Cain Velasquez, ever heard of him? If you haven't, Google him. I will be bring him back later, but first a bit of history with me and the "R" word, the Redskins name.
When I was a kid, I was watching an episode of Quantum Leap (by the way, the final episode doesn't get enough credit for one of the all-time best series finale). Sam had traveled back and taken over a Native American, Sam's character had a friend, an older Indian gentleman that was a Redskin's fan. I found that strange. When you are not a fan of the team and you hear the name, your knee jerk reaction could be to find the name offensive. I was young then, 11 or so, but I found the name to be offensive. And ever since then I was against the name, I found it insulting.
But last week I had a conversation with my wife that changed my mind. My wife is white and like many white people claims to have some Native American heritage in her. My wife knows about football as much as I know about nuclear science, so I asked her, if she thought that the name of the Redskins was offensive. She said, yes, she thought that now a days, claiming pride in one's skin color is something that you don't do. She didn't think that the name was racist, but rather that the name was showing pride, and that's something you don't do now a days, cause you don't want to make someone feel bad who doesn't have Red skin.
That got me thinking about myself. I am Latin and I thought, what if there was a team that named themselves the Brownskins. How would I feel about that name, and to be honest, I thought it would be damn cool! Back to Cain Velasquez, for those that didn't Google him, he is the UFC heavyweight champion of the world, and could just be the baddest man on the planet. Across his chest is a large tattoo that reads, BROWN PRIDE. Now think about that, no one is up in arms about his tattoo. I am sure he is not a fan of the Browns and his tattoo is in relations to his ethnicity. So, what's the big deal then? If you are a Native American, maybe your skin pigmentation resembles the color red, big deal! Be proud of that, own it, to try and say is shameful in someways is almost a self hatred argument. Yeah I have brown skin, love it! I don't get sunburn, I look like I have a tan all the time, is awesome. So if a team wants to name their team, the Brownskins, you have my blessings. I feel that if you own it, you bring pride, you keep yourselves relevant. Who hasn't heard the phrase "Black and proud", what's so different about that? You are pointing out to your own skin color. And besides, I don't see the Redskins parading Indians around the field in a mocking manner. Although I have to say, sometimes you see some of the fans in their headgear and it doesn't pass the taste test.
And think of another angle. You are going to start a professional team. You would think that someone would want to name their team after something that brings pride. You wouldn't bother naming your team for some petty reason like insulting a group of people, that would be beyond stupid. I think that I would name my team after a something that I admire, something to have pride in. Seahawks? made up animal, where is the connection there. Packers? named after the blue-collar workers. There is something you can have pride in, something to connect with. So for one time only, from a Packer's fan, Hail to the Redskins. But, Dan Snyder is still an assclown. That much needs to be said.