Surprise! Look Who’s on Anti-Woke Warpath to Reclaim ‘Redskins’ Name | The Gateway Pundit


Guest by post by Peter LaBarbera

This article originally appeared on WND.com

‘Maybe it even caught them off guard how much it matters’

With a new owner in town promising to return the Washington, D.C., football franchise to its 1980s glory, many of the team’s fans are rallying behind an American Indian group’s petition to reclaim the old “Redskins” name and logo – in what has the potential to be a dramatic reversal of “wokeism.”

The Change.org petition is the creation of the Native American Guardians Association, or NAGA, titled, “Change the Washington Commanders back to the Washington Redskins.” Started on June 21, it had passed 122,000 signatures by press time, with scant establishment media coverage.

The petition states, “We, are passionate supporters of the Washington Redskins and its rich history. We write to you today as a collective voice, urging you to reconsider the recent name change from the Redskins to the Commanders. We believe that restoring the original name, the Redskins, is the right decision for the team, its loyal fanbase, and the legacy it represents.”

The NAGA petition continues: “The name ‘Redskins’ carries deep cultural, historical, and emotional significance, honoring the bravery, resilience, and warrior spirit associated with Native American culture. It was never intended as a derogatory or offensive term but as a symbol of respect and admiration. Changing the name abruptly disregards the positive legacy that the Redskins name has built over the years and disorients the passionate fans who have invested their emotions, time, and unwavering support in the team.”

90% of American Indians support ‘Redskins’

A 2016 poll 0f 504 Native Americans by the leftist Washington Post found that a whopping 90% had no problem with the “Redskins” name being attached to the NFL franchise, which draws fans from D.C. and neighboring Virginia and Maryland. That overwhelming support had remained unchanged since a 2004 survey of 1,000 American Indians from across the nation by the Annenberg Public Policy Center.

The Post story revealed that, much like the rest of America, there is a wide gap between everyday American Indians polled and vocal elites from left-leaning activist groups like National Congress of American Indians, which vehemently opposes the “Redskins” name.

The NAGA petition continues: “The name ‘Commanders’ fails to capture the essence, tradition, and historical weight associated with the Redskins. … It lacks the uniqueness, emotional connection, and pride that our team’s original name embodies. The change to ‘Commanders’ dilutes our team’s identity and weakens the connection with its devoted fanbase.”

“By restoring the Redskins name, we reinstate a symbol of unity, strength, and shared identity that has inspired generations of fans,” it states.

Newsmax reported Friday, “An investment group led by Josh Harris closed their deal to acquire the Commanders on July 21, 2023. … The Redskins changed the name of the team in 2020 following the nationwide protests against racial bias in the wake of the death of George Floyd, a black American who died while being arrested by police.” Before it was changed to the “Commanders,” the team went by the awkward name: “Washington Football Team.”

In an Aug. 15 interview with News Nation, former U.S. Marine, NAGA representative and member of the Oklahoma Kiowa Tribe Billy Dieckman (his adopted name), said the old Redskins name “is not a derogatory term nor a racist term,” but rather one that is “extremely honorable” to American Indians and their warrior past:

Team VIPs open to ‘Redskins’?

In a July 31 broadcast, D.C.-area sportsradio broadcaster Kevin Sheehan said the name “Redskins” has been more “in circulation” at the Commanders’ headquarters and preseason practice environs since the new owners took over.

“We hear the name ‘Redskins’ coming out a lot more here recently,” he said.

Sheehan, who is such a fan of the original “Redskins” name that he says he can barely utter the words “Washington Commanders,” said various Commanders’ VIPs, including club president Jason Wright, have given hope to fans hoping for a return to the old name, with Wright acknowledging to the media that “a segment of the fan base” supports changing the name back to “Redskins.”

“A big segment of the fan base would be more accurate,” Sheehan said in commenting on Wright’s comment. “This matters, they all know it matters,” Sheehan said. “Maybe it even caught them off guard, to a certain degree, how much it matters” to the franchise’s loyal fan base.

In the following Aug. 15 Newsmax interview, Dieckman said ditching the Redskins name was “devastating” because many Americans do not know the rich history behind it: “Redskins … refers to a status symbol of an elite warrior,” he said, adding that the logo is a representation of an actual Native American, Two Guns White Calf, chief of the Blackfeet tribe.

“We at NAGA are like: man, this has been such a missed opportunity,” he said. “Why does this hundred years’ worth of history in this incredible name, this prestigious person who’s on the side of the helmet, why does that just get eradicated? And why is there no say from us?”

he following Aug. 21 video of the Pat McAfee show is interesting in that it shows the excitement building among return-to-Redskins name change advocates, even as McAfee, a former All-Pro NFL punter with the Indianapolis Colts, playfully sidesteps saying the word itself (warning: clip contains profanity):

The full NAGA petition is reprinted below:

We, are passionate supporters of the Washington Redskins and its rich history. We write to you today as a collective voice, urging you to reconsider the recent name change from the Redskins to the Commanders. We believe that restoring the original name, the Redskins, is the right decision for the team, its loyal fanbase, and the legacy it represents.

The name “Redskins” carries deep cultural, historical, and emotional significance, honoring the bravery, resilience, and warrior spirit associated with Native American culture. It was never intended as a derogatory or offensive term but as a symbol of respect and admiration. Changing the name abruptly disregards the positive legacy that the Redskins name has built over the years and disorients the passionate fans who have invested their emotions, time, and unwavering support in the team.

We acknowledge the concerns surrounding cultural sensitivity and the need to foster inclusivity. However, we firmly believe that there are alternative ways to honor and respect Native American heritage without erasing it. By reclaiming the Redskins name, we have the opportunity to engage in meaningful dialogue, educational initiatives, and collaborations with Native American communities. Together, we can promote cultural appreciation, address misconceptions, and work towards a more inclusive society.

The name “Commanders” fails to capture the essence, tradition, and historical weight associated with the Redskins. It lacks the uniqueness, emotional connection, and pride that our team’s original name embodies. The change to “Commanders” dilutes our team’s identity and weakens the connection with its devoted fanbase. By restoring the Redskins name, we reinstate a symbol of unity, strength, and shared identity that has inspired generations of fans.

We recognize that change is sometimes necessary and beneficial. However, in this case, the name change has caused division among supporters, tarnishing the team’s legacy and distancing it from its roots. As fans, we seek unity, respect, and inclusivity. We believe that the name Redskins can be a catalyst for positive change, fostering understanding and appreciation for Native American heritage through community outreach, education, and collaboration.

In light of the aforementioned reasons, we kindly request that you reconsider the name change and reinstate the name Redskins. By doing so, you will honor the history, tradition, and emotional connection that millions of fans have forged with the team. We stand united in our belief that this change will strengthen the team’s identity, engage the fanbase, and promote a spirit of unity and understanding.

Thank you for your time and consideration. We eagerly await your positive response and remain dedicated to supporting our team, the Washington Redskins.

Copyright 2023 WND News Center





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