Monday, August 20, 2007

The Washington 'R' Words

I live for football season. Every February when the Superbowl ends, I go into a funk (not a Hunter S. Thompson, shotgun in the mouth funk but a funk nonetheless) knowing that I have to wait till August to catch the real deal football again.

Now football is back and I'm reminded why my favorite team, the Washington 'R' words is such a guilty pleasure (I use 'pleasure' ironically). I have too many friends and connections in the Indigenous American community to be able to sing hail to any team that persists in calling itself 'Redskin.'The reasons why the term 'Redskin' is as offensive as the 'N' word or the 'B' word are too obvious to recount here. Beside which I firmly believe that the people who should have final say over whether a term is or isn't offensive, are the people taking offense, not the offenders.

Even the fight song makes me cringe: "Hail to the Redskins" to the tune of "Yes, Jesus Loves Me" with some Hollywood Indian stereotype tom-toms thrown in for some ethnic 'flavor.'

Then there's the issue that Black people who like myself claim some Cherokee ancestry have been disavowed by the new Cherokee leadership, all of which conspires to take the wind out of my football-loving sails.

Still, I'll be there each Sunday glued to my HDTV watching every R-words game, enjoying the games, win or lose, because its football and I'm a fan and I'm loyal to my team and to the game.

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