Redskins fan, I had to go to Indian Guides.

The Redskins for me made Indians cool.  Really cool.  Therein lies the stupidity of changing the Redskins name – it will cause more racism.  Because you are killing a bridge to Indians.  After all, we are talking about a football team you root for – not a name for a mean act, a poisonous insect or a destructive hurricane.

Eric Clapton album cover, I Shot The Sheriff
Enter Eric Clapton.  Remember his cover of "I Shot the Sheriff" by Bob Marley?  Those people with the same mentality as Redskins name haters accused Clapton of exploitation (a close relative of or perhaps a component of racism). 

What happened in reality?  Clapton created a bridge for Rock 'n' Roll listeners to become fans of reggae music.  Without Clapton, the jump was too far.  Clapton found a way to create the bridge.  The result was tons of people became Bob Marley and reggae fans.  Marley and reggae players reaped financial rewards as a result.  Now all of us know, understand, and appreciate reggae much more.  We see dreadlocks and think 'cool!' not 'go take a shower weirdo!'  

If there is any inherent bigotry in Redskins fans, it's of Cowboys.  No name change or preaching what everyone else needs to do is going to help that.  Martin Luther King asked that people be judged by their character, not by the color of their skin. There is a point of saturation where focusing only on racism becomes a way to absolve oneself of working on one's character since we rationalize "I'm not racist, therefore I'm OK." 

I think we are perhaps missing half of his message.  If you really care about human beings and need something to preach to everyone else since you can't focus on becoming a mensch yourself, let's work on opposing fans not getting beat up because they wear 'enemy' team jerseys.

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Anthony Brown

About Anthony Brown

Lifelong Redskins fan and blogger about football and life since 2004. Joined MVN's Hog Heaven blog in 2005 and then moved Redskins Hog Heaven to Bolguin Network. Believes that the course of a season is pre-ordained by management decisions made during the offseason. Can occasionally be found on the This Given Sunday blog and he does guest posts.

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